Official Website of Dartmouth College Varsity Athletics

First-Half Lead Evaporates as Penn Rallies to Beat the Big Green

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Freshman Alex Mitola provided 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting against Penn.     By Steve Rodriguez

HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth took a 30-18 lead into the locker room at the half, but Penn rarely missed in the second stanza to rally for a 67-57 road win at Leede Arena on Saturday night. The Quakers hit 16-of-21 field goals (.762) and 15-of-19 free throws (.789) over the final 20 minutes to outscore the host Big Green by 22 after the break.

Henry Brooks and Jamal Lewis each scored 14 points to lead Penn (6-18, 3-4 Ivy) while Miles Cartwright added 13 while dishing out six assists. The Quakers finished the night shooting 56.1 percent (23-of-41) overall and 82.6 percent (19-of-23) at the line, plus had the rebounding edge, 32-28.

For Dartmouth (6-16, 2-6 Ivy), sophomore Gabas Maldunas recorded his second double-double of the season and sixth of his career with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Alex Mitola and Connor Boehm contributed 14 and 11 points, respectively.

The Big Green did not fall behind in the game until Greg Louis scored on a putback with 5:12 to play, giving Penn a 48-46 lead. Although Boehm tied the score at 48 with a layup on a beautiful feed from Mitola, the Quakers rattled off the next seven points, punctuated by a Lewis triple, one of just two in the game for Penn. Dartmouth would not get closer than five the rest of the way.

Everything was looking up for the Green in the first half as they ripped off the first eight points, capped by a thunderous slam by sophomore John Golden. Mitola extended the lead to nine with a three-pointer, then stretched it to 11 less than two minutes later with a high floater off the glass. But when Penn got two quick layups to make it a 17-10 game, Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier called a timeout.

Neither squad scored for more than three minutes until Maldunas broke the ice with a layup. Ninety seconds later, Mitola was popping another trey to give the Big Green their largest lead of the night at 24-10. Twice more Dartmouth enjoyed a 14-point lead when Golden drilled a three-pointer and again when Maldunas laid one in for his final points of the opening half with 3:06 on the clock. The only points scored after that came on two free throws by Cartwright, leaving the Green with a 12-point halftime lead.

Dartmouth shot 41.4 percent (12-of-29) in the first half while holding Penn to just 35.0 percent (7-of-20) and nary a three-pointer. The big difference was due to turnovers as the Big Green turned nine Quaker miscues into 11 points, while Penn managed just two points off of five turnovers.

In the second half, Penn churned its way back into the game, first trading baskets before Golden hit 1-of-2 at the foul line for a 13-point Dartmouth lead. The Quakers then scored the next nine points, six by Brooks on three layups, during which Dartmouth managed to take just one shot. Maldunas ended the four-minute scoring drought with a free throw, and the Big Green advantage remained at five when Mitola converted two foul shots with just under 10 minutes to play.

When Penn whittled its deficit down to one, Boehm came through with a three-point play. Tony Hicks hit the first Quaker three of the night with 8:22 to go, only to have Golden rain one in from the right wing, maintaining a four-point edge, 46-42.

Brooks cut the lead in half with a 17-footer, and Cameron Gunter, who entered the game 0-for-8 at the charity stripe this year, knotted the score at 46 with two free throws. A minute later Louis gave Penn the lead, and the Quakers hit 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch to wrap up the road victory.

Dartmouth begins a four-game road trip next weekend when it travels to Yale (10-15, 4-4 Ivy) on Friday to go for the season sweep of the Bulldogs. Tip is at 7 p.m. Penn will head to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on the Cornell Big Red (13-12, 5-3 Ivy) on Friday at 7 p.m.

Notes: The Big Green starters scored all but two points in the game, those coming from freshman Malik Gill on a pair of free throws … Penn has won the last seven meetings between the two schools on the hardwood … Maldunas passed 500 points for his career with his final field goal of the first half. He now has 509 points in less than two full seasons with the Big Green and is the active leader on the squad.