Big Green Cruise Past Lesley, 85-47
HANOVER, N.H. — The Dartmouth men’s basketball team overwhelmed visiting Lesley University at Leede Arena by a final of 85-47. All 11 available players had at least one field goal for the Big Green (7-4), which ran their winning streak to four games, as Paul Cormier emptied his bench early and often in winning his 199th career game as a college head coach.
The Division III Lynx fell to 2-8 on the season in their only game against a Division I opponent this year. Branden Padgett led Lesley with 11 points in just 12 minutes of action.
Dartmouth continued its recent torrid shooting, converting more than 60 percent of its field goals for the second straight game (37-of-61, .607). Junior John Golden was perfect from the floor, knocking down all six field goal attempts with a pair of dunks for 12 points, while freshman Eli Harrison added 11 thanks to a trio of three-pointers and sophomore Connor Boehm chipped in an even 10. During the Big Green’s first four-game winning streak in nine years, they have hit 117-of-205 (.571) of their field goal attempts.
The statistical advantages went across the board for Dartmouth, outrebounding the smaller Lynx, 38-28, while posting season highs in assists (25) and steals (11). Lesley managed just two assists while coughing the ball up 20 times. The only advantage the Lynx had came at the free throw line where they converted 8-of-11 (.727) compared to just 5-of-11 (.455) for the Big Green.
Golden provided the first points of the game by stealing the ball and coasting in for a one-hand dunk. After Trevonn Lewis knotted the score at two a few seconds later, sophomore Alex Mitola drained consecutive three-pointers and Golden sank a jumper for a 10-2 advantage. Golden scored the next three Big Green baskets as well as Dartmouth built up its lead to double figures at 16-6.
With the score 20-10 nearly halfway through the opening stanza, the Big Green rattled off the next 23 points spanning eight minutes of action. Mitola launched his third trifecta of the half early in the run before the reserves took over. Sophomore Tommy Carpenter, who finished with a career-best nine points, had three layups during the run, and freshman Eli Harrison drilled a pair of three-pointers as the lead stretched past 30 points. Dartmouth led by 34 at the break, 49-15.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Golden pushed the lead to more than 40 with his second dunk of the day off a feed from senior Tyler Melville. The Green bulge got to as many as 46 after Harrison’s layup with 11:09 to play. Padgett scored all 11 of his points for the Lynx in the final 11 minutes of the game to narrow the gap to 38 when the horn sounded.
Sophomore Matt Rennie posted career highs with eight points and a game-high nine rebounds for Dartmouth, and classmate Malik Gill came off the bench to dish out a personal-best nine assists in 22 minutes while adding seven points of his own.
Lesley forward Kris Bennett, who entered the game averaging a double-double this year, matched Rennie with nine rebounds, plus blocked three shots while playing every minute of the game.
Dartmouth continues its four-game homestand when it hosts twin-state rival Vermont (5-8) on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. The Catamounts have won 13 of the last 14 meetings, but the Big Green still maintain a 57-40 advantage in the series that dates back to 1900. Any native of New Hampshire or Vermont that produces a valid driver’s license can get a ticket to the game for just four dollars. Lesley returns home to play its final non-conference game of the season against Salem State on Saturday at 2 p.m.