Penn’s Dougherty likely to return against Columbia

Andrew Koob(@AndrewKoob)

After missing the last eight games with a case of mononucleosis, Penn forward Fran Dougherty will return Friday night against the visiting Columbia Lions, a source told CoBL.

The junior forward will not start for the Quakers, but will be dressed and will “probably” play.

Before coming down with the illness, Dougherty was averaging team highs in scoring, rebounds and blocks with 15.7 points, 8.8 boards and 1.3 rejections. During the eight-game stretch without Dougherty, the Quakers tallied a 1-7 record, with a 54-53 win over NJIT being the only victory.

In the forward’s absence, freshman center Darien Nelson-Henry has seen an increase in playing time and has certainly made a case for seeing the floor more often, even with Dougherty’s return. During the eight-game stretch, Nelson-Henry has scored in double-digits the last five games, with his most impressive performance coming against NJIT, as he scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his first career double-double.

Now, with the Ivy League season coming into full-swing, the Quakers will have arguably their best player returning. Dougherty, who hasn’t seen the court since a 83-60 loss at Delaware on December 21st, could very well be simply shaking off the rust and working his way back into playing shape.

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