The Blue Hens (1-1) will face host Virginia (1-1) Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Quakers (1-1) will play Fairfield (1-1) in a consolation game at 4:30 p.m.
Delaware had balanced scoring with four players in double figures, led by Devon Saddler's 19 points. Josh Brinkley (15 points, nine rebounds) and Carl Baptiste combined for 24 points and 18 rebounds.
The Blue Hens broke the game open with a 13-1 run to open the second half, extending their lead to 56-36 with 15 minutes, 13 seconds remaining. Penn hit just one shot from the field over the first seven minutes after the break.
The Quakers used a 15-1 run to get within 74-65, but Cartwright fouled out with 2:39 left and the Blue Hens continued to knock down free throws down the stretch.
"It was pretty frustrating not being able to finish the game out and just battle with my teammates," Cartwright said. "I knew they were going to come out and kind of load up on me because of the first half that I had. I was grateful to be able to make some shots, but I was just trying to facilitate and distribute, and I just wish some of those calls would have went the other way."