Bryant Pulls Away from Big Green with Big Second Half
SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Dartmouth freshman Connor Boehm lit up the scoreboard with 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but host Bryant didn’t miss much of anything in the second half to defeat the Big Green (2-8), 79-66. The Bulldogs (6-4) hit 17-of-23 (.739) of their field goals and 19-of-20 (.950) free throws after halftime to break open a game that was tied early in the second half.
Dartmouth (2-8), playing its seventh consecutive game on the road, still managed one of its better shooting performances of late, draining 8-of-17 (a season-best .471) from three-point range and 10-of-12 (.833) at the free throw line. Boehm finished the day shooting 11-of-16 with a triple and a free throw, and fellow freshman Alex Mitola dropped in 15 points with three three-pointers while handing out five assists. The Big Green’s leading scorer, sophomore Gabas Maldunas, was held scoreless in 19 minutes of action.
Five Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Frankie Dobbs with 19 while dishing out seven assists. Corey Maynard tallied 15, Alex Francis 13, Dyami Starks 12 and Joe O’Shea 10 off the bench.
Trailing 25-23 at the intermission, Dartmouth quickly turned to Boehm, who drained an 18-footer to tie the game. Dobbs immediately put the Bulldogs back on top with a jumper, only to have Boehm knot the score again with another 18-footer. Starks then hit two free throws and drove for a layup to give Bryant a four-point edge. Again the Big Green answered as sophomore Jvonte Brooks canned a pair at the line and Boehm scored on a putback, tying the game for a third time, 31-31.
Bryant scored the next 13 points and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Each of the six field goals in the run came in the paint, including a three-point play by Shane McLaughlin to put the stamp on the surge. Boehm briefly interrupted the Bulldogs with another putback, but they would not be slowed with seven more points to make it a 20-2 run.
Boehm scored the next basket for the Big Green as well, giving him 10 of their first 12 points in the second half. Following a three-pointer by sophomore John Golden, the Bulldogs strung together seven quick points to boost their lead to a game-high 20 at 58-38 with 8:20 to play.
Freshman Tommy Carpenter got into the scoring act with his first career three-pointer and a layup after stealing the ball away during a full-court press. Two free throws by freshman Kevin Crescenzi cut the deficit to 13, which was as close as Dartmouth would get the rest of the game.
The first half was a stark contrast to the second as both teams struggled a bit at the offensive end. Boehm provided the first points of the game with a long jumper, but Bryant had the next three field goals, the third coming on a thunderous dunk by Francis. After Golden was fouled while shooting a three and converted all three foul shots, the only Big Green points over nearly 10 minutes were two Mitola buckets.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, were having their way. Francis skied for a rebound on a missed three-pointer and flushed it home. O’Shea drilled a trifecta, and Maynard scored seven straight points, capped by a triple of his own. When Andrew Scocca scored on a putback, the Bulldogs had completed a 14-4 spurt for a 20-9 lead.
Golden provided a spark for the Big Green offense when he knocked down a three from the left wing with 4:45 left in the half. Francis answered with a bucket, but Dartmouth then finished the half with a flourish, hitting its final five shots with a trey from Mitola, a fast-break layup by freshman Matt Rennie, a driving layup by Crescenzi and two baskets in the paint by Boehm to close the gap to two at 25-23.
Dartmouth gets a bit of a break around Christmas before finishing its eight-game road trip with a showdown with Boston College on New Year’s Eve at 2 p.m. Bryant returns to the hardwood next Saturday at Lehigh for a game that tips at 7 p.m.