Penn makes a game of it, but falls to Princeton

Posted: March 13, 2014

PRINCETON, N.J. - Penn basketball coach Jerome Allen writes it on the board every day, and before every game.

"Play inside-out."

The Quakers were able to get their inside game going in a big way, but could not complete the outside aspect, as they fell to Princeton last night in their final game of the season, 70-65.

The Quakers (8-20, 5-9 Ivy League) knew that they had a mismatch inside, and tried to exploit it all game long. Over and over, they got the ball to either Darien Nelson-Henry or Fran Dougherty, and they found success in the paint.

"Every day, or every game, the first thing on our board offensively is to play inside-out," Allen said.

"I thought that, in spurts, tonight, we were patient enough, and our guys fought for position. They looked for one another, they screened, and we were able to do some things in the paint. That's how we set out to play."

Nelson-Henry had his way for most of the night, as he had the size advantage over the smaller Princeton forwards, even if the score sheet says otherwise. The sophomore went for 18 points and three rebounds. Dougherty still had a good game, despite missing some easy shots, adding 20 points and nine rebounds.

"They had a game plan that worked really well," Princeton coach Mitch Henderson said. "We could not stop either Dougherty or Nelson-Henry. I've never asked the question so many times, 'What are we going to do?' to my staff. I am very pleased to come out with a win."

Penn's guards could not get anything going for most of the game. The most successful of the bunch was senior Miles Jackson-Cartwright. He scored 12 points on nine shots, but also turned the ball over five times.

Penn could not hold on to a second-half lead, allowing Princeton to go on a 12-3 run over a stretch of 3 minutes to concede the lead that they would never regain.

T.J. Bray led the way for the Tigers, dumping in 18 points on only 11 shots.

"I just tried to take what the defense was giving me," Bray said. "They sent me left a little bit, so I just tried to finish with whatever they gave me. Luckily, they went down."

It was the final game for Dougherty, Cartwright, Dau Jok, Cameron Gunter and Steve Rennard. While the season did not play out as they would have liked, concering their overall record, Allen pointed out the positives to his seniors after the game.

"I talked to the seniors after the game about the beauty of the game," Allen said. "I thanked them for giving me what they had. They didn't always play smart, they didn't always make shots, but I thought consistently the five seniors, when asked, they gave effort. [A record of] 8-20 is not acceptable, but I have an appreciation for them trying to do the right things."

The Quakers' 8-20 record is the worst since 2009-10, when they went 6-22 after an 0-7 start. Glen Miller, the coach at the time, was relieved of his duties after seven games.

On Twitter: @AndrewJAlbert01

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