HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth freshman Nick Jackson nearly doubled his season output with 17 points while junior David Rufful posted his first career double-double, but Brown countered with 25 points from Tucker Halpern who led the Bears to a 75-66 victory over the Big Green on Friday night at Leede Arena. Brown (9-12, 2-5 Ivy) also had three other players score in double figures in sending Dartmouth (5-16, 1-6 Ivy) to its fourth straight loss and ninth defeat in the past 10 games.
Halpern more than doubled his season average of 11.8 points with his outburst tonight, stroking 11-of-20 field goals with a pair of three-pointers in 38 minutes. Both Adrian Williams and Sean McGonagill provided 15 points with Garrett Leffelman chipping in 11 more.
Meanwhile, Jackson — who had just 18 points to his credit in the first 20 games — drained 7-of-13 from the floor and 3-of-6 three-pointers to lead the Big Green offense. Fellow freshmen Gediminas Bertasius and Tyler Melville added eight points (all successive in the first half) and seven, respectively, as the trio nearly provided half (32) of Dartmouth’s output (66) on the evening. Rufful tallied 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to register his first double-double, and just the second of the season for Dartmouth.
After trailing by five at the break, the Big Green did its job on the defensive end in the second half, holding the Bears to 36.7 percent shooting (11-of-30). But their offense failed to hit even one three-pointer in 10 attempts while shooting just 37.5 percent (12-of-32) overall. Coupled with Brown’s accuracy at the foul line (11-of-12 in the second half), Dartmouth never managed to get closer than four points down the stretch.
Brown took an early eight-point lead thanks to an 11-2 run, capped by three-pointers from Williams and Leffelman. Barely a minute later, Jackson canned his first three-pointer of the night to get the Green back within four, and after a Rufful layup, Bertasius connected from close range on four straight possessions. Jackson drilled another three after Bertasius’ outburst, but Dartmouth still found itself trailing by one, 27-26.
Halpern responded to Jackson’s trey with one of his own, but with 2:37 left in the half, Jackson cranked his third triple of the game to tie the score at 32. Again Halpern answered, this time with a quick layup, and Brown tacked on five more points before Rufful concluded the scoring in the stanza with a running one-hander hard off the glass just before time expired, making it 39-34.
After the intermission, the Bears scored the first five points to push its advantage to double figures for the first time. A Halpern three-pointer with 11:22 to play gave Brown its largest lead at 12, 56-44.
The differential was still 11 points at 60-49 with 8:05 remaining when Dartmouth reeled off seven straight points to get within four. Jackson started the run with a jumper, then hit another shot in the lane before sophomore R.J. Griffin powered his way to a three-point play the hard way. Williams stifled the rally, however, with a three-pointer, and Leffelman sank two free throws as Big Green senior Clive Weeden fouled out with 4:42 left in the game.
Again Dartmouth cut the deficit to four at 65-61 on a Melville free throw, a Griffin short-range jumper and a putback by Rufful to give him his double-double. Brown would not miss free throws in the final two minutes, connecting on 8-of-8 with McGonagill getting six of those.
Although Rufful had a game-high 12 rebounds, the Bears won the battle of the boards with 41 as both McGonagill and Dockery Walker grabbed nine. Dartmouth pulled 35 shots off the glass, but after Rufful only Weeden had more then three with five rebounds.
Brown also enjoyed an advantage at the charity stripe, connecting on 19-of-23 (.826) for the night, while the Big Green hit just 12-of-18 (.667).
Dartmouth plays again in Leede Arena tomorrow night against Yale (11-10, 4-3 Ivy) at 7 p.m., while Brown travels to Harvard (17-4, 6-1 Ivy) for a 7 p.m. tip-off.