HAMILTON, N.Y. — Trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, the Dartmouth men’s basketball team pushed host Colgate to the brink only to be held off by the Raiders at Cotterell Court on Monday afternoon, 67-64. Colgate (2-15) got 14 points from Nick Pascale, while junior Jabari Trotter equaled Pascale’s output for the Big Green (4-11), which fell for their fourth straight defeat.
Pascale was an efficient force in the paint, hitting 5-of-6 from the floor and all four of his free throws to account for his 14 points, plus grabbed seven rebounds and rejected five Dartmouth shots. He was complemented by Mike Venezia and Yaw Gyawu who each 11 points, while Joe Hoban cleaned the glass a game-high eight times.
The Big Green, meanwhile, had four players score in double figures, with Trotter leading the way thanks to popping 4-of-5 behind the arc. Sophomore R.J. Griffin tallied 13 points — 11 coming in the opening half — freshman Tyler Melville had a career-high 12 and fellow rookie Gediminas Bertasius chipped in 10.
Pascale scored on two straight possessions in the second quarter to give the Raiders that 15-point advantage at 47-32 with 13:47 to play. Melville answered right back with back-to-back three-pointers, and a minute later Trotter drained his third triple of the afternoon to quickly bring Dartmouth within six.
The differential remained between six and 10 points for the next nine minutes when junior David Rufful got into the three-point act to make it a 60-55 contest with 2:49 to go. Seconds later he was fouled while going for a rebound and knocked down a pair of free throws, cutting the deficit to three. But Rufful, the Big Green’s leading scorer entering the game, fouled out shortly thereafter and Colgate sank two foul shots of its own.
Bertasius continued the battle of free throws by knocking down both of his attempts, and the Raiders’ Pat Moore managed to make just one at the other end leaving the score at 63-59. Dartmouth halved the difference when Bertasius drove for a layup, only to watch Hoban narrowly beat the shot clock and claim a bucket for Colgate with just 51 seconds remaining.
With the Raiders playing a 2-3 zone as they had most of the night, the Big Green worked the ball around looking for a good shot. Finally, Trotter heaved up a triple with just three on the shot clock and 19 seconds to play, bringing Dartmouth within one at 65-64. After fouling Venezia, the Colgate guard calmly sank both foul shots, and Griffin’s three-point attempt to tie the game drew only iron.
The Big Green owned a three-point lead early in the game at 10-7 before Colgate reeled off 15 straight points on the strength of three trifectas. By the break, Dartmouth had gotten back within seven points thanks in large part to Griffin’s 11 points. But eight Raiders contributed to the scoreboard to help Colgate enjoy a 33-26 lead at the intermission.
That Raider zone was responsible for holding Dartmouth to a shooting percentage of just 35.2 (19-of-54), but the Big Green did manage to hit 7-of-18 (.389) from long range and rarely missed at the charity stripe to the tune of 86.4 percent (19-of-22).
The biggest advantage Colgate enjoyed came on the boards as the Raiders hauled in 38 rebounds compared to just 28 for Dartmouth. As a team Colgate hit 42.3 percent (22-of-53) from the floor but just 20.0 percent (3-of-15) outside the arc. The Raiders also managed to sink 20-of-26 (.769) at the foul line.
With this game, Dartmouth has completed its non-conference slate and returns exclusively to Ivy League action this Saturday at Harvard with a game against the Crimson at 2 p.m. Colgate will finish off a three-game homestand on Wednesday evening when it hosts Lehigh at 7 p.m.