The Game: Dartmouth (7-4) vs. Vermont (5-8)
Location: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
Tipoff: Saturday, January 4 at 7 p.m.
Series Record vs. Vermont: Big Green lead 57-40
Live Audio, HD Video - Big Green Insider on the Ivy League Digital Network — Dave Collins, play-by-play
Complete Game Notes
Old Foe in New Year
• Dartmouth rings in the new year by playing host to Vermont, the first collegiate team it ever played on the hardwood back in 1900.
• The Big Green have been rolling of late, winning four straight games for the first time since the 2004-05 squad won five consecutive games.
• During the win streak, Dartmouth is shooting 57.1 percent from the floor while holding the opposition to just 34.8 percent.
• Three of the five starters are shooting better than 60 percent over the four games — senior Tyler Melville (.609), junior Gabas Maldunas (.607) and sophomore Connor Boehm (.607).
• Speaking of Maldunas, the center has blocked 20 shots during the streak, pushing him past 100 in his career.
• Dartmouth’s rebound margin is in double figures and ranks among the top 15 nationally, and during the winning streak it is plus-15.7.
• Boehm somehow has seen his field goal percentage decrease during the streak, though he is still 12th nationally at 61.8 percent.
• A victory over Vermont would give head coach Paul Cormier the 200th win of his career between two stints at Dartmouth and one at Fairfield.
Series vs. Vermont
• This is the 98th game between the two schools, and Dartmouth owns a 57-40 record.
• This is also the 52nd consecutive year they have met on the hardwood, the longest streak for any Dartmouth non-conference opponent.
• The Big Green dominated the series through 1972, winning 44 of 51 games against Vermont.
• The Catamounts have had the upper hand since with a 32-14 mark over the past 41 seasons, while winning the last five and 13 of the last 14.
• The lone Big Green win in the last 14 years came at Leede Arena five years ago, 76-75. The last win in Burlington came on Nov. 18, 1998, 69-64.
• Head coach is 5-7 in his career against Vermont.
Scouting the Catamounts
• Vermont has been a bit of an enigma this season with that 5-8 record, which includes a near-upset at Duke and a six-point loss at Harvard, as well as victories over Siena and Illinois State.
• Last time out the Catamounts beat a team on Dartmouth’s schedule, Lyndon State, by 40 points, 88-48. The Big Green beat the Hornets by 45 in the season opener.
• Forward Clancy Rugg and guard Sandro Carissimo lead the offensive effort at 14.7 and 14.3 ppg, respectively.
• Rugg does his work in the paint, shooting 54.2 percent, while Carissimo can score inside the arc and out (43.4 3FG pct.).
• The Catamounts feature a point forward in Brian Voelkel, one of just two current Division I players with 1,000 career rebounds. He is also the first D-I player since Duke’s Danny Ferry to collect 1,000 boards and hand out 500 assists in a career.
• Vermont has been a second-half team, scoring 123 more points after halftime than before while allowing just three more.
• John Becker is in his third season at Vermont with a 50-32 record there. The 1990 Catholic graduate spent five seasons as an assistant before taking over the reins, and also spent two seasons as the head coach at Gallaudet in the late ’90s.
Four-Game Win Streak
Winning streaks have been few and far between the past few seasons, but the 2013-14 Big Green are changing that. With its victories over Jacksonville State, New Hampshire, Longwood and Lesley, Dartmouth has its first four-game win streak since the 2004-05 Big Green rattled off five in a row. The last three-game win streak came during 2008-09.
Dartmouth has been shooting lights out during the four-game winning streak, boosting its season field goal percentage to 50.2 in the process (10th in the country). During the four games, the Big Green have connected on 57.1 percent of their shots, including 42.6 percent (29-of-68) from three-point range. The accuracy reached its peak against Longwood on Dec. 21 at 65.2 percent (30-of-46). It had been just over 10 years since the Green were that efficient from the floor. On Dec. 4, 2003, Dartmouth converted more than two of every three shots (67.3 pct.) in a 95-60 triumph over Tufts.
The Big Green are not only shooting well, but rebounding well, too, having pulled down over 10 more boards per game. During the win streak, that figure has topped 15 caroms a night. For those that prefer rebound percentage, Dartmouth is seventh in the nation at 57.5 percent.
When the Big Green bested Lesley on New Year’s Eve, 85-47, all 11 available players contributed at least one field goal, and 10 of the 11 scored at least five points while no one had more than 12. Junior John Golden led the way with his perfect 6-for-6 shooting afternoon, and freshman Eli Harrison came off the bench to provide 11 thanks to a trio of three-pointers.
Rennie Or Not, Here He Comes
Sophomore Matt Rennie made the most of his career-high 26 minutes of action against Lesley, recording personal highs in points (8), rebounds (team-high 9) and assists (5). Oddly enough, prior to that game, he had not handed out a single helper in his career.
Speaking of Helpers ...
When it comes to lending a helping hand, Rennie has nothing on classmate Malik Gill. The 5-9 guard dished out a career-high nine assists in the 85-47 win over Lesley, the most by a Big Green player in over 10 years. Flinder Boyd ’02, Dartmouth’s all-time assist leader, had 10 dimes against Columbia on Feb. 22, 2002.
Junior passed a pair of personal milestones in the 84-64 victory over Longwood on Dec. 21. With his first of five rebounds in the game, he became the 19th player in Dartmouth history to haul in 500 in a career. He later scored the 700th point of his career thanks to a free throw with 4:44 left to play. Ten days later, he swatted his 100th block, just the fifth player in program history to hit triple digits.
After ripping the nets at a 65.2 percent clip against Longwood before Christmas, the Big Green returned to the court and picked up where they left off 10 days later by connecting on 60.7 percent against Lesley. Over the past 250 games, Dartmouth has topped 60 percent just four times — twice in the first 248, and twice in the most recent two.
Captain of the Swat Team
The Dartmouth defense recorded a season-high nine blocks against Longwood on Dec. 21, a total not surpassed by a Big Green team in over six years (12 against Daniel Webster on Dec. 15, 2007). Most of the rejecting was handled by junior center , who turned away a career-high seven shots. The last Dartmouth player with seven blocks in a game? Calvin Arnold against Stony Brook on Jan. 10, 2006, a game the Green lost, 51-48. During the four-game winning streak, Maldunas has 20 blocks.
Mitola Making His Mark
During the four-game win streak, sophomore Alex Mitola has been shooting lights out, canning 14-of-25 (.560) from long range. Against both Jacksonville State and Longwood, the 5-11 point guard knocked down four triples while leading the Big Green in scoring in both contests. For the season he is leading the team with 11.5 points per game and is second in the league in three-point percentage (among national qualifiers) at 44.4 percent.
Melville Dialing Up Long Distance
Senior Tyler Melville is one person who is sorry to see 2013 end. Over the calendar year, he was especially accurate from the outside, knocking down triples at a rate of 47.9 percent (35-of-73). On all field goals over those 12 months, he has hit over half at 91-for-178 (.511) as well. Against both New Hampshire and Longwood, Melville popped a trio of three-pointers en route to a season-high 17 points.
Double Your Pleasure
Junior registered his third double-double of the season and 10th of his career when he scored 12 points and snared 13 rebounds in the win at UNH. No other Dartmouth player has had a double-double yet this season, nor even hauled in 10 rebounds. Earlier in the year, he had a career-high 17 rebounds against UMass Lowell, the most for the Big Green since Ian McGinnis ’01 had 18 against Princeton on Feb. 6, 1999.
Defense Stepping Up Its Game
In consecutive games against Jacksonville State and New Hampshire, Dartmouth held the opposition to a combined 31.4 field goal percentage and less than 50 points in each game, the latter a feat it hasn’t accomplished in consecutive contests since the 1981-82 squad did it in four straight contests. And when the Big Green held Lesley to 47 points, it marked the first time they had three games in a season in which their opponent had less than 50 since 2004-05.
Must Be a Tractor Boehm
Sophomore has been spot on when shooting this season, clipping the nets at a 61.8 percent rate, which ranks 12th in the nation entering the week. In nine of the 11 games, he has knocked down at least half of his shots, including a perfect 6-of-6 in the season opener and 7-of-11 field goals at Illinois in scoring a season-high 17 points.