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Courtesy: Gil Talbot

Men's Basketball Travels to Harvard to Begin Ivy Play

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 01/10/2014
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The Game: Dartmouth (7-6, 0-0) at Harvard (13-2)
Location: Lavietes Pavilion (2,050), Hanover, N.H.
Tipoff: Saturday, January 11 at 2 p.m.
Series Record vs. Hartford: Big Green lead 94-82
Live Audio, HD Video - Big Green Insider on the Ivy League Digital Network — Dave Collins, play-by-play
Live Stats
Complete Game Notes


Tough Test in Ivy Opener
•    Dartmouth gets no break when it comes to the Ivy League opener against 13-2 Harvard, the favorite to win the title. This is the 27th consecutive season the two have begun conference play against each other with the Crimson holding a 16-10 advantage.
•    Since winning four straight games to end 2013, the Big Green have dropped two to America East teams — Vermont (62-53) and Hartford (68-56).
•    Dartmouth posted its worst shooting percentages of the season in the two recent losses, converting a combined 36.9 percent after shooting 50.2 percent in the first 11 contests.
•    The Big Green feature a balanced offensive attack with sophomore forward Connor Boehm leading three players in double figures at 11.4 ppg while topping the league in field goal percentage (.587).
•    Sophomore point guard Alex Mitola is right on Boehm’s heels at 11.0 ppg thanks to knocking down 41.3 percent (31-of-75) of his three-pointers.
•    Getting it done at both ends of the court has been junior center Gabas Maldunas, averaging 10.7 ppg while leading the Ivy League in rebounding (8.7). He also has 23 blocks in the last six games.
•    Head coach Paul Cormier is taking his third crack at winning the 200th game of his career between his stint at Fairfield and two at Dartmouth.

Series vs. Harvard
•    While Dartmouth has a 94-82 advantage all-time, Harvard has won the last eight encounters.
•    The Big Green suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss in Cambridge last year, 82-77, after leading by 10 with less than two minutes to play.
•    At Lavietes Pavilion, the Big Green have an 11-20 mark, but their last win in the series came at this venue, a 75-66 overtime thriller on Jan. 24, 2009.
•    Paul Cormier is 12-11 against Harvard in his career, which includes three wins while at Fairfield.
•    While Dartmouth dominated the first 60 years of the series with a 56-14 record through 1960, the Big Green have mustered just a 38-68 mark since then, including a 5-22 record since 2000.

Scouting the Crimson
•    Harvard just had its nine-game winning streak snapped at UConn on Wednesday by five, 61-56.
•    That loss was without the Crimson’s top player, forward Wesley Saunders, who averages 15.7 points per game while shooting better than 50 percent. His status for this game is unknown.
•    Not only is Harvard second in the Ivy League in scoring (74.5 ppg), it is also second in scoring defense (60.9 ppg) and first in scoring margin (12.9).
•    The Crimson rank among the top two in the league in nearly every statistical category, both on offense and defense.
•    Saunders is far from the only weapon with point guard Siyani Chambers shooting 41.2 percent on three-pointers and scoring 11.7 ppg, plus uber-athletic forward Kyle Casey contributing 11.8 ppg and leading the team on the boards with 6.5 rpg.
•    Steve Moundou-Missi leads a quartet of shot blockers with 21 blocks.
•    The Crimson’s all-time leader in three-pointers, Laurent Rivard, has not caught fire yet this year, converting just 35.3 percent (began year over 40).
•    Tommy Amaker (Duke ’87) is in his seventh season at Harvard’s helm with a 125-68 record in Cambridge and 301-207 in his career that has taken him to Seton Hall for four seasons (68-55) and Michigan for six (108-84).

Cormier on the Cusp of 200
Paul Cormier picked up the 199th victory of his collegiate head coaching career when Dartmouth dumped Lesley on Dec. 31, 85-47. Of those 199 wins, 113 have come at Dartmouth, 87 of which came during his first stint (1984-91). He procured the other 86 over his seven years at the helm of Fairfield (1991-98). Only three coaches have more victories at Dartmouth — Alvin “Doggie” Julian (183 wins, 1950-66), Osborne Cowles (144, 1936-43 and ’44-46) and Dave Faucher (136, 1991-2004).

Boehm Lends a Hand or Five
The spirit of Christmas hit Connor Boehm a little this holiday season, as the sophomore was in a charitable mood against Hartford. Boehm handed out a career-high five assists in the loss to the Hawks after recording eight in the first 12 games.

Block Party Closes
Although center Gabas Maldunas failed to block a shot against Hartford, he did swat a whopping 23 shots during the five-game stretch from Dec. 14 to Jan. 4, including a career-high seven in a 20-point win over Longwood. The last Dartmouth player with seven blocks in a game? Calvin Arnold against Stony Brook on Jan. 10, 2006. In the other eight games thus far, Maldunas has just four blocks.

What a Difference a Year Makes
As in the calendar year. Prior to the clock striking midnight on 2013, Dartmouth was enjoying its finest start to a season in 17 years with a 7-4 mark. The Big Green were shooting better than 50 percent, had won five of six home games and grabbed more than 10 rebounds per game.
But in the two games in 2014 thus far, Dartmouth has struggled. Its scoring average is down more than 20 points, the team field goal percentage is .369 (not to mention the .188 three-point percentage), and the Green have been outrebounded by 7.5 boards a game.

Mitola Approaching 100 Threes
Sophomore point guard Alex Mitola is among the Ivy League leaders in three-point field goal percentage (.413, 8th) and three-pointers per game (2.4, 2nd), and he is fast approaching 100 triples in just his second season in Hanover. He needs just four more to become the 15th player in Big Green history to reach the milestone, and at his current pace, he will break the career record held by Jim Barton ’89, who drained 242.

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