Two weeks ago, Penn escaped with its life in a 64-61 win at Dartmouth. The host Big Green hadn’t earned an Ivy League win at the time but stretched the Quakers to the limit.
The rematch on Friday had no resemblance to the first game. Penn scored the game’s first nine points, led 39-19 at halftime and was never challenged in the second half of Friday’s 74-46 win over Dartmouth at the Palestra.
The Quakers improved to 20-7 and 10-1 in the Ivy League with three regular-season games left including Saturday’s first-place showdown at the Palestra with Harvard.
Harvard won a 72-66 overtime decision Friday at Princeton to improve to 15-11, 10-1.
The Crimson handed Penn its lone Ivy League loss, 76-67 on Feb. 10.
Friday’s game wasn’t too difficult to dissect.
Dartmouth (6-18, 2-9) had a nightmarish evening from beyond the arc. The Big Green were 0 for 17 from three-point range, missing 11 in the first half.
Penn held Dartmouth to 0 for 17 three-point shooting in Friday’s 74-46 win over the Big Green at the Palestra. Penn G Ryan Betley and coach Steve Donahue talk about the three-point D. pic.twitter.com/dElyfClw2n
— Marc Narducci (@sjnard) February 24, 2018
“Penn does a good job of challenging threes, but I would say that nine or 10 were unchallenged and we just didn’t make them,” Dartmouth coach David McLaughlin said.
Penn entered the evening fourth nationally in three-point defense, holding teams to 29.6 percent. After Friday, Penn is now holding teams to a 28.6 percent clip.
“I haven’t had a team like this,” Penn coach Steve Donahue said when talking about his three-point defense. “I have never had a team that stays disciplined, guards penetration and doesn’t give up easy drive and kicks.”
Penn was 10 for 31 from three-point range (32.3 percent).
Sophomore guard Ryan Betley and senior guard Caleb Wood each scored 12 points, and Max Rothschild added 11 for the Quakers.
Betley is Penn’s leading scorer, but he is more impressed talking about the team’s defense, especially against threes.
“It is one of the focal points of our defense, running the three-point shooters off the line,” Betley said.
And one of the focal points of the offense, especially lately, is getting many players involved.
Penn received a balanced effort, with 11 players scoring.
“With guys open, we will find them,” said Betley, whose team had 18 assists on 28 field goals. “It doesn’t matter who is scoring, we will find the open player.”
Devon Goodman, a sophomore guard from Germantown Academy who has been seeing more time recently, again was impressive off the bench for the Quakers with nine points, three rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes.
Chris Knight, a 6-foot-6 freshman, had a game-high 15 points for Dartmouth.