DURHAM, N.H. — A 12-0 run early in the second half propelled the Dartmouth Big Green to a 62-48 road victory at in-state rival New Hampshire on Wednesday evening in Lundholm Gymnasium. Senior Tyler Melville led a trio of Dartmouth players in double figures with a season-high 17 points while junior Gabas Maldunas produced his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Big Green (5-4) ended a personal five-game skid against the Wildcats (2-8), which suffered their eighth straight loss.
Melville connected on half of his shots inside and outside the arc (5-of-10 overall, 3-of-6 on threes) and played 31 minutes despite foul trouble in both halves. Maldunas was a force at both ends of the court, hitting on 6-of-12 field goals, while grabbing 10 of his 13 rebounds at the defensive end and blocking four shots. The Ivy League’s leader in field goal percentage, sophomore Connor Boehm, knocked down 6-of-10 from the floor as he tallied 14 points and just missed out on a double-double as well with nine rebounds. Junior John Golden chipped in a career-high six assists as well.
Dartmouth began the second half with a slim two-point lead, 27-25, but New Hampshire’s Patrick Konan — who finished the game with 12 points — provided a three-point play to give the host Wildcats their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. That lead lasted less than 30 seconds as sophomore Alex Mitola dialed long distance for a three-pointer, igniting the 12-point run.
Boehm sank two free throws before Melville cranked one of his three triples on the night, leading UNH to call a timeout. Once back on the floor, Maldunas and Boehm hit consecutive layups to give the Green their first double-digit advantage at 39-28.
When the Wildcats finally broke the string on a Konan three-pointer, Mitola again answered with a trifecta of his own with 13:55 left on the clock. The Dartmouth lead would never fall below 10 again.
The Big Green started to grind out the game from that point, scoring seven of their final nine buckets on layups. Meanwhile, the defense was absolutely stifling as New Hampshire collected a mere five field goals in 26 attempts (.192). Only two of those baskets came inside the arc, where the Wildcats shot a woeful 2-of-14 as Maldunas swatted all four of his blocks in the second stanza.
While UNH was struggling to find the bottom of the net, Dartmouth was clipping them at a 56 percent rate (14-of-25).
The Wildcats opened the game by scoring the first two buckets, then was held scoreless for nearly seven minutes as the Big Green rattled off 11 straight points. Melville canned a pair of threes during the stretch while sophomore Brandon McDonnell added another.
It took a 35-foot rainmaker by Scott Morris with the shot clock about to expire to end UNH’s scoring futility, and Konan followed with another triple to close the gap to one. After the two teams traded baskets, the Big Green went on an 8-0 spurt with Mitola’s first three-pointer capping the run to extend the lead to nine, 21-12, with barely five minutes left in the half.
But Frank Okeke, who led New Hampshire with 13 points, caught fire from behind the arc, swishing a trio of triples in less than three minutes to bring the Wildcats within two. The difference remained at two at the intermission at 27-25.
Dartmouth finished the game shooting 48 percent (24-of-50) overall and 38.9 percent (7-of-18) from long range, plus dominated the glass with 39 rebounds compared to just 22 for UNH. New Hampshire, which finished the game 15-of-46 (.326) from the floor but 8-of-21 (.381) from past the arc, did fare better at the foul line going 10-of-11 (.909) while the Big Green converted just 7-of-13 (.538).
Dartmouth returns to Hanover this weekend to host Longwood (5-7) on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. The Wildcats play again on Sunday when they travel to Rhode Island to take on the Rams at 2 p.m.
Notes: The victory knotted the all-time series at 32-32 … the two schools have met every year on the hardwood for the past 44 years … Dartmouth has held its opponent to under 50 points in each of the past two games, having defeated Jacksonville State last Saturday by a 76-46 count.