Penn's Dougherty likely out for rest of season

Penn's Dougherty likely out for rest of season

February 6, 2013, 10:45 pm
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Shortly after Penn’s 62-58 win over Columbia in the Quakers’ Ivy League home opener Friday night, junior Fran Dougherty was asked what it was like to play his first game in six weeks.

“Exciting,” he said, flashing a smile.

That excitement turned out to be very short-lived.

The next night against Cornell, Dougherty left in the second half with an apparent right arm injury and returned to the bench wearing a sling.

And on Wednesday, while taping a "Big Men on Campus" show (Thursday, 6:30 p.m. on TCN, 11:30 p.m. on CSN), Penn head coach Jerome Allen revealed to CSN’s Neil Hartman that Dougherty dislocated his elbow and is likely out for the remainder of the season.

The loss is a huge blow for Penn, as well as a really tough break for Dougherty.

The 6-foot-8 junior forward out of nearby Archbishop Wood was enjoying a breakout season, before being sidelined with an illness (mononucleosis) following a loss at Delaware on Dec. 21.

Dougherty missed the next eight games and, struggling to fill his void, the Quakers lost seven of those contests, with their lone win coming against NJIT on Jan. 17.

“It was tough, especially the emotional part of it,” said Dougherty, who’s averaging a team-leading 13.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, while shooting over 50 percent from the field. “Not being able to play with your teammates, sitting on the bench at practice – it really takes a toll on you and you start thinking. I just tried to say positive during it and work my way back into shape.”

Dougherty, admittedly, wasn’t at his best when he returned to the lineup Friday, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds in 18 minutes vs. the Lions. But his presence still provided a glimmer of hope for the Quakers at the beginning of Ivy play.

Now, the Quakers sit at 1-2 in the Ivy League (and 4-16 overall) and will likely need to win their last 11 conference games to make the NCAA tournament.

And they’ll likely need to do it without their top scorer and rebounder.

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