PRINCETON, N.J. — After playing Princeton to a stalemate on its home court in the first half, Dartmouth could not hold off the Ivy-leading Tigers in the second stanza as the Big Green dropped a 68-53 contest at Jadwin Gym on Saturday night. Ian Hummer led Princeton (16-4, 4-0 Ivy) with 19 points while Kareem Maddox crashed the boards for a career-best 15 rebounds. Dartmouth (5-15, 1-5 Ivy) had three players in double figures with freshman Tyler Melville tallying 11, but fell for the eighth time in the last nine games and lost the 200th game in the series between the two schools. Princeton owns a 139-61 edge in the all-time series.
Complementing Melville’s 11 points were juniors David Rufful and Kirk Crecco with 10 apiece, while Rufful led the Big Green with five rebounds. All 10 of Rufful’s points came in the first half as did nine of Crecco’s, but Melville did most of his damage after halftime with nine of Dartmouth’s 19 points during the final 20 minutes.
Hummer dropped 8-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-6 from the foul line to garner his 19 points on the evening to go along with eight rebounds. Douglas Davis and Dan Mavraides each provided three three-pointers while collecting 16 and 14 points, respectively, and Davis added six steals on the defensive end as well.
Dartmouth had its sights set well at the outset of the game, scoring the first eight points with Rufful draining a three-pointer and driving for a layup high off the glass. The Big Green hit six of their first seven shots in the game as Crecco provided a trio of buckets.
After falling behind 12-3, however, Princeton quickly got back into the game with a 12-2 stretch, capped by a Mavraides three-pointer for a 15-14 advantage. Sophomore reserve forward Mbiyimoh Ghogomu helped the Green get back on top with a putback, then dished to Rufful for a layup. When junior Jabari Trotter sank a 16-footer, Dartmouth had a three-point edge at 20-17.
But the Tigers had another run in them in the opening stanza, reeling off 11 of the next 13 points as Davis and Mack Darrow ripped the nets from downtown. Trotter answered back with a trifecta, only to watch Davis trump it with a long ball of his own. When Darrow drilled his second triple of the half, Princeton enjoyed a 34-27 lead with 4:50 until the break.
The Dartmouth defense then put the clamps on, holding the Tigers scoreless the rest of the half while the offense tied the game on a Clive Weeden free throw, Rufful’s second three-pointer and a three-point play by Crecco. Both teams had a pair of opportunities to take the lead into the locker room, but neither could convert, leaving the score deadlocked at 34.
After allowing Penn to shoot 63 percent last night, the Big Green took a page from that book against Princeton, draining 14-of-23 (.609) from the floor in the first half. The Tigers couldn’t quite match Dartmouth, going 13-of-26 (.500), but managed to nail 5-of-8 from beyond the arc to make up the difference.
In the second half, Princeton quickly set the tone with an 11-2 start beginning with another Mavraides three-ball. Melville cut into the nine-point deficit with a trey before sophomore R.J. Griffin knocked down a long jumper just inside the line, making it a 45-41 Tiger lead.
A few minutes later, Davis drained a three-pointer to give Princeton its first double-digit lead of the game at 52-42, but quickly powered in a layup to get the difference back down to eight with 11:10 on the clock.
Slowly but surely, the Tigers extended their advantage as the Big Green shooters could not buy a bucket for the next 7:58, missing 10 field goal attempts and a pair of free throws, and turned the ball over three times.
Meanwhile, Hummer scored half of Princeton’s 14 straight points dto create a 22-point bulge at 66-44 before Melville could break the spell with a layup. But with only 3:12 remaining in the game, any hope of Dartmouth rallying was lost.
With Maddox pounding the glass, the Tigers outrebounded the Big Green, 42-29, including 28-18 in the second half alone. Both sides struggled from the charity stripe, with Princeton going 7-of-12 (.583) and Dartmouth just 7-of-15 (.467). Over the past four games, the Big Green have converted just 43-of-83 (.518) after hitting nearly 72 percent over the first 16 contests.
Dartmouth returns home next weekend for two Ivy League games, beginning with Brown (9-11, 2-4 Ivy) on Friday night in Leede Arena at 7 p.m. Princeton hosts Penn (9-9, 3-1 Ivy) in a rivalry showdown on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
|Second-Half Woes Prove to be Dartmouth's Downfall|