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Big Green Stifled by Cornell in 79-56 Defeat

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Tyler Melville led Dartmouth with 12 points.     By Gil Talbot
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ITHACA, N.Y. — Coming off a big road win at Columbia on Friday night, Dartmouth struggled at Cornell on Sunday afternoon, shooting just 28.6 percent (16-of-56) as the host Big Red dealt the Big Green a 79-56 defeat at Newman Arena. Cornell (11-12, 3-3 Ivy) blocked 10 shots and stole the ball 15 times while four players scored in double figures to bounce back from a home loss to Harvard on Friday. Junior Tyler Melville scored 12 points to lead Dartmouth (6-14, 2-4 Ivy).

While the Big Red defense was shutting down Dartmouth, their offense clipped the nets at a 50.9 percent clip (29-of-57), including 45 percent (9-of-20) behind the arc. Shonn Miller was effective at both ends of the court, tying for the team lead with 15 points on offense, and providing seven blocks and five steals on defense. Dominick Scelfo provided much of the long-range assault, canning 5-of-8 three-pointers for his 15 points. Nolan Cressler added 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting with a pair of three-pointers, plus tied Errick Peck for the rebounding lead with five boards. Peck chipped in 11 points as well as a team-best seven assists.

Melville posted his 12 points with three field goals and 6-of-7 at the line, and freshman Alex Mitola tallied 10 with a pair of three-pointers and dished out three assists.

Cornell set the tone from the outset, opening up a 10-2 lead by the first media timeout thanks in part to triples by Peck and Scelfo. The fourth Dartmouth turnover in the first six minutes of the game led to fastbreak layup, the first of 18 points scored by the Big Red on the break. The Big Green scored the next five points on a bucket by sophomore Gabas Maldunas, a free throw by Melville and two more foul shots by sophomore Jvonte Brooks.

A Cressler triple and a fastbreak layup by Devin Cherry gave Cornell a double-digit lead at 17-7, and less than two minutes later Scelfo popped another trey starting a 10-0 run to make it a 29-12 game. The Big Red never let up during the half and took a 45-23 lead into the break.

Cornell shot a sizzling 63.0 percent (17-of-27) during the opening stanza, not to mention 6-of-11 from long range. Dartmouth, meanwhile, managed just seven field goals at a 25 percent rate, but did convert 7-of-10 at the line.

Scelfo began the second half with his fourth three-pointer of the game, and the difference remained between 21 and 27 points until Miller laid one in with 8:31 to play for Cornell’s biggest lead of the afternoon, 64-35. Dartmouth then enjoyed its best stretch of the game with a 9-1 spurt over two minutes, started and ended by Melville with a three-point play and a tough layup.

A Melville jumper and a Mitola three-pointer cut the deficit down to 18 in each instance, but that would be as close as the Big Green would get.

Dartmouth did finish the game with the rebounding edge, 40-34, with 16 offensive rebounds, as Brooks and freshman Kevin Crescenzi led the efforts on the boards with a eight and seven caroms, respectively. But its 18 turnovers led to 24 Big Red points, and Cornell outscored the Green in the paint, 36-16, largely due to the presence of Miller.

Dartmouth returns home this weekend to host Princeton on Friday evening and Penn on Saturday, both at 7 p.m. Cornell next travels to Yale for a Friday game at 7 p.m. before squaring off against Brown in Providence on Saturday at 6 p.m.