PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Antonio Woods had 15 points and a career-high 11 assists, and Sam Jones sparked a big second-half run which propelled Pennsylvania to a 79-72 win over Cornell on Saturday night.
The Quakers won in the final days of coach Jerome Allen’s tenure after he posted only one winning season in 5-plus seasons. Allen, a two-time Ivy League player of the year with the Quakers, had yet to duplicate that success on the bench.
He took over after Glen Miller was fired in 2009 and led the Quakers to his only winning season in 2011-12 with a 20-13 record. But the Quakers haven’t won more than eight games in a season over the last three years.
Allen was reportedly told this week he’s out of a job at the end of the season. Penn has one game left.
“I’ll say this, my attempt to be like Marshawn Lynch, I’m just here so I won’t get fined,” Allen said Saturday night. “If you can read between the lines, then you’ll probably save your breath. Questions?”
Jones finished with 13 points, Darien Nelson-Henry scored 12 and Matt Howard 11 for Penn (9-18, 4-9 Ivy League). Tony Hicks and Darnell Foreman added 11 apiece.
Jones hit two 3-pointers, scoring eight, during a 20-2 run that gave the Quakers a 53-33 lead with 12 minutes to play.
Cornell (13-17, 5-9) went more than six minutes without a field goal during that stretch and trailed by double digits until the final seconds.
Penn, which came into the game averaging 60.1 points and had scored 50 and 54 points in its last two outings, scored 50 after halftime - its highest scoring half this season.
Shonn Miller led Cornell with 23 points. Wil Bathurst added a career-high 20.
Allen said he was able to tune out the distractions of his shaky job status.
“It hasn’t been difficult at all. We’ve treated this week like any other week,” he said. “We just made it about business. It was good to see them come out tonight and duplicate that same level (of Friday’s win).”
Penn athletics director Grace Calhoun is now set to make her first major hire and one of the candidates could include former Penn assistant and Cornell and Boston College head coach Steve Donahue.
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