By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After a rough trip to New England, the Penn Quakers will return to the friendly confines of the Palestra on Friday night as they host Cornell in Ivy League play.
The Quakers (4-13, 1-2 Ivy) lost to Dartmouth and Harvard this past weekend. They were neck and neck with the Big Green on Friday before fading late and losing, 68-57, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Then a talented Crimson team ran past them in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 80-50, on Saturday.
“The biggest thing with us is that we control our own destiny,” Penn head coach Jerome Allen tells KYW Newsradio. “The better we are in terms of paying attention to details and defending and keeping guys out of the paint and keeping guys off the offensive glass, I think the better our outcomes will be. And they weren’t great this past weekend.”
Cornell will come to town just 1-17 on the season (0-4 in the Ivy League) and that only win came against a Division III school in Oberlin College. The Big Red love to shoot from deep. 38% of their field goal attempts for the season have come from behind the arc (they’ve connected on 31% of them).
“Whether it is (junior guard Devin) Cherry or (sophomore guard Nolan) Cressler or whoever they put out on the perimeter, they really do an excellent job of playing through the guys in their areas of strength,” Allen says. “For us, we’ve got to close out, run them off the line, don’t let them break us down in our rotations with middle penetration. Just respect the game, respect the opponent and ignore what their win-loss record is.”
Cressler leads the Big Red in scoring at 16.3 points/game. Cherry is second, pouring in 11.6.
Allen provides more keys for his squad.
“We can not turn the ball over,” Allen says. “We have to play solid transition defense, we’ve got to keep them out of the paint and they can not play harder than us.”
Last season Penn and Cornell split their two match-ups, each winning on the other’s home floor.
After Cornell comes to town, the Quakers will host the other Ivy League opponent that hails from the Empire State, Columbia, on Saturday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw