Quakers Finally Hit the Road in Ivy Play

Game 19
Penn vs. Dartmouth
Friday, February 10 at 7 p.m. EST
Radio/Internet: www.pennathletics.com
Brian Seltzer, PBP; Vince Curran, analyst

Game 20
Penn vs. Harvard
Saturday, February 11 at 7 p.m. EST
Television: CN8
Radio/Internet: 88.5 WXPN/www.pennathletics.com
Brian Seltzer, PBP; Vince Curran, analyst

A wise man said a long time ago that if you were going to win your conference championship, the first thing you needed to do was win at home.

Now, we don’t know who said it first, or when it happened. But you listen to pretty much any college coach today, and they will drop that mantra on you. It had to get its start somewhere.

To date, Penn has done just that—the Quakers have held serve on four Ivy League home games, in emphatic fashion. How emphatic? Consider their average margin of victory in those four wins (27.8); the fact that they have trailed a total of 45 seconds out of 80 second-half minutes; and that, in every game, the Quakers held a lead of as much as 29 points.

Penn has been the lucky one this season, playing at home to date. Need an example of how the road can bite you? Look no further than the Quakers’ Saturday opponent, Harvard. The Crimson enter this weekend having played five of their six Ivy games on the road. Two of them have resulted in losses, putting Harvard behind the eight-ball for now. Hey, but hold at home—where they play six of their last eight—and the Crimson will be right back in this thing when the standings are finalized in March.

With that in mind, Penn enters the most treacherous portion of its Ivy League schedule—seven of the Quakers’ last 10 games in Ancient Eight play happen on the road, in hostile gyms where teams will be looking to knock off the defending champions and venomous crowds will be doing all they can to lead their teams to a victory that can make a season.

Should the Penn players be prepped for such things? Absolutely. That is why they go to places like Duke and Hawaii. This is where those Big 5 games in front of raucous, sold-out, not-always-friendly Palestra crowds come into play. The Quakers should not see anything they have not already faced on the road this season. The difference lies in the importance of the games—these games matter.

The Fun Fact

• Under Dunphy, Penn has swept this road trip 10 times (including each of the last three years) and split six times, with three of the losses coming to Dartmouth and three coming to Harvard. Of those six losses, three came in overtime. The Quakers have not been swept on this trip.

The Series with Dartmouth

• Friday’s meeting between Penn and Dartmouth is the 189th; the Quakers lead the series, 135-54, and have won 17 in a row (by an average of 18.8 points).

• Penn Head Coach Fran Dunphy is 28-4 all-time against Dartmouth, including a 13-3 mark at the Big Green’s Leede Arena.

• Penn swept Dartmouth last year, taking a 68-44 decision here in Hanover and then 64-37 in Philadelphia.

The Series with Harvard

• Saturday’s meeting between Penn and Harvard is the 149th; the Quakers lead the series, 121-27, and have won seven in a row (by an average of 20.7 points).

• Penn Head Coach Fran Dunphy is 27-5 all-time against Harvard, including a 13-3 mark at the Crimson’s Lavietes Pavilion.

• Penn swept Harvard last year, taking a 70-57 decision here in Cambridge and then winning 85-68 in Philadelphia.