After winning two of its last three games, including a victory vs. Princeton, Penn basketball had a lot of optimism surrounding it.
But then the Quakers went up to Hanover, N.H. and laid an egg against the Big Green, falling in an upset loss, 67-58
The Red and Blue started out well, shooting well enough to overcome 10 first half turnovers and take a 28-21 lead into the half. Senior forward Fran Dougherty led the charge, putting in 13 points in the early going.
But after halftime, the Dartmouth took over. Sophomore point guard Alex Mitola hit three triples in the first four minutes of the period, setting the tone for a Big Green takeover. Mitola and junior forward John Golden combined for just six points in the first half, but the duo dominated the final 20 minutes.
Mitola scored 23 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, while Golden was a force in the post, scoring 15 points and notching eight rebounds.
Penn led, 45-42, with 11:29 to go in the game after a Steve Rennard three-pointer, but a six-minute scoring drought doomed the Quakers, letting the Big Green go on a 13-0 run to take a double-digit lead.
And the Red and Blue couldn’t seem to answer, thanks to a plethora of turnovers and fouls. On a defining sequence of the game, senior captain Miles Jackson-Cartwright slipped, losing the ball and giving Golden a breakaway, on which he was subsequently fouled hard by Penn’s Tony Hicks.
That was Hicks’ fifth foul, as the sophomore starter scored just four points while picking up both an intentional foul and a technical foul, hurting Penn in the second half.
The Quakers actually outshot the Big Green from the field, shooting 51.4 percent compared to 42.9 percent from Dartmouth.
But thanks to 11 offensive rebounds by Dartmouth and Penn’s 18 turnovers, the Big Green took 15 more shots than Penn, taking advantage of the opportunities handed them.
Only three players scored more than four points for Penn, as Dougherty, Jackson-Cartwright and Rennard scored 19, 13 and 10 points, respectively.
This marks the first time that the Red and Blue have lost consecutive games to Dartmouth since 2009, when the Quakers dropped both matchups after Glen Miller had been fired earlier in the season.
Penn will now take its 1-1 Ivy record to Harvard, where the squad will take on the Ivy League-leading Crimson at 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Go to thedp.com/thebuzz for a liveblog and more coverage from Penn’s matchup with Harvard.