Penn defeats Dartmouth, 74-65

Posted: February 24, 2014

Penn's descent in the chase for the Ivy crown began in snowy Hanover, N.H., with a Jan. 31 loss to Dartmouth that took some of the glow off a league-opening win over Princeton.

With little more than pride at stake before their season comes to a merciful conclusion, the Quakers took a measure of satisfaction with a 74-65 win over Dartmouth on Saturday night at the Palestra. The win ended a three-game losing streak for coach Jerome Allen's struggling team.

It was clear from the start the Quakers (7-16, 4-5) were going to do all they could to prevent Dartmouth sharpshooter Alex Mitola from a repeat performance. In the first meeting between the two teams, the 5-foot-11 Mitola torched Penn with 25 points, 23 in the second half.

But Penn guard Steve Rennard rarely lost sight of Mitola when he guarded him, and the Quakers frequently ran two defenders at him along the perimeter. Penn's effort made Mitola a nonfactor as he scored four points and was 0 for 3 from three-point distance.

"Steve really committed to chasing Mitola around, and it was one of the main keys, if not the main key, that enabled us to be successful," Allen said.

And for one of the few times this season, Allen didn't have to moan about the turnover plague that has afflicted the Quakers all season. They began the weekend ranked No. 344 out of 345 Division I teams in turnovers (16.8 per game). They had 11 against the Big Green (9-15, 2-8) one night after committing 20 against Harvard.

"I applauded the players for valuing the ball," Allen said. "It's been a struggle for us."

Tony Hicks led Penn with 18 points while backcourt mate Miles Jackson-Cartwright had 15 with nine assists.

After a wobbly start, the Quakers found some cohesion and went on a 12-0 run that enabled them to take a 38-34 halftime edge. They never relinquished the lead.

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