When the basketball team from Maryland-Baltimore County visited the famed Palestra for the first time in school history on Tuesday, the Penn Quakers started pressing the Retrievers as soon as the ball was put in play.
They didn't stop until putting a 71-59 nonleague victory in the books.
After leading by six points at halftime, Penn opened a 41-30 advantage with 15 minutes, 31 seconds remaining in the game on a three-point play by forward Jack Eggleston.
The Quakers were not seriously threatened the rest of the way as they improved to 3-3.
UMBC, which competes in the America East, lost for the sixth time in as many games. The Retrievers, down by 10 with just over a minute to go, sent Penn to the free-throw line as the game wound down in an effort to get the ball back.
Although a three-point jumper by guard Travis King pulled UMBC to within 66-57 with 51.9 seconds left, the Quakers prevailed.
Penn's last 22 points came from the foul line.
"I just think we had one stretch where we got some stops, and we made some buckets and were able to stretch out our lead," Penn coach Jerome Allen said. "But we didn't play our best basketball. We had 17 turnovers, and I don't think any of them were forced."
Penn freshman Miles Cartwright led all scorers with 19 points, and Eggleston had 17 for the Quakers. Justin Fry, a 6-foot-10 forward, topped UMBC with 16 points.
UMBC coach Randy Monroe, a native Philadelphian who is in his seventh season with the Retrievers, is a Cheyney State grad and a former assistant at La Salle under Speedy Morris. Unlike his players, Monroe was familiar with Penn's home court.
"I shared some of my experiences with them," said Monroe, who won two Catholic League championships at the Palestra as a high school player at Roman Catholic. "I talked to them about it a little bit, but I didn't want them to get riled up."
In the first half, Cartwright's three-point play put the Quakers up by 29-23 with 1:45 left, and after Cartwright and UMBC guard Chris De La Rosa exchanged three-point jumpers during the last 10 seconds, Penn had a 32-26 advantage at intermission.
Penn went 12 for 19 from the floor but had 10 turnovers in the half.
Notes. When Penn visited UMBC last year and came away with an 82-71 win, it was the first victory of Allen's tenure as the Quakers' interim coach. . . . Jake Wasco, a 6-8 junior out of Franklin Learning Center, is a reserve center for UMBC.
Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or email@example.com.