There is a streak to talk about at Penn and it's not a losing one.

Facing a severely short-handed Marist team Tuesday at the Palestra, the Quakers, who began the season losing their first five, cruised to their third win in a row, 59-42. It was the Quakers' largest margin of victory this season.

Penn (3-5) will be able to savor this victory for a while. The Quakers don't play again until they travel to Vanderbilt on Dec. 22.

The winning streak is Penn's longest since it won seven straight from Feb. 4 to March 3 during the 2011-12 season.

"We're a work in progress, but we're getting better," Penn coach Jerome Allen said. "That said, we've got a lot of work in front of us."

The outcome was never in doubt. Penn led by 24 points in the first half, when the Quakers limited the Red Foxes to just 4-of-24 shooting. Penn (3-5) was paced by freshman Sam Jones' career-high 19 points off the bench. The Quakers also received 13 points and nine rebounds from Greg Louis.

Jones was 5 for 6 from behind the three-point line.

"I felt like I was locked in from there," Jones said. "My teammates got me the ball in good position to make shots tonight."

K.J. Lee led the Red Foxes with 15 points. He was the only Marist player to score in double figures. For the game, Marist made just 11 of 52 field goals (21.2 percent).

The Red Foxes (1-8), who defeated the Quakers handily last season, played without their two best players. Leading scorer Khalid Hart missed the last six games with a foot injury. In their first two games - the only ones he has appeared in - Hart scored 49 points.

Second-leading scorer Chavaughn Lewis (17.9 points per game), the team's No. 3 all-time leading scorer, also didn't play because of an ankle injury.

Notes. Penn freshman guard Darnell Foreman, who scored nine and 11 points in wins last week over Navy and Binghamton, was named the Ivy League rookie of the week.

jmitchell@philly.com

@JmitchInquirer