The Game: Dartmouth (2-7) at Bryant (5-4)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (2,600), Smithfield, R.I.
Tipoff: Saturday, December 22 at 1 p.m.
Series Record vs. Bryant: Big Green lead 1-0
Live Audio - WUVR 1490 AM (Dave Collins, play-by-play)
Live Video - NEC Front Row
Live Stats
Complete Game Notes


Bryant Latest Test
•    In its final game before Christmas, Dartmouth is looking to duplicate last season’s success against Bryant, having beaten the Bulldogs, 66-62, in Hanover.
•    Last time out, the Big Green suffered their fourth straight defeat in a 61-42 loss at Arizona State, their lowest scoring output of the season. Dartmouth trailed by just seven with seven minutes to play before running out of gas.
•    Sophomore forward Gabas Maldunas leads the team in scoring (12.2 ppg), rebounding (6.9 rpg), blocks (10) and steals (14). Against ASU, Maldunas produced 12 points and five rebounds.
•    Freshman forward Connor Boehm has started each of the last two games, grabbing 10 caroms in each, giving him double-digit rebounds in three of the last four games.
•    Free throws have been troublesome of late as the team’s percentage has dropped to 62.9 after checking in at 77.0 percent in the first four contests. The Big Green converted just 5-of-15 from the charity stripe at Arizona State.
•    Defensively, Dartmouth has forced more turnovers (134-125) and held the opposition to a 28.9 three-point field goal percentage.
•    Opponents are also scoring just 62.4 points per game, the lowest average against the Big Green since the 1996-97 season (61.0).

Series vs. Bryant
•    This is only the second meeting between these two schools on the hardwood with the series beginning last year with Dartmouth’s 66-62 victory.
•    R.J. Griffin scored 29 points for the Big Green in the victory, the most by a Dartmouth player in nearly three years. Gabas Maldunas also recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
•    Against all current teams from the Northeast Conference, the Big Green are 13-18.
•    Head coach Paul Cormier is 1-0 against Bryant in his career and 10-3 against current NEC schools.

Scouting the Bulldogs
•    Since opening the season with losses of 30-plus points at top-ranked Indiana and Providence, Bryant has played quite well, winning five of seven, including a victory at Boston College.
•    On the contrary, those two Bulldog losses have come in the last three contests, one at home to Yale by two points, the other a 10-point defeat at Navy their last time on the court 12 days ago.
•    More than two-thirds of the scoring (66.3 ppg) has been supplied by guards Dyami Starks (17.1 ppg) and Frankie Dobbs (11.4), and forward Alex Francis (14.8).
•    Francis is also Bryant’s leading rebounder at 7.3 per game, while 6-3 Australian guard Corey Maynard has averaged 5.0.
•    Starks has been the most accurate and prolific shooter from beyond the arc, hitting 27-of-73 (.370). The rest of the team is a combined 25 pct.
•    Don’t expect many blocked shots in this game — Dartmouth has swatted only 2.0 per game, while Bryant is among the bottom five teams in the country at 1.2 per game.
•    The Bulldogs have struggled at the line a bit, shooting just 64.3 percent on the season.
•    Former Ohio head coach Tim O’Shea (BC ’84) is in his fifth year at Bryant with a 25-103 record during the Bulldogs’ transition to Division I status.

Searching for Offense
Dartmouth has lost four straight games, during which its scoring average has dropped following each contest. After defeating Longwood to start the month of December, 61-53, the Big Green were averaging 60.2 points per game. Since then, however, they have scored more than 50 points just once while their scoring averaging fell to 55.3 ppg. In three of the last four games, Dartmouth has connected on less than one-third of its shots, not to mention less than half of its free throws, and the 42 points at Arizona State are a season low.

Looking for 100 at Dartmouth
Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek won his 100th game with the Sun Devils earlier this year, and Dartmouth’s Paul Cormier is looking to match that accomplishment. In the third year of his second stint in Hanover, Cormier is 99-149 in this his 10th season with the Big Green and 185-260 in 17 seasons as a head coach.

First-Half Warmup
Most teams will score more points in the second half compared to the first, and Dartmouth is no exception. But its shooting percentages rise across the board after the intermission:

1st Half Stat 2nd Half
.337 FG% .364
.264 3FG% .287
.522 FT% .670

 

Boehm Banging on the Boards
Freshman Connor Boehm has started to come into his own, beginning with his first career double-double at Elon on Dec. 4 with 12 points and a dozen rebounds. At Vermont and Arizona State, he snagged 10 caroms off the glass in each contest, leading the Big Green in both instances. He is now third on the team in rebounding (5.0) despite playing less than 16 minutes per game.

Double-Figure Scorer
The last Dartmouth player to score in double figures for the season was Alex Barnett ’09 in 2009 when he was named the Ivy League Player of the Year. The Big Green hope to end that drought this season with three players showing promise. Gabas Maldunas leads the team at 12.2 ppg, with freshman Alex Mitola also topping 10 at 10.9. Sophomore John Golden is knocking on the door as well at 9.9.

Costly Free Throws
In comparing total number of field goals made, Dartmouth is just about matching its opponents. The Big Green have made 175 field goals, (compared to 186 for the opposition) and 48 three-pointers (37). The free throw line has been another story as Dartmouth has made 53 fewer foul shots while shooting 62.9 pct.