Penn basketball cruises past Stockton at the Palestra despite travel mishap
The Quakers beat the Osprey to snap a two-game losing streak.
Beyond the travel nightmare that included being stranded for 22 hours in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Penn's men's basketball team left the Paradise Jam tournament having dropped two consecutive games.
A return to the friendly confines of the Palestra on Saturday was the jetlag remedy the Quakers needed – a game against Division II Stockton (N.J.) didn't hurt, either.
Penn started a bit slow, but once the Quakers got their mojo back, they stepped on the ignition and overwhelmed the Osprey on the way to a decisive 112-63 victory.
Guards Devon Goodman and Antonio Woods combined for 30 points in the game as Penn (5-2) scored 60 in the first half – 16 points more than its previous season high for production over the first 20 minutes.
The last time the Quakers scored 57 in any half was against Monmouth in November 2008. Penn put up 55 in the second half in its win against Rice earlier this month.
Paced by 16 points from Goodman, five Quakers – including Woods (14), Michael Wang (13), AJ Brodeur (11), and Bryce Washington (11) – scored in double figures.
The 112 points were the most Penn has scored since beating Haverford, 114-73, in 1993.
It was the 36th 100-point game in the history of the program, fourth highest and three short of the all-time record of 115 points in 1969.
With the score 12-7 four minutes in, Penn used a 35-19 run over a 10-minute span to clip the Osprey (2-2) into submission.
The Quakers never faltered and continued to build on the lead, which got as high as 47 points twice in the second half.
"I think people wonder why you play a [non-Division I opponent]," Penn coach Steve Donahue said. "First, it's considered part of the [Paradise Jam] tournament, so if you don't play it you just lose a game. …
"It gives the kids a chance to build some confidence, get synergy, and allow you to see guys that don't normally play."
It was a good time to have a confidence boost right before the Quakers enter a seven-game stretch leading into Ivy League play at Princeton in January.
Penn will play at Delaware State on Tuesday and then start December by hosting Miami (Fla.) , at the Palestra. Then there will be back-to-back Big 5 games at La Salle and against Villanova.
The Quakers will end 2018 by going to New Mexico and Toledo and playing New Year's Eve against Monmouth at the Palestra.
"It's a real interesting stretch," Donahue said. "If you've ever played at Delaware State, the environment is wild. Then there are the three straight in Philly and on the road at New Mexico and Toledo.
"All of those games are a pretty good challenge for us in so many ways. You hope the benefit is that when we get to Princeton on Jan, 5, you're a much better basketball team."