Experienced Penn takes care of Mids

Quakers stifle Navy's outside shooters in win

Pennsylvania 79 Navy 58

College Basketball

December 08, 2006|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun reporter

With youth, energy and three-point shooting as its calling cards, Navy was aiming to take down an established Ivy League power last night.

But the visiting Pennsylvania Quakers, backed by a talented core of upperclassmen and a pedigree that includes six NCAA tournament trips in the past eight seasons, were not about to be derailed.

Led by senior forwards Steve Danley and Mark Zoller and senior guard Ibrahim Jaaber, Penn took control of Navy early, weathered a brief three-point flurry by the Midshipmen before halftime, then cruised to a 79-58 victory before 2,185 at Alumni Hall.

Navy (7-3) was trying to extend its best start since the 1998-99 season and get to eight wins faster than any other date in school history, but the Mids ran into a seasoned Penn squad that shares the ball and scores with it. All five starters scored in double figures. Jaaber scored a game-high 18 points. Zoller finished with 16 points. Danley added 15 and went 11-for-16 at the free-throw line.

Freshman forward Trey Stanton had 12 points for Navy, which starts two freshmen and a sophomore and has only one senior. Junior guard Greg Sprink, the Mids' leading scorer, did not score in the first half and wound up with eight points.

"There is nothing embarrassing about losing to Penn. They're a tremendous basketball team. They have seniors that understand how to win," said Billy Lange, Navy's third-year coach. "We're trying to be a great team by the end of the year."

The Quakers (5-3), who dominated inside and forced 15 of Navy's 22 turnovers in the second half, put away the Mids by opening the half with a 12-2 run that gave Penn a 53-31 lead three minutes into the second half.

Penn's experience and balance showed immediately. While Navy came out with cold shooting hands, missing six of its first seven attempts, all five of the Quakers starters scored in the opening five minutes, as Penn scored the game's first seven points and jumped out to an 11-2 lead with 15:20 left in the first half.

Navy, which trailed 21-6 eight minutes into the game, came alive with its bench and the three-point shot. Junior guard Corey Johnson (nine points) made a 23-footer from the left wing with 10:05 left, and that started a 12-2 run that pulled the Mids to within 23-18 with 5:41 left in the half. Sophomore guard Adam Teague hit a three-pointer during the run, and sophomore guard Byrce Brigham made two. His second three finished the run.

But the Quakers steadied themselves. Zoller made a three-pointer from the top of the key, later converted a three-point play after posting up down low to make it 30-20, and Penn clamped down on Navy's outside shooters, pulling away to a 41-29 halftime lead.

gary.lambrecht@baltsun.com

PENN-Danley 2-8 11-16 15, Zoller 6-12 2-2 16, Jaaber 6-12 2-2 18, Kach 3-3 5-6 12, Grandieri 5-8 2-2 13, Cohen 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Schreiber 0-0 1-2 1, Egee 1-2 2-2 4, Franklin 0-0 0-0 0, Gill 0-0 0-0 0, Lewis 0-0 0-2 0, Reilly 0-0 0-0 0, Votel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-48 25-34 79. NAVY-Stanton 5-9 0-0 12, Topercer 0-0 0-0 0, Sprink 4-10 0-0 8, Johnson 3-5 1-3 9, Kina 1-7 2-2 4, Young 1-2 0-0 2, Harris 0-4 0-0 0, Colbert 1-1 0-1 2, Brigham 3-4 0-0 9, White 0-0 1-2 1, Fenske 1-2 0-0 3, Brooks 0-0 0-0 0, Teague 3-7 0-0 8, Biles 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-51 4-8 58. Half-Penn 41-29. 3-point goals-Penn 8-18 (Jaaber 4-7, Zoller 2-4, Kach 1-1, Grandieri 1-2, Egee 0-1, Smith 0-1, Danley 0-2), Navy 10-25 (Brigham 3-4, Johnson 2-3, Teague 2-5, Stanton 2-5, Fenske 1-2, Kina 0-1, Sprink 0-2, Harris 0-3). Fouled out-Teague. Rebounds-Penn 31 (Jaaber 7), Navy 32 (Johnson 6). Assists-Penn 16 (Zoller 4), Navy 14 (Johnson, Sprink, Young 3). Total fouls-Penn 14, Navy 22. A-2,185.

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