Philadelphia - Sophomore Mark Zoller and senior Tim Begley both scored in double figures to lead the Penn men's basketball team to a 64-37 victory over Dartmouth on Friday night at The Palestra. Sophomore Ibrahim Jaaber stole the show, however, breaking the Penn and Ivy League single game steals record (nine) and establishing a new Ivy League single season record with 80 steals.
The Penn (18-8,11-1 Ivy) defense held the Big Green (10-16, 7-6 Ivy) to just one field goal in the first 12 minutes of action. Sophomore Ryan Pettinella sparked an 11-0 run that gave Penn a 17-2 lead with 7:53 remaining in the first half. Dartmouth hitfour quick baskets to pull within nine, but two fouls shots from senior Jan Fikiel and lay-ups from Pettinella and Zoller put the Red and Blue up by 15, 25-10, at the 4:10 mark. The Big Green hit two jumpers and a trey to cut the lad to eight before Penn finished the first half on a 6-0 run and took a 31-17 lead into the locker room. Jaaber had seven of his stolen balls in the first half and Pettinella led all scorers with nine points.
Dartmouth's Mike Lang opened the second stanza with a trey , but a 13-0 run gave the Quakers a 24 point lead just five and a half minutes into the half. With 9:14 left on the clock, Michael Giovacchini nailed a three pointer and hit a jumper on the ensuing play to cut the lead to 17, but it was the closest the Big Green would get.
Penn shot 51.1 percent from the field despite only shooting 1-of-11 from beyond the arc, while Dartmouth managed just 32.7 percent. The Quakers out-rebounded the Big Green, 44-19. The last time Penn held itsopponent to less than 40 points was against Columbiaon March 7, 2003 when the Lions managed only 37 points. Zoller had 14 points on the night, while Begley added 10. Mike Lang led the Big Green with eight points.
Penn hosts Harvard on March 5in a game that will honor Penn's four graduating seniors. The Crimson are coming off a 66-44 loss to Princeton on Friday night. Tip-off is7 p.m.
Written by Heather Palmer, associate director of athletic communications