Game #9-011: Maryland-Baltimore County at Pennsylvania QuakersNovember 9, 2012 7:00 pm
Friday was a pretty big day for the phrase "all in," if a phrase can have a big day.
As I was speeding away from Washington, D.C. to make the 7pm tip at the Palestra, Beltway types I'd left behind were all abuzz about the author of a biography
by that name, and its subject, whose relationship apparently made the title an unfortunate choice (in retrospect). If the hype video shown before tip-off of the game is any indication, "all in" is also something of a motto for this year's Penn Quakers basketball team, who opened their season against the UMBC Retrievers.
I first remember hearing the phrase a few years back when watching people play poker on TV became a thing people did. The drama of pushing a stack of chips toward the dealer certainly strikes me as about the only TV-friendly thing about that particular game. Anyway, the phrase seems to be widely applied now when someone's fully committed to anything. As we cruised along the Eastern Shore of Maryland towards Philadelphia, the pilot and utility repairman hovering over the wetlands next to the highway demonstrated a situation requiring that kind of serious commitment:
Like many things, however, the Brits had this one before we did. Apparently in the inter-war period, the English equivalent of the WWE was called "all-in wrestling," though it died out for lack of sufficiently skilled participants. More generally, though, the phrase apparently means something like what we here in the colonies would call "wiped out" - exhausted, depleted, spent.
The phrase "all in" could also have been used to describe Penn coach Jerome Allen's substitution pattern. Twelve players dressed for the game, and all twelve played. In the first half.
The Quakers did not appear to have internalized the motto in the first half, looking tentative in the face of UMBC's attacking defense, hot shooting, and hustle. With 5 minutes remaining in the first half, the Retrievers led 42-20. Having seen UMBC play last year, I'd felt they were better than their 4-win record suggested - but not that much better. It looked like it would be a long season in the Palestra.
Then Coach Allen's "all in" substitution scheme paid out. Patrick Lucas-Perry appeared on the scene, knocking down a three, stealing an inbounds pass, and pushing the fast break for a Quaker layup, all within about ten seconds. The Palestra awoke.
Penn's run continued into the second half, and they eventually overcame the 22-point deficit - the largest in school history - for a win. Junior captain Miles Cartwright led Penn with 21 points and only 2 turnovers, but Penn never was able to stop UMBC's Ryan Cook, who finished with 28.
Most Penn fans, I think, expect some, shall we say, variability in the performance of the team as it replaces last year's Ivy player of the year Zack Rosen. With such wild swings in the course of a single game, though, I admit I left the Palestra "all in" - in the British sense. at PENNSYLVANIA 80, MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY 75
MARYLAND-BALTIMORE COUNTY 0-1 (0-0) -- R. Spencer 7-9 4-5 18; R. Cook 10-19 5-6 28; A. Morgan 1-7 4-4 6; B. Neller 5-11 1-2 15; B. Roseboro 4-9 0-1 8; C. Plummer 4-11 0-1 8; M. Garner 0-0 0-0 0; J. Getz 1-1 0-0 2; A. Satchell 3-5 0-0 6; J. Lane 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 29-64 10-14 75.
PENNSYLVANIA 1-0 (0-0) -- F. Dougherty 4-12 1-2 9; M. Cartwright 6-11 7-10 21; S. Rennard 3-6 1-2 8; T. Hicks 4-5 2-2 13; H. Brooks 2-5 1-2 5; P. Lucas-Perry 5-8 3-4 15; C. Crocker 1-1 2-2 4; D. Nelson-Henry 1-3 0-0 2; C. Gunter 1-1 0-1 2; S. Esprit 0-0 0-0 0; G. Louis 0-1 1-2 1; D. Jok 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-53 18-27 80.
Three-point goals: UMBC 7-16 (B. Neller 4-7; B. Roseboro 0-1; C. Plummer 0-1; R. Cook 3-5; A. Morgan 0-2), PENN 8-16 (M. Cartwright 2-5; F. Dougherty 0-2; S. Rennard 1-3; G. Louis 0-1; P. Lucas-Perry 2-2; T. Hicks 3-3); Rebounds: UMBC 36 (R. Cook 11), PENN 26 (F. Dougherty 11); Assists: UMBC 14 (A. Morgan 5), PENN 17 (M. Cartwright 3); Total Fouls -- UMBC 23, PENN 19; Fouled Out: UMBC-None; PENN-None.