Penn’s Friday night contest against Columbia at the Palestra likely won’t be featured much in the team’s end-of-season highlight reel, but the Quakers got the job done with a 74-65 win that was a bit closer than the final score indicated.
Though the Lions (6-17, 1-7 Ivy) never led past the 17:43 mark of the first half, they managed to close a deficit that swelled to as much as 18 points to five at multiple instances late in the second half.
But Columbia could get no farther. Junior guard Jordan Dingle twice quelled Lions rallies, once through an and-one to push Penn’s lead from 60-54 to 63-54 with 3:41 to play, and a second time through a three-pointer from the left wing to turn a 65-60 advantage into 68-60 with 2:20 to play.
With six games left to play in the Ivy season, Penn (12-11, 4-4) has a clear — though far from automatic — path to Ivy Madness, one of a small handful of Quakeaways from the Red and Blue’s third consecutive win.
PHILADELPHIA — Penn men’s basketball picked up a potentially season-saving win in style on Saturday at the Palestra, dominating Harvard, 83-68.
The Quakers (11-11, 3-4 Ivy) never trailed en route to their third straight win over the Crimson (12-9, 3-4). They scored 1.19 points per possession, according to KenPom. That marked Penn’s most efficient offensive performance so far in Ivy play.
Junior Jordan Dingle once again dominated Harvard. With Crimson star Noah Kirkwood no longer around to defend Dingle, the guard established his shot early on with a quick eight points in the game’s first five minutes. Dingle finished with 27 points on the afternoon on 18 shots and earned his third straight ‘game MVP’ designation from KenPom.
Dingle’s excellence set the Quakers up to run perhaps their most aesthetically pleasing offensive game plan of the season, one of many happy Quakeaways on the day.
Penn’s Monday night matchup against Hartford was a lopsided risk-reward proposition.
A win would mean nothing to the Quakers’ postseason ambitions, while a road loss to the second-worst team in Division I (Hartford entered the game 362nd out of 363 teams in KenPom) would have been one of the worst defeats in program history.
After a bit of a dicey start, Penn turned on the jets and left the Hawks behind, 76-52. The nonconference win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Quakers (10-11).
Penn fell behind early, 19-11, and allowed Hartford (4-17) to start out shooting 8-for-10 from the field. But after coach Steve Donahue made a hockey-style line change, the Quakers’ reserves sparked a 26-9 run over the rest of the first half.
Junior guard Jordan Dingle got a lot more action in this matchup against Hartford than he did in the Quakers’ 75-55 win over the Hawks at the Palestra back in November, in which he played just 18 minutes. Dingle poured in 23 points in 28 minutes on Monday, right in line with his season average.
His performance was one of many happy Quakeaways from the victory.
A few things had to go well for Yale to beat Penn last night at John J. Lee Amphitheater and keep its Ivy League title hopes alive.
Sophomore guard Bez Mbeng played lockdown defense on Penn’s dynamic Jordan Dingle in the second half, holding him to nine points after intermission en route to Yale’s 70-63 win over Penn.
”I love guarding the best player on the other team,” Mbeng said.
”Bez is the best on-ball defender I’ve ever coached,” Yale coach James Jones said, offering high praise in his 24th year at the Bulldogs’ helm after coaching other standout defenders like Trey Phills and Jalen Gabbidon. “He did a fantastic job in the second half on the league’s best offensive player and one of the best in the nation.”
Penn squandered a golden opportunity to gain position in the race for Ivy Madness on Saturday after another brutal second-half offensive performance led to a 70-63 loss at Yale.
The Quakers (9-11, 2-4 Ivy) lost despite a 27-point performance from superstar Jordan Dingle in which the guard hit six three-pointers. After a nice hook shot from Penn sophomore forward Nick Spinoso tied the game at 49 coming out of the under-12 media timeout in the second half, the Red and Blue promptly committed turnovers on their next seven offensive possessions over nearly four minutes of game time.
Dingle, as great as he was on Saturday, committed turnovers on three of those trips, including an offensive foul.
Despite that brutal stretch, Penn still nabbed a 54-53 lead with roughly 5:50 remaining after guard George Smith hit an open three-pointer off an inside-out feed from center Max Lorca-Lloyd. But Yale (13-6, 3-3) immediately responded with a go-ahead jumper from junior guard August Mahoney.
Mahoney would later stick the dagger in the Red and Blue with roughly 90 seconds left. After Dingle hit a tough three to draw Penn within 62-60, Mahoney responded out of a Bulldogs timeout with an and-one finish over Spinoso which extended the Yale lead to five and effectively ended the game.
The Quakers lost a game which KenPom and Vegas expected them to lose. But the way they got there should leave fans with reason for both consternation and hope.
PHILADELPHIA — Penn’s season looks like it’s on the verge of spinning out of control after the Quakers delivered a dispiriting offensive performance en route to a 72-60 home defeat against archrival Princeton.
If you had told the average Quakers fan prior to the game that Penn (9-10, 2-3 Ivy) would hold Princeton (13-5, 4-1) to 40.4% shooting from the field, four made three-pointers on 25 attempts and just six assists on 23 made baskets, they would have told you that the Red and Blue would likely win by double digits.
Instead, the Quakers one-upped the Tigers’ offensive futility. Penn failed to make a single three-pointer on Monday, and, in fact, has not hit a single shot from long distance since Jordan Dingle’s four-point play opportunity with 3:29 to go in the first half of Penn’s Saturday loss to Dartmouth.
The backbreaking sequence for the Quakers came with roughly 10:38 to go in the second half and Princeton up two, 40-38. The Tigers’ Ryan Langborg freed himself from Penn’s Andrew Laczkowski for a decent look at a three and drained the shot. Penn forward Nick Spinoso was simultaneously called for a foul away from the ball.
Princeton was in the bonus, so standout freshman Caden Pierce calmly drained both ends of a one-and-one to complete the five-point possession. The Tigers’ lead was just seven points, 45-38, but it may as well have been 20, given Penn’s offensive struggles.
Most of the Quakeaways from Monday are ugly, so look away if you must: