— Dartmouth held visiting Cornell to a paltry four field goals in the first half — all from three-point range — then held on to defeat the Big Red at Leede Arena on Friday night, 64-57. Six players scored between eight and 11 points for the Big Green, led by sophomore R.J. Griffin
’s 11 as Dartmouth (5-12, 1-2 Ivy) ended a five-game losing streak and a personal 10-game skid against Cornell (4-13, 0-3 Ivy), which got a game-high 20 points from Errick Peck.
All told, the Big Red was held to just 33.3 percent shooting (18-of-54) on the night, and a paltry 25.0 percent (4-of-16) in the first half. From inside the arc, Cornell went 0-for-6 in the opening stanza as it scored just 14 points while committing 13 turnovers.
Dartmouth, on the other hand, posted its second-best accuracy from the floor this season at 48.0 percent (24-of-50) and won the battle on the boards, 40-32. But after leading by as many as 28 with 12 minutes to play, the Big Green coughed up the ball too often and allowed Cornell to battle back within six in the final minute before finishing off the win.
Cornell had the touch from the outside early with a trio of three-pointers — two from Chris Wroblewski — in four attempts for a 10-8 lead. But an outlet pass off a rebound from junior David Rufful
to a streaking Griffin led to a fastbreak layup, setting off a 12-0 Dartmouth run that lasted nearly six minutes. Rufful capped the string with a trifecta from the left baseline corner to give the Green a 20-10 lead with eight minutes left in the half.
The Big Red’s Miles Asafo-Adjei drained a three from the top of the key to end the run, but turned out to be the only field goal for Cornell during the final 14:25 of the half as the Dartmouth defense completely stymied the Big Red attack. Freshman Tyler Melville
canned a pair of foul shots before senior Clive Weeden
knocked down a short jumper to boost the lead back to double digits. After Anthony Gatlin hit one-of-two at the line for the Big Red, Dartmouth tallied the final seven points before the break, four from rookie Gediminas Bertasius
That first half was perhaps the best played by the Big Green all season, going 12-of-24 (.500) on their field goals while turning the ball over just five times. Eight of the nine players to take the court in the half scored for Dartmouth, led by Weeden with six.
When play resumed in the second half, the Green continued to dominate the action as they scored the first two buckets to extend the lead beyond 20 points. Dartmouth took a 40-16 lead after Weeden completed a three-point play and Griffin scored on another fastbreak.
Peck gave the Cornell faithful something to cheer after driving to the hoop for a dunk, but after another Big Red basket, Dartmouth ripped off eight straight points, punctuated by a three-pointer from the right wing by junior Jabari Trotter
with barely 12 minutes to play. At that point, the Big Green led by 28 at 48-20 and were well on their way to cruising to victory.
To Cornell’s credit, it did not give in so easily, chipping away at the seemingly insurmountable lead. Peck sank two three-pointers and Drew Ferry added another during an 11-2 run, knocking the difference below 20 for the first time in nine minutes at 50-31. Melville drove the lane for a layup, but Wroblewski rained down two more triples to make it 52-37 with 5:22 to go.
Griffin and Melville scored on consecutive possessions, and at the last media timeout with 3:48 on the clock, Dartmouth enjoyed a 19-point advantage, 56-37. Still the Big Red would not go away, scoring nine straight points — seven by Peck — in less than a minute and a half.
The lead hovered between 10 and 14 before Cornell’s Johnathan Gray scored in the paint to get the Big Red within eight at 61-53 but just 52 seconds remaining. Griffin converted two free throws before Wroblewski scored twice in the span of seven seconds, bringing Cornell within six, the closest it had been since midway through the first half. Rufful hit one more free throw, and the clock ran out before the Big Red could do any more damage.
The frantic pressure by Cornell in the second half caused Dartmouth to turn the ball over 14 times in the frame, and a season-high 19 times in the game. But with 10 points and eight rebounds from Rufful, and both Weeden and Bertasius with nine points and seven rebounds to complement Griffin’s 11, the Big Green were able to fend off the Big Red’s mad dash to the end.
Dartmouth gets right back on the court at Leede Arena tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. as it hosts Columbia (11-6, 2-1 Ivy), which lost at Harvard this evening, 77-66. Cornell travels down the road to Cambridge to play at Harvard (14-3, 3-0 Ivy) Saturday night at 6 p.m.