Hot-Shooting Dartmouth Puts Longwood Away, 84-64
HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth shot 65.2 percent for the game and 75 percent in the second half to defeat visiting Longwood, 84-64, at Leede Arena on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Alex Mitola scored 18 points and senior Tyler Melville 17 to lead the Big Green (6-4) to their third straight victory for the first time in five seasons. Longwood (5-8) got 20 points from Tristan Carey and 16 more from Lucas Woodhouse to account for half of its final total.
Mitola was 6-of-9 on the day, including 4-of-7 from long range, while Melville was even more efficient, hitting 5-of-7 field goals and 3-of-5 from behind the arc to give him his second straight 17-point game. Junior Gabas Maldunas added 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting with a career-high seven blocked shots, five assists and five boards, the first of which made him the 19th player in Big Green history to amass 500 rebounds in a career. Also in double figures was junior John Golden with 13 thanks in part to three dunks.
Dartmouth began the game well with three-pointers from Melville and Mitola before Longwood rattled of 10 straight points, thanks in part to four Big Green turnovers during the run. Golden ended the four-and-a-half minute scoring drought with a pair of free throws, but the Lancers still led by four, 14-10, nearly 10 minutes into the game.
The offense started to pick up for Dartmouth when Mitola popped his second triple of the day, igniting a 12-0 run that included another Mitola trey and was capped by a Golden two-hand slam. Longwood responded with three straight buckets in the paint before the two sides started trading baskets.
With a 32-26 advantage, the Big Green had a possession in which they missed three three-point attempts, but got the offensive rebound each time before Golden finally put the ball through the hoop on a putback with barely two minutes to play in the opening half. Lucas Woodhouse scored the final four points of the half for the Lancers, but Dartmouth sandwiched trifectas from Melville and Golden between those points to take a 40-30 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the Big Green began like it did the first — with a Melville three-pointer — and never let Longwood close the gap to single digits. Melville scored seven of Dartmouth’s first nine points of the stanza before Mitola canned a pair of mid-range jumpers. But the difference was still 10 after seven minutes of play when Dartmouth started to gradually pull away.
A Golden dunk ignited the crowd with a dunk off a beautiful back-door pass from Maldunas, who then laid in a pair of buckets. Sophomore Kevin Crescenzi, who contributed nine points in the second half off the bench, converted a pair of free throws, but Carey ripped the net for a Lancer three-pointer with little more than nine minutes to play, keeping the Longwood deficit at 14, 64-50.
Between single free throws by Crescenzi, Golden streaked on the break to convert a Connor Boehm pass into his final dunk. When Maldunas played give-and-go with sophomore Tommy Carpenter for an easy deuce, the Dartmouth lead had grown to 20 at 70-50 with 6:29 to play. Two and a half minutes later, Mitola swished his final three-pointer of the game to boost the Big Green advantage to a game-high 27 at 82-55. The final two Dartmouth points came on a couple of Mitola foul shots.
The 65.2 field goal percentage is the highest for a Dartmouth team in just over 10 years when the Big Green hit 67.3 percent in a 95-60 win over Tufts on Dec. 4, 2003. Dartmouth also knocked down 9-of-20 (.450) from three-point range. Not only did the Big Green blister the nets, they hit the boards hard as well, outrebounding the Lancers, 31-18, although no one player had more than five rebounds on the afternoon.
Longwood was 22-of-51 (.431) from the floor and 5-of-11 (.455) from long distance. The Lancers did shoot slightly better at the line, however, sinking 15-of-19 (.789), compared to 15-of-21 (.714) for the Big Green.
Dartmouth has 10 days off around Christmas before playing again against Lesley University on New Year’s Eve at 2 p.m. Longwood breaks for the holiday before traveling to Ohio University to take on the Bobcats on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m.