FACTS & STATS: Site: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Dartmouth 4-7, Penn 4-5. Away Record: Dartmouth 2-11, Penn 3-11. Neutral Record: Dartmouth 0-0, Penn 0-3. Conference Record: Dartmouth 2-8, Penn 4-5. Series Record: Penn leads, 148-56.
GAME NOTES: The Penn Quakers begin a two-game homestand on Friday night, as they welcome the Dartmouth Big Green to The Palestra for an Ivy League bout.
Since winning back-to-back games earlier this month, Dartmouth has taken a nose-dive in the standings by losing five straight, most recently dropping a 59-50 decision at Brown last Saturday. The Big Green are just 6-18 this season (including 2-11 on the road), and is bringing up the rear in the Ivy League with a 2-8 mark.
Penn performed respectably during its most recent four-game road swing by going 2-2, but it is fresh off a convincing defeat at the hands of Columbia last Saturday night, 58-41. The Quakers too are in the midst of a lackluster season at 7-19 overall, although they have a few games in hand on Dartmouth in the Ivy League standings (4-5).
Penn took down Dartmouth less than two weeks ago, finding itself on the positive side of a 67-57 decision in Hanover. The Quakers have now won seven in a row over the Big Green to improve to 148-56 in the all-time series.
Dartmouth never trailed in its latest game, as it got down by 10 points less than four minutes into the contest and was never able to recover. It was yet another disappointing effort for the squad, which ranks last in the Ivy League in both scoring offense (60.3 ppg) and field goal percentage (.396). The Big Green shot just 35.7 percent from the field, including 4-of-16 from 3-point range, while making only nine trips to the foul line. Tyler Melville was the lone player to score in double figures with 14 points, although Gabas Maldunas made an impact in the paint with eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Typically it's Alex Mitola who leads the way for the Big Green with 10.7 ppg, although he shoots just 37.7 percent from the field. Maldunas tallies 10.3 ppg and 6.6 rpg, while also contributing more than a block and a steal per game at the defensive end of the court.
The Quakers put forth a rather futile effort in their latest 17-point road loss to Columbia, as they shot less than 30 percent from the floor and actually finished with more turnovers (16) than field goals (14). They were unable to gain ground on the Lions who shot a woeful 2-of-20 from the field in the second half. Tony Hicks scored 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting before being tossed with a pair of technical fouls, and while Miles Cartwright tallied nine points, he did so on a horrific 1-of-10 effort from the field. On the season, Penn's offense doesn't rank much higher than Dartmouth's (62.3 ppg), and to add insult to injury it ranks seventh of the eight Ivy League teams in scoring defense (67.8 ppg). Cartwright records team-highs of 13.6 ppg and 3.8 apg, and although he is a poor shooter (.378), he has impressed at the foul line (.851). Hicks brings 8.9 ppg to the table, splitting time between the starting lineup and the bench.
This matchup could get ugly, as it features the two teams with the lowest scoring margins in the Ivy League, but Penn has gotten its act together since its dreadful 4-17 start, and at home it should have enough in the tank to get by the Big Green.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Penn 65, Dartmouth 61
03/01 10:37:12 ET
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