Penn collapses at Princeton, because of course it did

Jerome Allen is 0-6 all-time against Princeton at Jadwin Gym. (Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Jerome Allen is 0-6 all-time against Princeton at Jadwin Gym. (Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

So, so, so much hasn’t changed.

When Penn amassed a 56-41 lead at arch-rival Princeton with 14:14 remaining, it seemed too good to be true.

That’s because it was.

The Quakers promptly let that lead slip away en route to a 78-74 loss, allowing Princeton to change the pace of the game into a more uptempo affair as the turnovers (17) and fouls (25) piled up for Jerome Allen’s team. Tony Hicks once again wilted down the stretch, barely catching rim on a long-range jumper as the shot clock wound down, missing a wide-open corner three and double-dribbling down with the Quakers down three in the best online casino game’s final minute.

I give Allen credit for coaching his guys up on how to attack Princeton’s 1-3-1 zone and getting the matchups in the paint he wanted, especially with Darien Nelson-Henry, who went 8-for-10 from the field for 18 points.

But as Steven Tydings wrote for The Daily Pennsylvanian in his postgame column, progress for Allen’s program needs to be defined by winning.

By finishing games.

By avoiding a losing record in Ivy play.

By, as Allen likes to put it, “imposing its will” in rivalry games like this one.

That last goal won’t be reached if the turnovers don’t subside, if the fouls keep coming or if Penn’s best players keep coming up short in crunchtime.

Bet on change not coming for this program until Grace Calhoun imposes her will on it.

3 thoughts on “Penn collapses at Princeton, because of course it did”

  1. You and Steven are correct about the team and the coach.

    They really need to find a way to consistenctly win close games. This team has blown late second half leads to Delaware State, Wagner and, now, Princeton.

    An absolutely dreadful ending after a very positive first 27 minutes. They started to tense up over the last 13 minutes and had great difficulty getting a basket. After Dylan Jones’s slam dunk to go up 14, they went almost 8 minutes without a field goal. The last 5:30 were the Tony Hicks Show, for good and bad. Unfortunately, there was more bad than good during that time.

    In the last 5:30, Hicks went 2-7 with 0-2 FT, 2 TO, 1 steal and 1 rebound. The only other people to shoot the ball for Penn during that time were Woods 1-2 and DNH 0-1. Hicks was absolutely out of control for the last 10 minutes of the game. Even if there are no legitimate options during crunch-time, this kind of play cannot happen to a 3 year starter and the Captain of the team.

    The team came unglued in a close game, they abandoned their successful offensive philosophy, committed an excessive amount of turnovers, fouled Princeton excessively and had trouble with three-pointers. This all sounds incredibly familiar. Whether the problem is the players or the coach, the responsibility ultimately falls on JA. Hopefully, as you note at the end of this article, Dr. Calhoun has the ability to impose her will on this program.

    PS – Forgetting Penn’s usual problems for the moment, Princeton deserves credit for not falling apart after going down 15 midway through the second half. Henry Caruso was incredible. Spencer Weisz and Hans Brase also had excellent games. In the end, they deserved this win by being the stronger team and attacking Penn’s weaknesses.

    • Thanks for the comment rb. Spot on as usual. Princeton does deserve immense credit for persevering, but it has to be noted that we’ve seen a lot of teams persevere successfully against Penn over the past three seasons. It’s the same script – the offense gets out of control in crunchtime, and the fouls and turnovers just pile up.


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