HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier shook up his starting lineup and got the result he was looking for as the Big Green defeated Yale on Saturday night at Leede Arena for their first Ivy win of the year, 71-62. Sophomore Gabas Maldunas came off the bench to score 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting and grab eight rebounds to help Dartmouth (5-13, 1-3 Ivy) end a personal seven-game skid against the Bulldogs dating back to the 2008-09 season.

Yale (7-14, 1-3 Ivy) got a game-high 20 points from point guard Austin Morgan, though he was just 2-of-10 on three-pointers, and 16 more from Matt Townsend. Armani Cotton led the Bulldogs with eight rebounds as Yale won the battle of the boards, 30-26.

Maldunas was not the only reserve to provide a lift as freshman Malik Gill dished out four assists and hit all of his three field goals and both free throws to contribute eight points. The starters also carried their weight with three more putting up double figures — freshman Alex Mitola with 12 points, sophomore John Golden with 11 and freshman Connor Boehm with 10.

Both teams were on target at the line as Dartmouth converted 22-of-24 (a season-high .917) and Yale 21-of-24 (.875), but the Big Green drained more than half of their field goals (23-of-45, .511) compared to just 35.3 percent (18-of-51) for the Bulldogs.

Tyler Melville
Tyler Melville drives for an easy bucket in the first half against the Bulldogs.
“We have to bring this kind of energy, focus and intensity every time we take the court,” said Cormier after the game. “I don’t know if last night’s effort (62-50 loss to Brown) was a hangover of sorts from our overtime loss at Harvard last week, but we showed that we are capable of playing a full 40 minutes. Gabas responded well to being out of the starting lineup and really provided us the type of aggressive performance we need from him for us to be successful.”

Although Yale jumped out to an early 5-0 lead on a Townsend layup and a three-pointer by Morgan, the Big Green matched those with a Melville triple and a layup by rookie Tommy Carpenter. The two teams were not separated by more than two points for the next several minutes with Yale taking the lead for what would turn out to be the final time all night, 14-12.

Dartmouth then ripped off 11 straight points over more than six minutes, beginning with a layup by Maldunas to knot the game at 14. Melville put the Green on top by hitting 1-of-2 at the line, then extended the lead with a layup before Maldunas stole the ball near midcourt and took it home for the dunk. Following a Bulldog timeout, Maldunas scored on a putback and Mitola canned a pair of free throws to cap the spurt with Dartmouth on top, 23-14.

Over the final 3:32 of the half, Yale knocked down six free throws, but Mitola countered with a pair of layups, leaving the Green up by seven at the break, 27-20. The Bulldogs managed just six field goals on 26 attempts (.231) and a woeful 1-of-14 (.071) behind the arc over the first 20 minutes of action.

Early in the second half, Yale finally ended an 0-for-12 stretch from three-point range when Morgan ripped the net to bring the Bulldogs within five, 31-26. But Maldunas went to work down low with three layups in the span of one minute, boosting Dartmouth’s lead into double figures for the first time at 37-26. Golden added a pair of free throws to make it a 13-point game with 13:39 to go.

Yale battled back with a nine-point run of its own, highlighted by a Sam Martin trifecta, over a 2:15 span, only to have the Big Green explode on a 13-3 spurt, starting with a Golden triple from the corner. Maldunas picked up a steal and flushed it home on the one-man break, and Golden drained two more freebies after being intentionally fouled while going to the rim on another break for the largest Dartmouth lead of the night at 52-37 with 7:41 on the clock.

John Golden
John Golden thrills the crowd — and his teammates — with his aerial assault on the basket.
Golden got his chance to bring the house down less than a minute later when Mitola fed him an alley-oop on the break which he slammed home for two. Yet Yale would not go quietly, whittling its deficit back into single digits with 3:15 remaining on a Townsend layup. But every time the Bulldogs would threaten to get back into the game, the Big Green would sink free throws, sinking 15-of-16 the rest of the way.

Dartmouth hits the road next weekend, beginning at Columbia (9-9, 1-3 Ivy) on Friday night at 7 p.m. Yale continues its stretch of five of six games on the road to open league play when it plays Penn (4-16, 1-2 Ivy) at The Palestra on Friday at 7 p.m. as well.

Notes: Dartmouth has shot at least 50 percent from the floor in three of its last four games ... the last Big Green victory in the series came on Feb. 7, 2009 at Leede Arena, 57-54. Dartmouth is now 96-105 all-time against the Bulldogs ... the Green have matched their win total overall and in Ivy play from each of the past three seasons.