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Courtesy: Mark Washburn
Connor Boehm gets a chance to play close to home during the three-game swing in the Midwest.

Midwest Trip Begins at Northern Illinois

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 12/04/2013
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The Game: Dartmouth (3-1) at Northern Illinois (2-4)
Location: Convocation Center (10,000), DeKalb, Ill.
Tipoff: Thursday, December 5 at 7 p.m. (CST)
Series Record vs. NIU: First meeting
Live Video, Audio - NIUTube
Live Stats
Complete Game Notes


Midwest Trip Begins
•    Dartmouth begins a three-game trip in Illinois and Indiana when it takes on Northern Illinois for the first time in program history on Thursday night.
•    The Big Green will go on to play at IPFW on Saturday before facing another first-time opponent in the University of Illinois on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
•    Dartmouth is coming off its largest margin of victory against a Division I opponent in more than 16 years, an 81-56 triumph at Maine on Sunday.
•    Sophomore Alex Mitola led a group of four Big Green players in double figures with a season-high 19 points. Classmates Connor Boehm (15) and Kevin Crescenzi (14), plus junior John Golden (12) also had at least 10 points.
•    For the third time in the first four games, Dartmouth outrebounded its opposition and ranks 10th nationally in rebound margin (11.5 per game).
•    Junior Gabas Maldunas leads the assault on the boards with 11.0 rebounds per game, a figure which is tied for eighth in the country.
•    Boehm also ranks among the nation’s best, but in field goal percentage. The forward is shooting 68.8 percent from the floor, the fifth-best mark in the nation.
•    The Big Green own a 3-1 record for the first time since the 1996-97 squad matched that start before finishing the year at 18-8.

Series vs. Northern Illinois
•    This is the first meeting on the hardwood between these two schools.
• Against current MAC schools, Dartmouth is just 3-10, with six of those losses coming to Toledo.
•    The last time the Big Green went up against a MAC school was just two years ago at the Great Alaska Shootout where Central Michigan came away with a 65-48 victory.
•    Head coach Paul Cormier is 5-5 in his career against MAC schools — 2-0 vs. Akron, 1-1 vs. Central Michigan, 1-2 vs. Kent State, 0-1 vs. Miami (Ohio) and 1-1 vs. Toledo.

Scouting the Huskies
•    Four of the six Northern Illinois games have been decided by five points or less, including a one-point win over San José State and a two-point loss to Nebraska Omaha.
•    Despite their losing record, the Huskies have outscored their opponents by more than four points per game thanks to a 50-point win over St. Joseph’s (Ind.).
•    Aside from that big win, offense has been at a premium for NIU. The Huskies are shooting 40.7 percent overall and just 22.9 percent from long range while scoring less than 70 points five times.
•    Swingman Darrell Bowie is the only player averaging at least 10 points a game at 10.5, plus leads the team in rebounding with 7.0 boards a night.
•    Center and local product Jordan Threloff is just below double digits thanks to shooting 65.6 percent from the floor.
•    The offense is run by point guard Travon Baker who owns an impressive 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio while averaging 7.2 points.
•    Defense has been the Huskies’ strength with their opponents shooting less than 40 percent and NIU sporting a rebounding margin of more than eight.
•    NIU is coached by Mark Montgomery, now in his third season with a 12-55 record. He was an assistant at Michigan State for 10 years prior.

Best Four-Game Start in 16 Years
It’s been quite some time since Dartmouth won three of its first four games. The last Big Green squad to accomplish the feat was the 1996-97 version that matched that four-game start. This year’s squad wouldn’t mind continuing the comparison as that team finished the season with an 18-8 overall record while going 10-4 in the Ivy League.

Biggest D-I Win in … 16 Years
With its 81-56 victory at Maine on Dec. 1, Dartmouth posted its largest margin of victory against a Division I opponent in over 16 years. The last time the Big Green won by at least 25 versus a D-I team came on Valentine’s Day in 1997 when they pummeled Columbia in New York, 82-47.

Boehm on Target
Sophomore Connor Boehm has been about as accurate a shooter as you will find in the country thus far in 2013-14. The forward has knocked down 22-of-32 field goal attempts, a rate of 68.8 percent. That rates better than all but four other players nationally (minimum five field goals per game). In his most recent outing, he was even better than that, canning 7-of-10 shots while scoring a season-best 15 points.

Mighty Mitola
Although no Big Green player has scored 20 points in a game yet this season, sophomore point guard Alex Mitola came awfully close by pouring in a season-high 19 in the 81-56 win at Maine on Dec. 1. He also added three rebounds and tied a career best with six assists. Through four games, Mitola leads Dartmouth in scoring (13.0 ppg), assists (3.0 apg), three-pointers made (eight) and free throws made (10).

Rennie to the Rescue
When junior Gabas Maldunas was relegated to the bench due to foul trouble at the midway mark of the first half at Maine, head coach Paul Cormier turned to sophomore Matt Rennie to provide some key minutes. The forward came through with more than just minutes, starting the 22-7 run to end the half with a three-point play and scoring a personal-best five points in 13 minutes of action on the afternoon. He also hauled in a career-high six rebounds to help Dartmouth rally for the 25-point win.

Crescenzi Comes Through
 Sophomore Kevin Crescenzi has been a terrific weapon off the bench at both ends of the floor. The guard is coming off a career-high 14 points at Maine on 6-of-8 shooting with two triples, plus grabbed four caroms and swiped the ball twice. His six steals lead the team, and his 52 percent shooting has led to him averaging 8.8 points a game.

Double Your Pleasure
Junior Gabas Maldunas registered his second straight double-double with his 16 points and career-high 17 rebounds against UMass Lowell on Nov. 16, three days after producing 14 points and 11 boards against Bryant. The 17 rebounds were the most since Ian McGinnis accomplished the feat in the 1998-99 season. Maldunas now has nine double-doubles in his career, four of which have come in his last 10 games. And his 11.0 rebounds per game are tied for eighth in the country.

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