For the Dartmouth’s women, it was a different location but the same disaster when they faced Penn in Philly on Friday night.
When the two teams met three weekends ago in Hanover, the Quakers had just lost their fourth game in a row, but the New Hampshire winter air revived them and they shut down the Big Green, 66-33.
Friday’s game at the Palestra was somehow even more lopsided, 67-31. Penn (16-5, 6-2 Ivy) held Dartmouth (8-14, 2=7) to a woeful 19.7% shooting from the field with 18 turnovers. Penn, by contrast, shot 41.8% from the field and had 11 turnovers.
The biggest reason — the powerful 6-foot-4 reason — for Dartmouth’s pain was Penn junior center Eleah Parker. Last weekend, Parker prevailed in the match-up against Yale’s 6-foot-5 Camilla Emsbo; against Dartmouth, which starts just one player at 6 foot or taller (6-2 junior Anna Luce), Parker was positively gleeful, collecting pass after pass, rebound after rebound in the low post and pouring in the baskets. She finished with 24 points on 11-for-15 shooting, 13 rebounds, two blocks and four steals. Parker even went 2-for-2 from the free throw line, where she has sometimes struggled. The only thing that kept Parker from a career-high night in scoring was Penn’s overwhelming lead: Coach Mike McLaughlin let her play just 25 minutes, and he gave court time to 15 women in Penn uniforms, some of whom may have been recruited from the stands, and most of whom scored.
Though Parker filled the highlight reel, other Quakers had good nights, too. Kayla Padilla missed four of her five shots from beyond the arc and collected a modest nine points but made some nifty plays — one of her insane drives, a diving save, a couple of gorgeous feeds to Harper down low. Senior point guard Kendall Grasela scored just two points (on three shots) but caused a bunch more with seven assists. (Dartmouth, as a team, had eight assists.) Katie Kinum came off the bench for 10 minutes and eight points.
For Dartmouth: Well, as a writer, even one with a rooting interest in the winning team, you try to be fair and look for good things to say about the game for the losing team. And the truth is, for Dartmouth, the best thing about Friday night’s game is that it’s over and that Penn isn’t on the schedule again till 2021.
On Saturday, Dartmouth completes its Long Weekend of Agony at Princeton, while Penn looks to avenge its last loss when it hosts Harvard. Penn makes the trip to Princeton Tuesday night.