Official Website of Dartmouth College Varsity Athletics

Mastodons Provide a Big Challenge

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Jabari Trotter     By Joe Raymond

The Game: Dartmouth (2-6) at IPFW (5-3)
Location: Allen County Memorial Coliseum (5,800), Fort Wayne, Ind.
Tipoff: Tuesday, December 13 at 7 p.m.
Series Record vs. IPFW: First Meeting
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Complete Game Notes

Matching Up With the Mastodons
•    Dartmouth is hoping to salvage one of its two games in Indiana on this trip after dropping a 65-47 contest at Notre Dame on Saturday.
•    The Big Green have lost three straight since their last victory, a 64-52 triumph at Alaska Anchorage in the Great Alaska Shootout back on Nov. 25.
•    Dartmouth is in the midst of a 10-game stretch in which it has just one home game, that coming next on Saturday against Elon at noon. The last time the Green had just one game in Hanover over a 10-game span came in the 1997-98 season; Dartmouth went just 1-9.
•    Against Notre Dame, freshman forward Gabas Maldunas was the lone Big Green player in double figures for the second straight contest, tallying 12 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. He earned the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week honor for his performance.
•    Fellow freshman Mack McKearney, a native of Okemos, Mich., just one hour away from South Bend, had a large following in attendance and got one of the biggest cheers of the night when he drained a three-pointer from the corner. He also snagged a season-best five rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
•    The Dartmouth defense has held opponents to a woeful 20.5 percent (15-of-73) shooting over the past four games behind the three-point arc.
•    The Fighting Irish handcuffed the Big Green into a season-low 30.0 shooting percentage (15-of-50) and just 47 points, but Dartmouth did can 13-of-15 (.867) at the line.

Series vs. IPFW
•    This is the first meeting between the two schools on the hardwood.
•    The Mastodons began playing at the Division I level 10 years ago as an independent, then joined the Summit League in 2007-08.
•    In each of the last two seasons, IPFW has posted a winning overall record, its first ones since joining the Division I ranks.

Scouting the Mastodons
•    While three of IPFW’s five victories thus far have come against non-Division I opponents, it did knock off a good Valparaiso team last week here in Fort Wayne, 85-76.
•    Two of the three Mastodon losses came on the road at Xavier (ranked 13th at the time) and Iowa.
•    IPFW likes to get up and down the floor, averaging close to 80 points a game. In the Mastondon’s five wins, they have scored at least 83 points; in the five losses, no more than 72.
•    The top player is 6-5 guard Frank Gaines, who is averaging 21.4 points a game, while ranking second on the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg). He is very adept at getting to the foul line, where he shoots 75.4 percent (49-of-64).
•    Trey McCorkle, a 6-10 forward, gives the Mastodons a solid inside presence, shooting at a .607 clip and averaging 15.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg.
•    No one player is the three-point specialist with five players hitting eight to 12 triples on the year.
•    The Mastodons have been particularly effective on the glass, grabbing nearly seven more rebounds a night than their opponents.
•    IPFW is coached by Tony Jasick, who is in his first season guiding the Mastodons after spending six years on the coaching staff. A 2000 graduate of Mars Hill (N.C.) College, Jasick also spent time coaching at Newbury College and MTSU.

Dartmouth, Cormier vs. Summit
Dartmouth has never played against a team currently in the Summit League, or even a team whose mascot is a pachyderm. But head coach Paul Cormier did square off against Southern Utah once while guiding the Fairfield Stags, winning that contest 15 years ago, 78-51. Which really doesn’t mean anything in relation to this game, but it’s kind of interesting …

Maldunas Top Rookie Again
For the second time this season, freshman Gabas Maldunas has been named the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week. This time it was for his team-leading 12 points and nine rebounds in a 65-47 loss at Notre Dame on Dec. 10. He was also a co-winner of the award back on Nov. 21, sharing the award with Cornell’s Shonn Miller, the only other player in the conference to win the award multiple times this year (3). But combining Maldunas’ and Jvonte Brooks’ honors would equal Miller.

Suffering Shooting Percentage
The Fighting Irish stifled the Dartmouth shooters on Dec. 10, holding them to a season-low 30.0 percent (15-of-50) from the floor. Two games prior, it was Central Michigan with a smothering defense as the Green managed just 30.8 percent (16-of-52). Those totals have left Dartmouth with a percentage of 38.2 for the season, ranked 314th out of 338. But at the foul line, the Big Green are 103rd at 70.6.

Defense Returning the Favor
While Dartmouth shooting woes continue, the defense has really stepped up its game. Opponent shot better than 46 percent in each of the first three contests, but since have barely cracked 40 percent. In the last five games, the opposition has hit just 105-of-280 field goals (.375). And in the last four games, the three-point percentage is a sickly 15-of-73 (.205).