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.