HANOVER, N.H. — Taylor Dyson came off the bench to score a career-high 20 points while draining all five of his three-point attempts to lead visiting Hartford to a 68-56 victory over Dartmouth in Leede Arena on Tuesday evening. The Hawks improved to 6-10 on the season while the Big Green suffered their second straight defeat to fall to 7-6.
Sophomore point guard Alex Mitola led three Dartmouth players in double figures with 13 points while providing all three Big Green three-pointers on the night. Overall, Dartmouth shot just 39.1 percent, its second straight game under 40 percent after never shooting below the mark before 2013 ended.
Hartford’s Mark Nwakamma registered a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, leaving him one point shy of 1,000 for his career, and Yolonzo Moore II added 14 points. Thanks to Dyson’s 6-for-7 shooting night, the Hawks finished the night connecting on 52.6 percent (20-of-38) of their shots and half of their three-pointers (6-of-12). Hartford also had the edge at the free throw line, converting 22-of-28 (.786) to Dartmouth’s 17-of-25 (.680).
Junior Gabas Maldunas, who finished the night with 12 points by going 5-of-7 from the floor, scored the first two Big Green baskets of the evening for an early 4-2 lead. After four ties, the Hawks took the lead for good for the remainder of the first half when Evan Cooper laid one in for a 10-8 lead.
Dyson didn’t score his first points until nearly 11 minutes were gone, cranking a three-pointer to give Hartford a 14-9 advantage. A couple of minutes later, he launched another triple to put the Hawks up six, 17-11. Three times Dartmouth cut the deficit to three before Moore bookended Dyson’s third trifecta with jumpers in the lane, putting Hartford up 10. The Big Green managed to get a pair of free throws by Mitola and a layup on the break at the buzzer by sophomore Kevin Crescenzi, courtesy of a steal by Malik Gill, to go into the locker room down six, 28-22.
Although Dartmouth had a distinct advantage on the glass, 16-11, and at the free throw line (8-of-10 compared to just 3-of-6), Hartford enjoyed some fine shooting at 55 percent (11-of-20). The Big Green also turned the ball over nine times leading to five Hawk points.
After the intermission, Hartford immediately got a three-pointer from Cooper to go back up nine, but Dartmouth scored 14 of the next 17 points to take a 36-34 lead with 15:29 to play. Junior John Golden started the run with a three-point play, and after a layup by the Hawks’ Corban Wroe, sophomore Connor Boehm sank two foul shots. Maldunas then had a hoop and was fouled, knocking down the free throw, and Mitola followed with his first trey of the game to cut the deficit to one, 34-33. When sophomore Tommy Carpenter missed the second of two freebies, Boehm was there for the putback and the Big Green’s first lead since the opening minutes.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Hartford rattled off 10 straight points — the last five by Dyson — to get back in the driver’s seat. Boehm ended the spurt with a baseline jumper, then Dyson and Mitola traded triples, leaving Hartford up six with 10 minutes to play. Maldunas was able to get Dartmouth one point closer a minute later, but the Hawks kept the Big Green at arm’s length the rest of the way, thanks in part to sinking 10-of-11 free throws over the final four minutes.
Boehm was the third Dartmouth player to score in double figures with 11 points, plus dished out a career-high five assists.
The Big Green begin Ivy League play this Saturday, opening with the difficult task of playing the favorite to win the conference, the 13-1 Harvard Crimson, in Cambridge at 2 p.m. Hartford returns home to begin America East play in earnest when Maine (3-10) comes to town on Thursday evening for a 7 p.m. tip.
Notes: Paul Cormier was denied his 200th victory as a collegiate head coach between two stints at Dartmouth and another at Fairfield … Dartmouth had won the last two games in the series, but Hartford now leads overall, 9-6.