Men’s Hoops beats Delaware to capture Cathedral Classic Crown, 86-73

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team finished Sunday’s game at the Cathedral Classic Presented by the Sheraton University City Hotel and actually won the tournament championship. With a 2-0 record over the weekend and a Delaware team also 2-0, the Quakers rallied in the second half to defeat the Blue Hens 86-73.

Penn ended the Cathedral Classic with a 3-0 record while Delaware finished 2-1. In the first game of the day, Colgate rolled past Hartford to end the weekend 2-1 while the Hawks went 3-0 without a win.

Overall, the win was Penn’s fourth in a row – all in the last six days – and the Quakers are now 5-4. Delaware fell to 3-3 with the loss.

Quaker touch meal

*The victory gave head coach Steve Donahue 100 at Penn and 300 as a college head coach.

*Juniors Jordan Dingle and Clark Slajchert were named to the All-Tournament Team along with Delaware’s Jameer Nelson, Jr.; Colgate’s Tucker Richardson; and Hartford’s Briggs McClain.

*Penn’s 86 points was a season high (previous high 85 on Nov. 11 in Missouri).

*Penn shot 56.9 percent from the field on Sunday, 58.6 percent over the last two days (65-111) and 54.4 percent over the weekend (92-169).

*Penn had 21 assists from 33 baskets, setting season bests in both categories for the second straight day and posting single-digit turnovers for the second time this season (9).

*Penn knocked down 10 three-pointers, his third straight game to reach double digits in the category; the Quakers had 33 Treys over the weekend and shot 47.8 percent from beyond (33-69).

*Slajchert scored 26 points on Sunday, which gave him 59 in the last two games and 70 in the Cathedral Classic game.

*Slajchert has scored in double figures in three straight games and seven of the last eight in the scorer charts, and has 20 points in five of them.

*Slajchert also had three steals in his second straight game after going into the weekend with a season/career high of two.

*Dingle scored 22 points which gave him 68 in the tournament.

*He has scored at least 20 points in each of Penn’s last six games; The last Penn player to accomplish this feat is Tony Price, who had eight such games in a row late in the 1978-79 season.

*Dingle also had his season bests in rebounds (4) and assists (4).

*Studies Nick Spinoso set career highs in points (18) and assists (9) and also nabbed six rebounds.

*Spinoso has 17 assists in Penn’s last two games.

*Senior Luke Monroe scored a season-high eight points, had a career-high five assists and led Penn with nine rebounds.

*Junior Max Martin had broken his four-game streak of double-digit scoring games when he finished with nine points.

*Delaware was led by Jameer Nelson, Jr., who finished with 30 points and five assists. Jyare Davis scored 18 points, LJ Owens added 12 and former La Salle explorer Christian Ray led all players with 15 rebounds.

How it happened
The game started quickly, both teams were red hot early on as the teams combined scored 20 points before the first media timeout. However, Delaware then cooled off and went almost five minutes without a point, and the Quakers took advantage with an 8-0 run to take a 17-11 lead.

Nelson and Owens spurred a run by the Blue Hens that put the visitors back in the lead 24-23 midway through the half, and the teams went back and forth with five more lead changes for the rest of the half. However, Penn went into the dressing room 42-39 as Dingle scored the last five points of the period.

Penn quickly extended his lead to eight early in the second half, Martz hit a backdoor feed from Monroe and Slajchert deflated a trey. That made it a 10-0 run that spanned the halves and forced a Delaware timeout. The stoppage calmed the Hens, who scored seven of the next 10 points in the game to come back to four at 50-46. Slajchert slowed the run with a jump in the lane, but the Hens responded with the next four points and were within one at the first media timeout, 52-51.

Delaware picked up where it left off, Davis hitting an and-1 layup and converting the free throw from the break to put the Hens 54-52 ahead. That lead eventually widened to 59-54, resulting in a 20-7 run. At that point, Penn came alive with 12 straight points (eventually 16-1), spurred on by Monroe and Spinoso, pushing the Red-Blues forward double digits, 70-60.

Delaware came no closer than eight points after that, and the Quakers sealed the deal when Martz and Dingle hit back-to-back Treys (Dingle was also fouled on his make for the rare four-point game) to extend a nine-point lead into an 82-66 advantage with four minutes to play.


Penn is back at The Palestra on Wednesday night, opening the Big 5 play with Saint Joseph’s. This game is the second half of a single-entry Big 5 doubleheader when La Salle and Temple tie the knot at 18:00