Season Comes to a Close with Cornell and Columbia in Town
The Games: Dartmouth (7-19, 3-9) vs. Cornell (13-16, 5-7) and Columbia (12-14, 4-8)
Location: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
Tipoff: Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m.
Series Record vs. Cornell: Big Red lead 103-102
Series Record vs. Columbia: Lions lead 107-96
Live Audio, Video - Big Green Insider (Dave Collins, play-by-play)
Complete Game Notes
Last Two End with Senior Night
• To wrap up the 2012-13 season, Dartmouth plays its final two games at home, which includes honoring senior captain Matt LaBove on Saturday before the game against Columbia.
• The Big Green are coming off a hard-fought victory at Penn, 69-64, before dropping a tight 68-63 contest at now-league-leading Princeton.
• The win over the Quakers was just the sixth for Dartmouth at the Palestra since the Ivy League began play in the 1955-56 season.
• Freshmen Alex Mitola and Connor Boehm were the leading scorers for Dartmouth against the Quakers with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Five of Mitola’s points came in the final 1:20 to break a deadlock and put the Green up for good.
• The catalyst for the victory, however, was sophomore Gabas Maldunas who tied the game three times in the final five minutes and stole the ball on consecutive possessions that led to Mitola’s crucial points late in the game.
• Against Princeton, junior Tyler Melville had a career-high 23 points and Maldunas posted his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
• Mitola needs just one point in the two games to become the first Dartmouth player to average at least 10 points a game in four years. Maldunas would join him with six points.
Series vs. Cornell
• This is the 206th game in the series, the most in any series Dartmouth has played, with the Big Red owning a 103-102 lead following their 79-56 victory in Ithaca last month.
• Dominick Scelfo hit five three-pointers and Shonn Miller also had 15 points with seven blocks for Cornell while the Green shot just 28.6 percent.
• Two years ago Dartmouth ended a 10-game skid to the Big Red with a 64-57 triumph at Leede Arena. Cornell has won 17 of the last 19 meetings.
• Dartmouth is 14-11 versus Cornell in Leede Arena, and head coach Paul Cormier has a personal 7-12 mark against the Big Red.
Scouting the Big Red
• With four straight losses — all at home — Cornell has fallen out of contention in the Ivy League race and now sits in sixth place.
• Four of the Big Red’s five Ivy victories have come on the road, while their lone home win came against Dartmouth.
• Forward Shon Miller leads the team in many statistical categories, including scoring (11.5 ppg), rebounding (6.8 rpg), blocks (51) and steals (52).
• Injuries have hit Cornell hard lately, with Miller and guards Johnathan Gray (10.0 ppg) and Devin Cherry (6.2 ppg) missing at least the last two games. Their status for Friday is unknown.
• Freshman Nolan Cressler has emerged during the league slate, averaging 10.8 points while shooting over 50 percent overall and 41 percent on threes.
• Errick Peck brings terrific athleticism to the court and a 9.8-point scoring average against the Ivies.
• The other Ancient Eight teams, aside from Dartmouth, have shot nearly 50 percent overall and 45 percent on threes against the Big Red defense.
• Head coach Bill Courtney (Bucknell ’92) is in his third year with an overall record of 35-49. Prior to coming to Ithaca, he had assistant coaching jobs at Virginia Tech, Virginia, Providence, George Mason and Bowling Green.
Series vs. Columbia
• These two teams have squared off 203 times to date with the Lions leading, 107-96.
• Head coach is 10-9 versus Columbia following last month’s 60-57 win in New York.
• Three Big Green players had at least 15 points in that game, led by freshman with an even 20 points with a team-high seven boards.
• Dartmouth has gone 15-10 against Columbia in Leede Arena, but have dropped the last two contests here to the Lions.
• Neither team has scored 70 points versus the other in the last 14 encounters, and in only four of those games did both teams reach 60.
Scouting the Lions
• Columbia, which got a huge win at Villanova back in November, could not maintain its early-season success and is in seventh place in the Ivy standings, one game ahead of the Big Green.
• The Lions have won two of their last three, both double-digit victories at home, before dropping a three-point game to Brown last Saturday.
• Columbia features a fairly balanced attack with five players averaging between 7.7 and 10.2 points in Ivy play, led by guard Brian Barbour despite shooting just 34.1 percent from the floor.
• Maodo Lo has come on lately, scoring 34 points last weekend in the split with Yale and Brown.
• When the Lions are looking for a three-pointer, they turn to Steve Frankoski who is hitting nearly half of his attempts (23-of-47) in the league.
• Columbia has outrebounded its opponents with Mark Cisco the top Lion on the glass at 5.5 rpg.
• Two things the Lions do well — shoot free throws (74.3 percent for the season) and control the ball (league-low 11.0 turnovers per game).
• Kyle Smith (Hamilton ’92) is in his third year as head coach of the Lions with a record of 42-42 after nine years as an assistant at St. Mary’s.
LaBove Lone Senior
Dartmouth will honor senior captain before the tipoff of his final collegiate game, being played against Columbia on Saturday. LaBove has played in 105 games in his four seasons, ranking among the school’s top 10 and could finish as high as a tie for sixth. A former Ivy League Rookie of the Week, he needs just two points to hit 300 for his career, and he has also contributed 271 rebounds. and 30 blocked shots. LaBove had a career-high 13 points against Quinnipiac and a double-double at Lehigh, both as a freshman.
Tyler would have gotten top billing if he put up numbers like junior did in the five-point loss at league-leading Princeton on March 2. The guard scored a career-high 23 points, hitting 9-of-11 shots on the evening with a pair of three-pointers and all three free throws. It was just the second 20-point game of his career, and this one came against the team for which his father earned All-Ivy honors twice.
Double the Pleasure
Melville wasn’t the only Big Green player putting up big numbers against the Tigers. Sophomore registered his third double-double of the season and seventh of his career by putting up 17 points and 12 rebounds. Since returning to the starting rotation in mid-February, the big man is averaging 12.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game.
Victory at the Palestra
The Palestra is home to plenty of college basketball history, and much of that is not much to write home about in regards to Dartmouth basketball. But the Big Green exorcised a demon or two by knocking off the Quakers there on March 1, 69-64. It was just their sixth win in the arena since the Ivy League formally began play in 1955-56 and 17th since the building opened in 1927.
Free Throw Follies
Dartmouth has been especially accurate at the foul line of late, converting 83.1 percent there over the last five games. The one player who has shown the most improvement has been , who since starting the season just 33-of-66 (.500) has sunk 17-of-20 (.850) in those five contests.
Riding the Rookies
The freshman duo of and were the only Big Green players to score at least 10 points in the win at Penn with 17 and 15, respectively. Boehm snapped out of a five-game funk in which he averaged just six points, connecting on 6-of-8 from the floor and matched classmate Malik Gill for the team lead in rebounds with six. Dartmouth had a total of four three-pointers in the game — two from Mitola, one from Gill, and the other by freshman Brandon McDonnell.
The 500 Club
As young as Dartmouth is, it is no surprise that no one on the current roster is on the cusp of reaching 1,000 career points. But in consecutive games, the Big Green did have a player surpass 500 points. First, sophomore achieved the modest milestone when he scored 19 points against Penn on Feb. 16. In the very next contest, junior reached the mark. The two are currently tied as the active scoring leaders with 547 points apiece.
Freshman has made a quite a name for himself with his prolific three-point shooting, but he outdid himself at Yale by setting a school freshman record with seven triples. His 27 points were also the most by a freshman since Leon Pattman ’07 dropped 29 against Vermont and Hartford in consecutive games in 2004. He needs just two more three-pointers to set a new school season record for a freshman (Michael McLaren ’05, 58).