Final Weekend for 2013-14 Takes Place at Brown and Yale
The Games: Dartmouth (10-16, 3-9) at Brown (15-11, 7-5) and Yale (15-11, 9-3)
Locations: Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800), Providence, R.I./Lee Amphitheater (2,532), New Haven, Conn.
Tipoffs: Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 8 at 7 p.m.
Series Record vs. Brown: Big Green lead 76-72
Series Record vs. Yale: Bulldogs lead 107-96
Online Video and Audio: Big Green Insider on the Ivy League Digital Network — Dave Collins, play-by-play (audio broadcast only)
Complete Game Notes
Looking to Finish Strong
• Coming off an 87-78 victory, Dartmouth not only reached double figures for victories for the first time in six years, but is also aiming to match its 2012-13 record in Ivy play with wins in its final games of the season.
• The highest Dartmouth can finish in the final conference standings is a tie for fifth. Along with two Big Green wins this weekend, Penn and Princeton would need to get swept by Columbia and Cornell, and the Quakers would have to beat the Tigers at Princeton.
• The win against Cornell tied the most-played series in Big Green history at 104 wins apiece.
• Sophomore guard Alex Mitola poured in a career-high 33 points against the Big Red, the most by a Dartmouth player in over 13 years, by draining 8-of-9 three-pointers.
• Another sophomore also recorded a career high as Kevin Crescenzi tallied 17 points in the game.
• The victory snapped a seven-game skid, marking the seventh straight year Dartmouth has suffered through a losing streak of at least that length.
• The night before, the Green managed to haul in just 18 rebounds, their fewest in over three years.
• As a team, Dartmouth is shooting 37.9 percent from the perimeter, its best accuracy since the 2001-02 squad hit 39.2 percent.
Series vs. Brown
• While the Bears have won 12 of the last 14 and 21 of 27 against Dartmouth, the Big Green still hold the advantage in the all-time series, 76-72.
• Four weeks ago, Brown beat the Green in Hanover by 13 points, 75-62, as Sean McGonagill and Steven Spieth each scored 20 points.
• At the Pizzitola Sports Center, Dartmouth has a 9-15 record, but has dropped 13 of the last 14, including the past eight. Last year the Bears handed the Green a 59-50 defeat here.
• Head coach Paul Cormier is 11-12 against Brown in his head coaching career, 9-12 at Dartmouth.
Scouting the Bears
• Since beating the Big Green a month ago, Brown has split six Ivy games, all of which have been decided by single digits.
• Speaking of single digits, the Bears have not lost a game by more than nine points all year.
• Brown has proven to be a difficult team to shoot against, leading the league in field goal percentage defense (.389, 12th nationally) and three-point FG percentage defense (.286, 6th).
• Senior guard Sean McGonagill leads the Bears in scoring (17.4 ppg, 2nd in Ivy), assists (3.6 pg, 4th), steals (1.4 pg, 4th) and three-pointers (3.2 pg, 1st).
• The Bears feature the league’s leading rebounder in Rafael Maia at 7.8 boards per game and the top shot blocker in Cedric Kuakumensah at three per contest. The latter has also upped his offensive output in league play at 11.3 ppg.
• Four freshmen have been big contributors, earning a combined nine Ivy Rookie of the Week awards, and the one who hasn’t gotten one (Tavon Blackmon) averages nearly 30 minutes a game.
• Brown alum Mike Martin ’04 is in his second season as the 31st head coach in the program’s history, sporting a 28-26 record. He spent a year at his alma mater as an assistant before serving on the staff at Penn for six seasons.
Series vs. Yale
• Dartmouth has played the Bulldogs 203 times entering this contest. Yale has the advantage with a 107-96 mark against the Big Green.
• The Bulldogs bested Dartmouth in the first showdown this year, 67-54, as Brandon Sherrod led 12 Bulldogs who scored with 15 points, while freshman reserve Eli Harrison had 12 for the Green.
• The Bulldogs have won 23 of the last 27 meetings.
• Dartmouth is 27-52 all-time against Yale at Lee Amphitheater with their last win coming in 1999. The Big Green also played an Ivy playoff game at this venue in 1959, beating Princeton, 69-68.
• Head coach is 10-14 all-time against the Bulldogs, 8-13 while at Dartmouth.
Scouting the Bulldogs
• Yale can still earn a share of the league title if it sweeps Harvard and Dartmouth, and the Crimson lose to Brown on Saturday.
• The Bulldogs had lost consecutive games at Columbia and Princeton before righting the ship with a 70-63 triumph at Penn last Saturday.
• In contrast to the Bears, all three of Yale’s losses have been by double digits.
• Forward Justin Sears has been a beast in league play, averaging 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds.
• Both guard Javier Duren (11.8 ppg) and forward Armani Cotton (11.0) are averaging in double figures as well, while the latter is nearly matching Sears on the boards (7.1 rpg).
• Since allowing non-conference opponents to shoot over 43 percent behind the arc, the Bulldogs have clamped down on the perimeter as Ivy foes are under 30 percent.
• Nearly one third of the team’s points in conference play have come from the free throw line.
• Head coach James Jones (Albany ’86) is the longest tenured head coach in the Ivy League, now in his 15th year with an overall record of 205-219 and a share of an Ivy title to his credit (2001-02).
For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the Dartmouth Big Green have won at least 10 games with the latest an 87-78 triumph over Cornell. The last time Dartmouth won more than 10 games, however, was the 1998-99 season when the Green went 14-12.
Winning Record at Leede
That 87-78 win over Cornell not only gave the Big Green 10 victories for the season, but also gave them a winning record (8-7) on their home court for the first time since 2004-05 when the squad posted a 9-4 mark. The 15 home games also matches the most ever at the arena, tying the 2008-09 and 2009-10 squads.
Putting Up the Points
The 87 points Dartmouth scored in its victory over Cornell were its most against a Division I squad in over six years. Back on Nov. 10, 2007, the Big Green put up big points to beat VMI, 98-87, in a game played at Air Force in Colorado. Must have been the altitude …
Mitola Goes for 33
Sophomore point guard had his shooting stroke going against Cornell on March 1, draining eight three-pointers en route to posting a career-best 33 points, which gave him exactly 600 in his career. Those 33 points are the most by a Dartmouth player since Greg Buth had 33 against Albany on Jan. 20, 2001. Buth also set the program’s single-game three-point record that day with nine triples. Mitola was named the Ivy Player of the Week by College Sports Madness as well.
Speaking of Three-Pointers ...
On the strength of Mitola’s 8-of-9 performance from the perimeter against the Big Red, Dartmouth dropped 12 three-pointers in the game, its most since hitting a dozen on Dec. 23, 2011 against Albany, the same team Buth set the single-game record against. The Big Green are shooting 37.9 percent from long range for the season, which ranks second in the league, behind only Harvard.
Crescenzi Career Best, Too
Mitola wasn’t the only one with a career-best performance against Cornell, Sophomore scored 17 points off the bench by hitting 6-of-11 field goals with a pair of treys.
Melville Closing Strong
Senior captain Tyler Melville is finishing his career with a flourish, having scored 19 points against Columbia and 10 more versus Cornell last weekend. Since Feb. 1, he has hit double figures in six of the nine games, including a season-high 21 against Princeton on that initial date.