Despite a 16-point effort from Jordan Dingle, Penn suffers a season-opening ‘L’ against Iona
Senior center Max Lorca-Lloyd added 14 rebounds in the season-opening loss to the Gaels.
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — A packed arena filled with Iona students provided the home-court advantage the Gaels needed to pull off a 78-50 win over a Penn team picked in a preseason poll to finish first in the Ivy League.
Fans might want to look out for George Smith this season. The sophomore guard out of Salem, N.H., finished with 10 points, including going 2-for-2 from three-point range. He also grabbed six rebounds.
What we saw
The game started off slow, but Penn was able to settle in and take charge, tuning out the overwhelming din of the crowd.
As the half wore on, however, Iona regained the advantage behind a 23-4 run that ended at the half. Penn, meanwhile, was going through a scoring drought that lasted nearly five minutes. Despite plenty of chances, the Quakers couldn’t make them count and were resigned to watch a run that put the Gaels (1-0) up 34-21 at the half.
“Every place is loud, [but] I thought it got the best of us in the first half,” head coach Steve Donahue said.
That’s interesting …
Iona had much of the momentum entering the second half, but its physical play allowed Penn to take advantage from the line. The Quakers made 8 of their 11 free throws, which made up 28% of their second-half points.
The Quakers will get a taste of SEC basketball as they travel to Missouri on Friday (8 p.m., SEC Network+). The tilt with the Tigers will be Penn’s first of two games against Power 5 opponents this season.