QUOTES – Penn 71, Old Dominion 63

Penn coach Steve Donahue – “I just thought it was a great challenge with the road we’ve had. The tough losses we’ve already had here, the guys came out and fought hard from the beginning, got off to a good start. They maintained their poise against a physical, athletic Old Dominion team. When you come down here and you’re playing in this game, it’s actually a lot more pressure than a championship game because you don’t want to go home winless. We go back 10 or 11 days now, that’s where we came from after starting with Florida State. To compete with Utah State and lose that tough one and a good Davidson. As I said in the locker room, there are times in the game that were as good as we can be. Great ball movement, toughness on the defensive end, our five guys connected. And there’s other moments when it it’s kind of discombobulated but it was less and less each game. I think it’s incredible to get eight teams at a neutral site, really well-coached talented teams. I think there are NCAA teams here. To put us in this environment is what I want for these guys. We stay in one hotel for five or six days, we get to hang out, have movie night and just bond. It’s a great way to do it. You’ve got a beautiful facility, games are on national TV, it’s kind of what they come to college for, and this provides it.”

Penn guard Jordan Dingle – “First, it feels amazing. As coach said, you always want to leave everywhere we go with a win. What we accomplished is we’re improving as a team. We’ve got a lot of new guys; a lot of young guys and we go into each game trying to build on what we built in the last game. Our communication is getting better, our togetherness on defense, our rebounding, our awareness of the plays on the court and the time. We improved as a unit. We’re starting to get some knick-knack injuries, but we spent this offseason doing a lot of conditioning getting ready for this. We competed hard every single day. I’d like to think that we’re prepared for it. I would say that it’s been tougher mentally more than physically with all the traveling we’ve had to do, staying on top of all our schoolwork but I think we’re handling it well as a unit.”

Old Dominion assistant coach Bryant Stith – “It’s been a tough tournament for our young men. The difference between being 0-3 and possibly 3-0 is just a matter of execution offensively and finishing defensive positions. This afternoon we got great offensive looks that we were just not able to convert. Defensively we just allowed their best shooters to have open looks for a period of about eight minutes in the second half and that was the difference in the ball game. Part of my job is to be able have those guys draw strength from our experiences. What I told them before the game was our championship 2019 team, they were in the exact same position coming out of their preseason tournament in the Virgin Islands. We were 2-3 and we were able to on an eight-game winning streak to close out the nonconference schedule. We are right there if we can go back and clean up a few things on each end, we can give ourselves an opportunity to have a great chance going into our conference schedule with momentum and confidence. Just being able to galvanize themselves and be able to trust me and the coaching staff in the absence of coach (Jeff) Jones. After the first game against Indiana State, I think everybody was a bit unsure of what to expect but they realized everything is just the same, business as usual while coach Jones gets well. This has been a great opportunity for our young men. Being able to come to a nice city like Myrtle Beach, be able to enjoy the weather, the ambience of the tournament, be able to see great basketball and see how other teams prepare and how other teams approach winning. That’s always invaluable because it reinforces with our young men how tough it is and how hard you must play in order to be a good team.”