Penn edges NJIT for Quakers' 1,700th career victory

Posted: January 18, 2013

NEWARK, N.J. - Jerome Allen emerged from the Penn locker room Thursday night seething, with no trace of a smile from a coach whose team had won its first game in seven weeks.

Allen watched the Quakers throw the ball around to the tune of a season-high 26 turnovers. But they received five clutch points from sophomore guard Patrick Lucas-Perry down the stretch and hung on for a 54-53 victory over NJIT at the Fleisher Athletic Center.

The victory, which enabled Penn (3-13) to become the 11th Division I program to record 1,700 wins, broke an eight-game losing streak.

Allen's thoughts, however, were reflected in the first word he said in his postgame interview.

"Embarrassing," he said.

"To be completely honest with you, I was overly disappointed in our inability to take care of the basketball," he said. "We're just looking for one guy who wants to play with a sense of poise and a sense of grit, that's not going to turn the ball over, and we just don't have that."

The Quakers did hold the Highlanders (9-9) to 28 percent shooting and outrebounding them 41-24.

After taking a 49-39 lead on Dau Jok's three-pointer with 4 minutes, 36 seconds to play, the Quakers went scoreless for the next 21/2 minutes. NJIT went on 10-0 run and tied the game on Chris Flores' free throw with 2:23 to play.

Lucas-Perry then broke the tie with a three-ball from the left wing.

"I was just looking to provide anything my team needed," Lucas-Perry said. "At that moment it was hitting a three, but it was just going out there and playing hard."

Lucas-Perry swished two free throws to give Penn a five-point lead with 1:23 remaining. But NJIT got two free throws each from Daquan Holiday and Flores to cut the deficit to one.

"We kept putting them on the line with stupid fouls," Allen fumed.

The Highlanders rebounded a Steve Rennard miss with 9 seconds to play and rushed into the frontcourt seeking the game-winner. But P.J. Miller missed and Ky Howard couldn't get off a follow before the buzzer sounded.

Ah, victory. Any positives, coach?

"Not a whole lot," Allen said. "If I didn't see it with my live eyes, I'm definitely not going to see it when I watch the film."

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