Men Finish 2013 Against Lesley
The Game: Dartmouth (6-4) vs. Lesley (2-7)
Location: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
Tipoff: Saturday, December 31 at 2 p.m.
Series Record vs. Lesley: First Meeting
Live Audio, HD Video - Big Green Insider on the Ivy League Digital Network — Dave Collins, play-by-play
Complete Game Notes
Sending Off the Old Year
• Dartmouth enters its first-ever game against Division III Lesley University riding its first three-game winning streak since February of 2009.
• The Big Green are shooting 55.6 percent from the floor in the last three contests while holding their opposition to a mere 35.3 percent.
• The three victories have come by an average of 22.3 points with a rebound margin of 17.7 per game.
• Senior Tyler Melville has scored 15.3 points per game during the streak while shooting 57.1 percent (8-of-14) from three-point range.
• Junior Gabas Maldunas has done just about everything in the three games. Not only has he scored 11.3 ppg in this stretch, he also leads the team with 29 rebounds, 11 assists and 16 blocks, including a career-high 7 swats versus Longwood.
• In that 84-64 win over Longwood, sophomore Alex Mitola led the Green with 18 points thanks to four three-pointers, giving him 11 during the winning streak.
• Sophomore forward Connor Boehm is 14th nationally in field goal percentage (.617).
• As a team, Dartmouth leads the Ancient Eight in field goal percentage (.490) and rebound margin (+10.2), and is second only to Harvard in scoring margin (+11.2).
• Head coach Paul Cormier needs just two more victories to reach 200 in his career which covers his two stints here at Dartmouth and seven years at Fairfield.
Series vs. Lesley
• This is the first meeting between the Lynx and Dartmouth.
• The Big Green played another Division III team to open the season, besting Lyndon State by 45, 106-61, just the eighth time Dartmouth has hit the century mark — ever.
• In the last 10 seasons, the Green have played seven games against non-Division I teams, winning all seven by an average of 32 points.
Scouting the Lynx
• Since losing its first four games of the year, Lesley has won twice in the last five contests with victories over Emerson College and Framingham State.
• The Lynx struggled shooting the ball early, but has been better of late, shooting between 46 and 48 percent in three of the last five games.
• This team shoots well from three-point range, topping 40 percent to date. Leading scorer Mike Kaufman (11.8 ppg) is a dead-eye shooter, knocking down 31-of-58 (.534) from downtown. All but four of his buckets this season are three-pointers.
• Also scoring in double figures are Justin Rosa (10.9 ppg) and Trevonn Lewis (10.2 ppg), though neither are shooting above 40 percent.
• The Lynx have been outrebounded by more than nine boards per game, though 6-8 Kris Bennett — the only player taller than 6-5 on the roster — snares more than 10 a night.
• Free throws have been a problem at times with Lesley shooting 62.7 percent on the season, though Rosa and Lewis are both above 70 percent.
• Donald Morris began his coaching career as an assistant at Lesley in 2006-07 and took over as head coach the following year, during which he guided the Lynx to the NECC Championship game. Now in his seventh season at the helm, Morris sports a 54-110 record.
Three-Game Win Streak
Winning streaks have been few and far between the past few seasons, but the 2013-14 Big Green are changing that. With its victories over Jacksonville State, New Hampshire and Longwood, Dartmouth has its first three-game win streak since the 2008-09 season. A win over Lesley would boost the streak to four, something not seen in Hanover since the 2004-05 campaign.
Dartmouth put on a show against Longwood on Dec. 21 with its shooting prowess by clipping the nets at a 65.2 percent clip (30-of-46). It had been just over 10 years since the Green were that efficient from the floor. On Dec. 4, 2003, Dartmouth converted more than two of every three shots (67.3 pct.) in a 95-60 triumph over Tufts.
Junior passed a pair of personal milestones in the 84-64 victory over Longwood on Dec. 21. With his first of five rebounds in the game, he became the 19th player in Dartmouth history to haul in 500 in a career. At his current pace this season (9.6 rpg, tops in the Ivy League), he will finish the season among the program’s top four. And with his first of two free throws with 4:44 left in the game, he scored the 700th point of his career.
The Dartmouth defense recorded a season-high nine blocks against Longwood on Dec. 21, a total not surpassed by a Big Green team in over six years (12 against Daniel Webster on Dec. 15, 2007). Most of the rejecting was handled by junior center , who turned away a career-high seven shots. The last Dartmouth player with seven blocks in a game? Calvin Arnold against Stony Brook on Jan. 10, 2006, a game the Green lost, 51-48.
Mitola Making His Mark
During the three-game win streak, sophomore has been shooting lights out, canning 11-of-20 (.550) from long range. Against both Jacksonville State and Longwood, the 5-11 point guard knocked down four triples while leading the Big Green in scoring in both contests. For the season he is leading the team with 11.8 points per game and tops the league in three-point percentage (among national qualifiers) at 43.1 percent.
Granite State Rivalry
With Dartmouth’s 62-48 victory at New Hampshire on Dec. 18, the Big Green ended a personal five-game slide against the Wildcats to even the all-time series at 32 apiece. The two teams first met in 1909, and played at least once every year for the past 44 seasons, but Dartmouth had never trailed in the series until last year.
Melville Dialing Up Long Distance
Senior is one person who will be sorry to see 2013 end. Over the calendar year, he has been especially accurate from the outside, knocking down triples at a rate of 47.9 percent (35-of-73). On all field goals over those 12 months, he has hit just over half at 90-for-177 as well. In each of the last two games, Melville has popped a trio of three-pointers en route to a season-high 17 points against both New Hampshire and Longwood.
Tightening the Rotation
In each of the first eight games this season, head coach had played either 11 or 12 men in the game. That changed at New Hampshire as only eight Big Green players saw action in the 62-48 victory with the five starters each playing at least 31 minutes. It was just the second time since Cormier returned to the bench in 2010-11 that he had called upon only eight of his players, the other a 64-52 victory at Alaska Anchorage on Nov. 25, 2011.
Double Your Pleasure
Junior registered his third double-double of the season and 10th of his career when he scored 12 points and snared 13 rebounds in the win at UNH. No other Dartmouth player has had a double-double yet this season, nor even hauled in 10 rebounds. Earlier in the year, he had a career-high 17 rebounds against UMass Lowell, the most for the Big Green since Ian McGinnis ’01 had 18 against Princeton on Feb. 6, 1999.
Defense Stepping Up Its Game
In consecutive games against Jacksonville State and New Hampshire, Dartmouth held the opposition to a combined 31.4 field goal percentage and less than 50 points in each game, the latter a feat it hasn’t accomplished in consecutive contests since the 1981-82 squad did it in four straight contests. The last time the Big Green had two games in a season in which their opponent had less than 50 was 2009-10.
Must Be a Tractor Boehm
Sophomore has been spot on when shooting this season, clipping the nets at a 61.7 percent rate, which ranks 14th in the nation entering the week. In eight of the 10 games, he has knocked down at least half of his shots, including a perfect 6-of-6 in the season opener and 7-of-11 field goals at Illinois in scoring a season-high 17 points.