The Game: Dartmouth (2-7) vs. Elon (7-2)
Location: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
Tipoff: Saturday, December 17 at noon
Series Record vs. Elon: First Meeting
Live Audio, Video - Dave Collins, play-by-play
Complete Game Notes
Rising Up Versus the Phoenix
• Entering this game with a four-game losing streak, Dartmouth will attempt to get back into the win column with its first-ever game against Elon.
• This is the lone home game during a 10-game span that began in Alaska during the Thanksgiving break. The Big Green lost five of the six games away from Hanover, and has three more road contests next week before Christmas.
• The most recent loss for the Big Green came at IPFW on Tuesday, 56-51. Dartmouth took a brief lead with five minutes to play, but could not hold off the Mastodons down the stretch.
• Senior captain David Rufful maintained his hot hand from the perimeter, draining 3-of-4 behind the arc at IPFW en route to scoring a team-high 15 points. For the season, Rufful is shooting 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from downtown.
• Dartmouth has had two freshmen named Ivy Rookie of the Week a total of three times in five weeks thus far, but it was another newbie — John Golden — who provided 11 points while hitting 4-of-5 from the floor versus the Mastodons.
• The Dartmouth defense has held opponents to a woeful 19.0 percent (16-of-84) shooting over the past five games behind the three-point arc, including just 9.1 percent (1-of-11) at IPFW.
• In both games in the state of Indiana, the Big Green were outscored in the paint by 20 points. Notre Dame had 36 to just 16 for Dartmouth, while IPFW had a 34-14 edge in the lane.
Series vs. Elon
• This is the first meeting between the two schools on the hardwood.
• The Phoenix began playing as a full-fledged Division-I member 12 years ago in the Big South Conference, then joined the Southern Conference in 2003-04.
• Formerly the Fightin’ Christians until the year 2000, the school was also renamed from Elon College to Elon University in 2001.
Scouting the Phoenix
• The Phoenix are on the rise having posted a 7-2 record thus far with victories over South Carolina and on the road at Princeton.
• Elon’s only two losses both came on the road, one at UMass and the other at N.C. State.
• No less than four players are averaging in double figures for the Phoenix, led by 6-10 forward Lucas Troutman at 13.3 points per game. He is shooting 57.3 percent (47-of-82) from the floor and 81.3 percent (26-of-32) at the line.
• The Big Green will need to keep tabs on three players on the perimeter — 6-8 guard Sebastian Koch (19 threes, 40.4 pct.), Jack Isenbarger (15 threes, 35.7 pct.) and Drew Spradlin (14 threes, 46.7 pct.).
• Koch doubles as the team’s top rebounder (6.1 rpg) while Troutman is second at 5.0.
• While Elon is shooting a solid 37.1 percent on three-pointers, the defense has been quite stingy outside the arc, holding the opposition to a 27.9 percentage.
• Overall opponents have shot just 36.3 percent on the season, the 14th lowest in the country.
• Elon is coached by Matt Matheny, a 1992 graduate of Davidson. Matheny served as an assistant at his alma mater for 16 years before taking the reins at Elon in 2009. Now in his third season, he sports a record of 30-42 entering this game.
Dartmouth, Cormier vs. SoCon
Dartmouth has played just seven games against a team currently in the Southern Conference, having posted a 4-3 mark (1-2 vs. Davidson, 2-1 vs. Furman, 1-0 vs. Samford). But head coach Paul Cormier will be going up against a SoCon team for the first time in his career.
Deja Vu All Over Again
Dartmouth’s 56-51 loss at IPFW on Dec. 13 was eerily similar to the 53-50 defeat at New Hampshire less than two weeks earlier. Against the Wildcats, the Big Green trailed the entire way, but by no more than 10, before taking a one-point lead with 3:31 to play. UNH tied the game shortly thereafter, and Dartmouth turned the ball over on four straight possessions, allowing the Wildcats to win by three.
Fast forward 13 days to IPFW, and Dartmouth trailed the entire way, but by no more than 11, before taking a one-point lead with 5:05 to play. The Green had three chances to extend that lead, only to turn the ball over each time. The Mastodons finally took advantage and retook the lead with 2:43 to go and never looked back.
Rufful the Rifleman
A career 33.0 percent shooter from three-point range, captain has found his stroke in his senior season, playing pop-a-shot from downtown at 57.7 percent (15-of-26). His most recent sharpshooting performance came at IPFW where he drained 3-of-4 from long range en route to a team-high 15 points.
Since starting the year 7-for-37 (.189) shooting the ball, freshman has gotten his touch in the last four games. Starting with a 5-of-7 performance for a season-high 13 points versus Central Michigan, he is clipping the nets at 62.5 percent (10-of-16) and averaging 7.8 ppg.