HANOVER, N.H. — Junior Gabas Maldunas had 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double as Dartmouth defeated visiting UMass Lowell in men’s basketball action at Leede Arena late Saturday afternoon, 77-59. The Big Green (2-1) dominated the boards, grabbing 39 rebounds to just 19 for the River Hawks (0-3) in the first-ever game between the two schools.

Four other Big Green players finished in double figures with sophomore Connor Boehm coming off the bench to contribute 14 points, senior Tyler Melville and junior John Golden adding 13, and sophomore Alex Mitola chipping in 10.

Dartmouth ripped the nets at a season-high 54.9 percent clip (29-of-53), including 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from three-point range. At the other end of the court, UMass Lowell was held to just 40.5 percent (17-of-42) with Akeem Williams leading four players in double figures with 16 points.

The game began with neither side able to slow the other as the River Hawks took a 16-12 lead barely five minutes into the game on the strenght of an 8-0 run. Dartmouth righted the ship, however, and scored 15 of the next 16 points to build a 10-point bulge as Mitola and Golden drilled three-pointers to cap the run.

The Big Green continued their torrid shooting, finishing the opening stanza knocking down 16-of-25 (.640) from the floor with seven trifecats to enjoy a 42-27 lead by the time halftime rolled around. Golden led the Green with nine points, while Maldunas was doing it all with eight points, seven rebounds and even four assists to boot.

Early in the second half, Dartmouth twice took an 18-point lead on layups, first by Maldunas, then by Golden. But the River Hawks had another run in them, rattling off 12 of the next 14 points thanks in part to three-pointers by Tyler Livingston and Chad Holley.

Golden stemmed the tied briefly with another layup, but when Williams sank a free throw and D.J. Mlachnik popped a trey, suddenly UMass Lowell was within six at 54-48 with just under nine minutes left in the game.

It was Melville who provided the answer the Big Green needed, draining a shot from long range. And when Mitola dialed up from long distance with a little more than five minutes to play, he boosted Dartmouth’s lead back to 11 and began an 8-0 spurt to put the game out of reach.

Maldunas went 7-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-4 at the line to account for his 16 points, plus finished with a game-high five assists to match a personal best. Both Melville and Mitola hit a trio of three-pointers, Golden grabbed seven rebounds and Boehm hit 6-of-9 field goals to go along with six boards.

With a 2-1 record, Dartmouth is off to its best three-game start since the 1999-2000 squad won two of ikts first three contests as well.

The Big Green get a couple of weeks off due to final exams and don’t play again until Sunday, Dec. 1 at Maine for a 2 p.m. tip. UMass Lowell will play its home opener against Brown on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.