PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Matt Sullivan scored a game-high 16 points to lead host Brown (10-14, 4-6 Ivy) to a 59-50 victory over Dartmouth (6-18, 2-8) on Saturday night at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The Bears opened up a double-digit lead in the first four minutes of play, then never let the Big Green within five the rest of the night.
Junior Tyler Melville was the lone Dartmouth player to score in double figures with 14 points. Sophomore Gabas Maldunas chipped in eight points while grabbing nine rebounds to lead the Big Green, who shot just 35.7 percent from the floor for the game.
Sullivan was joined by teammates Sean McGonagill and Tucker Halpern in double digits with 13 and 12 points, respectively, with the former also dishing out seven assists. Rafael Maia led Brown on the boards with 13 rebounds, although the Big Green had the advantage overall on the glass, 39-35.
The first four minutes proved to be the difference in the ball game as the Bears jumped out to a 12-2 lead thanks to knocking down all of their first five field-goal attempts, including three-pointers by Halpern and McGonagill. The two teams traded baskets for the next five minutes until McGonagill drove to the hoop for a layup and a 20-8 Brown advantage with nine minutes gone.
Freshman Malik Gill stemmed the tide a bit with the first Big Green three-pointer of the night, but the Bears extended their lead to a game-high 16 points with a 9-2 spurt on a three-point play by Jon Schmidt, and triples by Halpern and Sullivan. But when Melville drained a three-pointer and freshman Alex Mitola scored on the break, Brown coach Mike Martin wasted no time in calling a timeout with his squad up 11, 29-18, with six minutes before halftime.
Brown did boost its bulge back up to 15 with its fifth trifecta of the half, but the Big Green closed the gap to nine at 34-25 by scoring the final six points of the stanza on a pair of layups and two Melville free throws.
In the second half, Dartmouth whittled the difference down to five points on two occasions. First, Gill drove for a layup to start the scoring after the intermission and Mitola — who was 7-of-10 on three-pointers at Yale last night — rained in a trey after a Brown free throw to make it a 35-30 contest. Three minutes later, however, the Bears had doubled its lead back to 10.
The next three minutes belonged to the Big Green, once again getting back within five by going down low to freshman Connor Boehm and Maldunas. Again Brown got a five-point swing back in its favor as Halpern sank his third and final three-pointer of the game with eight minutes left.
The two sides once again alternated buckets for a five-minute stretch before Boehm went to the left hand to drop one in the iron with just under three minutes on the clock. Sullivan responded with a dagger three to put the Bears up nine, 54-45. Brown, which never led by more than 10 in the second half, did manage to take a 12-point lead in the final 30 seconds when Sullivan converted two foul shots, and a long three-pointer by Mitola ended the scoring.
Dartmouth continues its four-game trek next weekend when it travels to Philadelphia to play Penn in the fabled Palestra on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Brown also takes to the road, beginning with a contest at Cornell that same night at 7 p.m.