Penn basketball swept Dartmouth and Harvard over the weekend at the Palestra. How did the Quakers manage to secure their first two Ivy wins of the season?
1. Scoring inside
The Quakers struggled from beyond the arc this weekend, so they took it inside and found success near the rim. Penn shot 17-30 (57 percent) on two-pointers against Dartmouth and 27-for-44 (61 percent) against Harvard. Darien Nelson-Henry carried the load against the Big Green with 19 points on 80 percent shooting, and his 18 against the Crimson was supplemented by 14 from Max Rothschild and 12 from Matt Howard. Over the two games, Penn outscored its opponents 80-50 in the paint.
The Red and Blue also got the job done on the glass, edging Dartmouth 32-30 before destroying Harvard 53-32. Penn collected a whopping 15 offensive boards against the defending champs, with Nelson-Henry, Rothschild and Howard all posting double-digit rebound totals.3. Letting teams beat themselves
Penn took advantage of a turnover-prone Dartmouth team on Friday before watching Harvard brick its way out of the game on Saturday. The Big Green turned it over 19 times in the first game, while the Crimson missed a whopping 23 threes — five more than Penn took — in the second matchup.
4. Shaking off slow starts
The Quakers went down 8-0 in the first game and 7-0 in the second game, but bounced back quickly both times, pulling off a run to get back in the game rather than letting their opponents pull away early. In the first game, coach Steve Donahue pulled all five starters just two minutes in, and the team responded with a level of tenacity their opponents could not match.
5. Closing it out
Penn faltered down the stretch in its first Ivy home game, against Princeton, but stayed on top of their game down the stretch this weekend to send the fans home happy on both occasions. The Quakers outscored their foes by a combined 19 points in the second half across the two games, and Darnell Foreman hit nine of his ten free throws to help put both games away.
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