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Good Bounce
Record-winning streaks by men’s and women’s basketball.
By Noel Hynd

 

Is there such a thing as a Penn basketball season that isn’t memorable? After a rough start to the 2000-01 campaign, in which the men’s basketball squad dropped their first eight games, the Quakers began making up for lost time, picking up six wins in their next eight contests.
    In fairness, three of those early losses—including to nationally ranked opponents—were by a combined seven points. But to look at the W-L record and see 0-8, well, you had to know something strange was going on.
    Ah, but then came January. Besides winning six of their next eight games, Penn also continued its streak of Ivy League victories. Instead of hearing about an zip-for-eight record, discussion shifted to Penn’s ownership of the nation’s best conference unbeaten streak. The streak was at 23 when Yale came to Philadelphia in the first week of February with a perfect Ivy record. The Quakers quickly turned the Bulldogs into puppies again with a 61-51 victory. The win marked Head Coach Fran Dunphy’s 200th collegiate victory and the 24th consecutive Ivy League win by the Quakers.
    You know how these basketball weekends work, right? If it’s Yale on Friday, then it’s Brown on Saturday. Penn beats up on one while Princeton beats up on the other, then the opponents switch the next night.
    To their credit, the Brown team put up a noble fight for 39 minutes against the Tigers in Princeton, but fell 66-61. In Philadelphia the next night, it was the same story. The Bruins put up a good battle against the Quakers before falling, 59-50. The Quaker conference-win streak stretched to 25—but it wasn’t easy. [It was also the end. The next weekend, Penn fell to Harvard 62-77.—Ed.]
    The game might have been a three-point shootout between the Ivy League scoring leader (Brown’s Earl Hunt) and the Ivy League leader in three-point scoring (Penn senior Lamar Plummer). But Penn’s perimeter defense worked wonders on Hunt, holding him to just one three-pointer in the game and five points below his average on the night. That was a good thing.
    Unfortunately, the same defense worked against Plummer. That was a not-so-good thing for Penn fans, though Plummer did notch a game-high 18 points for the evening. Penn pushed to a quick six-point lead (11-5), but found the game tied four minutes later when Brown went on a 6-0 run. Senior captain Geoff Owens found sophomore Ugonna Onyekwe for the slam at 9:32 and then added a free throw to push the lead back to three (14-11) at 8:10. But the Quakers then experienced a scoring famine that lasted until 4:22. Brown used it to its advantage to take the lead at 4:47 (15-14).
    Then Plummer scored five straight to give Penn a lead it would not relinquish. Penn shot poorly in the first half, making only 10 of 37 shots, then hit five of their first eight shots after the break to take a 40-26 advantage on a three-pointer by sophomore David Klatsky. Thereafter, the Brownies never got closer than seven points.
    “We still have a long way to go,” commented Coach Dunphy following the game. “I saw some good things and some bad things tonight. We will continue to improve if we play smart basketball on a consistent basis.”
    While there is a certain amount of parity that’s settling into Ivy basketball competition, Penn and Princeton continue to run the tables each year. The Quakers and Tigers will meet each other once again on the final day of the regular season—March 6 in Tigertown—and once again the Ivy League NCAA berth will probably not be decided until that night at the earliest. Probably. Look for the game on satellite or on the Internet.
    Midway through the season, Penn’s women’s basketball team has a streak of its own going. In New Haven in early February, the Quakers exploded in overtime against Yale (92-80) to establish their program-record 10th straight victory. The very next evening, Penn traveled to Providence and beat the lady Bruins 77-72 to extend the streak to 11. Penn had to battle hard for this one, as Brown overcame a 10-point halftime deficit. The Bears led by four points, 70-66, with 2:45 left in the game when senior Erin Ladley nailed a three-pointer to pull the Quakers within one.
    However, Brown’s Tara Williams knocked down a jumper with 2:11 left as Brown regained a three-point margin. Junior Julie Epton hit the front end of a two-shot foul and Ladley followed with a lay-up to tie the score at 72-72 with 1:14 to go. After freshman Jewel Clark’s lay-up gave the Red and Blue the lead, sophomore Tara Twomey hit the front-end of a two-shot foul and Penn led by three, 75-72 with 19.6 seconds to go.
    Can you say, “Never in doubt”? The win left Penn women’s basketball atop the Ivies in mid-February.
    Penn wrestling co-captain junior Yoshi Nakamura extended his season record to 15-0 as he defeated Cole Sanderson of Iowa State, 9-3 at the 2001 NWCA All-Star Classic. The meet took place at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and drew a crowd of 2,800 fans.
    Finally, remember the just-completed Ivy championship football season? Penn quarterback junior Gavin Hoffman received honorable mention for All-American from Don Hansen’s National Football Weekly Gazette. Hoffman was also named first-team All-ECAC and winner of the Asa A. Bushnell Cup, given annually to the most valuable Ivy player, for his performance during the 2000 season.

Noel Hynd C’70 writes on sports for the Gazette.


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Copyright 2001 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 3/6/01

SCOREBOARD

DEC. 4 - FEB. 4

Men’s Basketball (7-12)
La Salle 61, Penn 59
Maryland 87, Penn 81
Seton Hall 80, Penn 78
Temple 74, Penn 60
Penn 69, Florida
International 59

Drexel 68, Penn 63
Penn 65, Columbia 44
Penn 64, Cornell 49
Delaware 76, Penn 66
Penn 82, Lafayette 74
Penn 87, Lehigh 74
St. Joseph’s 67, Penn 61
Penn 61, Yale 51
Penn 59, Brown 50

Women’s Basketball (12-5)
Penn 61, La Salle 57
Temple 80, Penn 60
Villanova 61, Penn 52
Penn 68, Stony Brook 56
Penn 60, Air Force 42
Penn 88, Lehigh 66
Penn 88, Siena 79
Penn 64, Albany 51
Penn 61, Columbia 50
Penn 69, Cornell 66
Penn 62, Lafayette 52
Penn 91, Drexel 80
Penn 92, Yale 80

Men’s Fencing (10-2)
Penn Invitational, 1st Place
Penn State Invitational, 2-2
Penn 17, Yale 10
MIT Multi-Meet, 5-0

Women’s Fencing (8-4)
Penn Invitational, 1st Place
Penn State Invitational, 2-2
Yale 14, Penn 13
MIT Multi-Meet, 4-1

Gymnastics (2-1)
Penn 191.60, Cornell 185.70
GW Invitational, 4th Place
Yale 190.450, Penn 186.625
Penn 185.200, Brown 181.975

Men’s Indoor Track
Navy & Wake Forest, 2nd Place
Cornell Invitational, 4th Place

Women’s Indoor Track
Delaware, 2nd Place
Cornell Invitational, 3rd Place
Princeton, 2nd Place

Men’s Squash (8-4)
Cape Town 9, Penn 0
Penn 7, Franklin & Marshall 2
Navy 6, Penn 3
Penn 9, Amherst 0
Penn 9, Rochester 0
Penn 8, Colby 1
Penn 6, Bowdoin 3
Princeton 9, Penn 0
Penn 7, Franklin & Marshall 2
Penn 9, Haverford 0

Women’s Squash (5-1)
Penn 5, Cape Town 0
Trinity 6, Penn 3
Penn 6, Princeton 3

Men’s Swimming (7-3)
Penn 135, Columbia 107
Florida Atlantic Invitational, 4th Place
Penn 150, Army 87
Penn 137, Navy 106
Brown 155, Penn 143
Yale 200, Penn 96
Penn 177, Dartmouth 99
Penn 132.5, La Salle 101.5
Penn 162, Duquesne 53

Women’s Swimming (7-4)
Columbia 183, Penn 117
Penn 167, Harvard 113
Florida Atlantic Invitational, 4th Place
Penn 145.5, Army 77.5
Penn 173, Navy 127
Brown 227, Penn 63
Yale 158, Penn 131
Penn 200, Dartmouth 107
Penn 134, La Salle 103
Penn 152, Duquesne 81

Wrestling (5-5)
Penn Invitational, 1st Place
Michigan 26, Penn 6
Virginia Duals, 1-2
Penn 29, Columbia 13
Cornell 16, Penn 15
Penn State 22, Penn 16
Penn 25, Harvard 11
Penn 47, Brown 3
Penn 36, George Mason 7