PHILADELPHIA, PA. 12/27/2017 – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team returned to game action after some time off for exams. and the holidays. Their last game was 16 days ago when they defeated Dayton on the road. Penn returned to play the Hornets of Delaware State.
Whether it was the rest, end of exams, or holiday spirit, the Quakers looked sharp throughout especially in the first half and earned a 105 – 52 win over the Delaware State Hornets at the Palestra.
“One of the things we said we could do was keep working,” said freshman forward Jarrod Simmons. “There is a standard amongst our team to keep a high standard.”
The Red and Blue got off to an excellent start getting out to a 20-point lead in the first 10 minutes. The team kept going and increased the advantage to 55 – 24 at halftime. Penn shot 65.5% (19 – 29 from the floor, 14 assists on baskets, and went 9 of 16 from beyond the arc, a hot 56.3% in the opening twenty minutes. On the defensive end of the floor at that time the Quakers held the Hornets to 9 of 29 shooting and allowed only 2 of 8 from distance.
The Red and Blue had balanced scoring as nearly all 16 Quaker players scored, led by Simmons with 12 points. Four other players scored in double-digits with Caleb Wood getting 11. This type of performance is satisfying to Penn Coach Steve Donahue.
“Very satisfying especially when you see how hard they work in practice,” said Donahue. “We have solid basketball players on our team. We’re deep. We are seeing guys who have completely bought in, and work hard in practice to make us better.”
Delaware State (2 – 13) was led by Jonathan Walker with 10 scores. The Hornets have played a challenging schedule coming off road games at Pittsburgh, where they lost by 6, and Nebraska, a game in which they won the second half.
This was the first of a nine game home stand for Penn. It will be a quick turnaround as the 9 – 4 Quakers meet Akron on Friday afternoon. Ivy League play begins on January 5 when arch-rival, and defending Ivy Champs, Princeton comes to town. Penn is off to their best start in years. The Red and Blue has a chance to build momentum off the home court.
“No question,” Donahue said with a warning. “If you think you’ll win because you are home, that’s when you lose. We haven’t been home in what seems forever. You will start to see guys more comfortable. There is a comfort level and a confidence at home. We have a good home schedule, a great run of games and we will have to play well.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian