Lavietes Pavilion — home of the Harvard Crimson, and also the unofficial kryptonite of the Quakers.
Heading into Saturday's matchup against Harvard, Penn had not won in Cambridge since Feb. 25, 2012, when they stunned the Crimson 55-54 to snap Harvard's 28-game home winning streak at the time.
Once again sophomore Jordan Dingle stepped up to Penn's fight for the win by putting 31 points to his name. With this win, the Quakers stand pace one game behind Princeton for the Ivy League title.
The final result won’t show it, but Penn’s chances looked slim six minutes into Saturday's game, when early foul trouble forced the physicality of junior forward Michael Moshkovitz to leave the game, and they went down 18-5. Dingle and the Quakers, however, would not allow that to end the story of their night.
“After going down 12-2, 18-5, we just played our game: Penn Basketball. Being an inexperienced team, we still have our little stretches every game in which we don’t play too well, but this group has just found a way to play grittier every game and find a way to win,” said Coach Steve Donahue of his team’s comeback effort.
Dingle took over the rest of the first half, scoring 23 points (6-7 FG), and closing out the last 14 minutes on a 29-10 run, to give the Quakers a 45-38 halftime lead. He went toe-to-toe with Harvard’s leading scorer, senior guard Noah Kirkwood, who finished the half with 16 points.
The Crimson would obviously not go out without a fight, as they seemed to shift their game plan for the 2nd half, coming out with a 2-3 zone to neutralize the scorching hot Dingle. They would go on an 11-0 run after being down 53-42 to tie it up at 53. Again, Harvard forced Penn into foul trouble, and were in the bonus with 10 minutes left in the half.
That would be as far as they would go, as the Quakers held the lead for the entire second half, despite Noah Kirkwood’s valiant 27-point effort. The final score was 78-74 for the Red and Blue, led by Jordan Dingle’s 31 points.
With this win, the Quakers improve to 8-12 (5-2 Ivy), putting them one game behind Princeton for first place in the Ivy League. They will have a seven-day break to prepare for their next matchup, when they travel to New York City to face the Columbia Lions on Feb. 4.