Defense is becoming a major strength for Penn men's basketball.
In their second game in as many days, Penn topped Dartmouth by a score of 54-46. Senior guard Devon Goodman — coming off a big performance Friday night against Harvard — broke open the scoring, giving Penn (10-7, 2-2 Ivy) a lead that it wouldn't surrender for the rest of the contest. Goodman led the charge for the Quakers with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Penn raced out of the gate to a 10-2 advantage thanks to a quick three-pointer from Goodman.
"When I have an open look, I'm confident that I'm gonna knock it down," Goodman said. "I know my teammates are looking for me to be confident and stay aggressive on offense out there whether it's falling or not."
Dartmouth (7-12, 0-4) hung around throughout the half thanks to sophomore guard Trevon Ary-Turner, who was the team's leading scorer in its loss Friday night to Princeton. The Big Green forced four Penn turnovers in the first four minutes, but they shot a horrendous 19.2% from the field in the first half, which limited their effectiveness off these early turnovers.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well in the first half, with both teams going four and five minute stretches without points. Late in the half, junior guard Eddie Scott energized the crowd with a put-back dunk over three Dartmouth players, snapping the Quakers' cold streak.
Coming out of the break, Penn slowly improved its offensive efficiency with a flurry of buckets from different players. Penn's bench was especially excited when junior forward Jarrod Simmons sunk a jump-hook from just outside the right block.
Notably, senior forward AJ Brodeur had a hard time on offense against Dartmouth junior forward Chris Knight. Brodeur scored just nine points, missing 12 shots on 16 attempts. He scored enough on the day to move up to fourth all-time in career points for Penn, but he also failed to extend his 40-game double-figure scoring streak against Division I competition.
"To me, the best player in the League — [Brodeur] — just missed five or six shots that he typically makes," coach Steve Donahue said. "He played how he's always played, but he just wasn't getting the right bounces at the rim."
Dartmouth trailed by double digits for most of the game, but they cut the lead to nine with 5:15 left in regulation. They cut the Penn lead to five with under a minute remaining, but the Quakers were able to hold on and secure a victory.
Donahue emphasized that the Red and Blue were fatigued after an overtime win Friday night against Harvard, but he praised Goodman and Brodeur's high levels of fitness.
"I was definitely worried coming into tonight. But we've got a point guard [in Goodman] who can play all night and can compete on the defensive end on every possession," Donahue said. "Then you have [Brodeur] who, for a big, has ridiculous cardio fitness. What we do is try to give them two days off in a row tomorrow and Monday, and then we try and work them up after that."
Notably, the Quakers will be without the services of sophomore forward Michael Wang and freshman guard Jonah Charles for the rest of the season. Sophomore guard Bryce Washington is nursing a wrist industry and is considered week-to-week. Penn will have to adapt to the lineup they have been rolling out in previous weeks when they travel to Columbia and Cornell next weekend.