HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth struggled to find its shooting touch all night, connecting on just 16-of-60 (.267) from the floor, while New Hampshire attempted nearly as many free throws (44) as field goals (45) as the Wildcats left Leede Arena with a 72-58 victory over the host Big Green. Dartmouth (1-1) got a double-double from sophomore Jvonte Brooks and a team-high 17 points from freshman Alex Mitola, but UNH (2-0) countered with double-doubles for both Ferg Myrick and Patrick Konan as the Wildcats beat their in-state rival for the fifth consecutive meeting.
Myrick finished the game with 19 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out on a technical foul with 4:22 to play. Konan matched Myrick’s 11 boards while adding 14 points, and Chandler Rhoads scored 14 as well. New Hampshire finished the night shooting 44.4 percent on field goals (20-of-45) and 63.6 percent at the line (28-of-44). The Wildcats’ size came into play on the glass as they enjoyed a solid 48-35 rebounding advantage on the Big Green.
For Dartmouth, Brooks hit 4-of-8 field goals, including his first career three-pointer early in the game, in scoring 10 points to go with his 11 rebounds. Mitola did much of his offensive work at the free throw line, converting 9-of-10 foul shots, as he had trouble getting his outside shot to fall, managing three buckets in 14 attempts and 2-of-11 from downtown.
The first half was primarily a defensive struggle as both teams had difficulty getting the ball to drop through the iron. As Dartmouth was shooting 28.1 percent (9-of-32), New Hampshire wasn’t much better at 36.0 percent (9-of-25). After eight minutes of play, the score was just 9-6 until Konan doubled the UNH advantage with a three-pointer. For the next five minutes, the difference fluctuated between five and seven when Myrick rolled in a layup for a 21-12 Wildcat advantage.
At the final media break, New Hampshire still held a seven-point lead. Dartmouth put together an 8-0 run, however, as Mitola knocked down two free throws sandwiched between one of his own three-pointers and another by freshman Kevin Crescenzi for what turned out to be the Big Green’s only lead of the night at 26-25 with 1:17 left in the half.
That lead lasted all of 27 seconds thanks to another Myrick layup, and Rhoads added a pair of foul shots to send UNH into the locker room with a three-point lead at 29-26.
Early in the second stanza, sophomore John Golden closed the gap to one with a three-ball. New Hampshire responded with a 9-0 run, beginning with a Myrick three-pointer, to increase its lead to double digits at 39-29 with 14:04 on the clock. After that Golden trifecta, Dartmouth did not record another field goal for close to nine minutes, misfiring on seven attempts. But the Wildcat lead grew beyond 12 points during that stretch as the Big Green sank 7-of-8 free throws.
Freshman Malik Gill broke the drought with a desperation 28-footer just before the shot clock expired as the crowd of 831 stood in anticipation of a Big Green run. The run never came as the Big Green never got closer than eight points the rest of the night. The final eight minutes of the game was plagued with fouls as the two teams combined for 19 fouls including Myrick’s technical.
The Dartmouth defense did force 20 turnovers, converting those mistakes into 20 points. Both Brooks and sophomore Gabas Maldunas had three steals as the Big Green collected 11 thefts for a second straight game.
Dartmouth has 11 days until its next game due to finals for the fall term. The Big Green will complete their three-game homestand to open the season by hosting IPFW on Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. New Hampshire will play the second of five consecutive road games when it travels to Bryant this Saturday for a 1 p.m. tipoff with the Bulldogs.