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Men Falter in Final Minutes at Brown

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Jvonte Brooks equaled a season high with 16 points.     By David Silverman(
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Dartmouth got 16 points from freshman Jvonte Brooks and 11 more from sophomore Tyler Melville, but the Big Green could not hold off host Brown on Friday evening as the Bears rallied for a 66-59 triumph at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Andrew McCarthy had 19 points and a school-record seven blocks for Brown (7-13, 1-2 Ivy) while Sean McGonagill added 11 points, all in the final 4:07, to complete the comeback.

Dartmouth (4-15, 0-3 Ivy) led by as many as eight points in the second half after junior R.J. Griffin drained a three-pointer then added two free throws when fouled on the break following a steal by freshman Gabas Maldunas for a 48-40 advantage with 12:44 to play. That three-pointer would be the last field goal for the Big Green for more than nine minutes.

Yet Brown could only crawl back into the game, gradually chipping away at the deficit. Dartmouth still led by six after two Brooks free throws with 7:33 on the clock, but McCarthy was in the midst of scoring nine straight Bear points as Brown closed to within one, 52-51. McGonagill then scored his first points of the game with two foul shots to put the Bears in front with 4:07 to play.

Big Green senior Jabari Trotter finally ended the field goal drought with a 16-footer near the right elbow to put Dartmouth back on top, only to have McGonagill drill a three-pointer with just over three minutes remaining in the game. A turnover allowed Brown to line up another triple, this time by Stephen Albrecht, and McGonagill sank each of his last six free throws to ice the game.

"We did a really good job defensively, but we have to be able to make plays at the other end of the floor down the stretch," said Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier after the game. "We were able to shut down their two leading scorers until the last few minutes when McGonagill was able to get to the line and knock down free throws to his credit."

Brown jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead thanks to a pair of Dockery Walker buckets on the first two Bear possessions, but an 8-0 run propelled the Big Green into the lead with senior David Rufful providing a pair of baskets. Walker added another layup before Brooks converted a three-point play and drained a 16-footer for a 13-8 Dartmouth lead.

On three occasions the Big Green were able to extend their lead to six in the opening period. Without Jean Harris, Brown would have been in a much deeper hole. The Bear senior tallied all of his 15 points in the first half, including 13 of the final 16 Bear points of the stanza thanks to a trio of triples. Dartmouth spread the wealth a bit more with seven different players scoring, led by Brooks’ nine points.

Brooks did half of his scoring damage on the night at the charity stripe, knocking down 8-of-9 while connecting on 4-of-7 from the floor. Maldunas was a force in the lane with a team-high 11 rebounds.

Both McCarthy and McGonagill finished the evening with double-doubles, McCarthy grabbing 11 boards to accompany his 19 points, McGonagill 10 assists with his 11 points. Harris joined the duo in double figures with his 15 first-half points while Walker added 10 more.

Brown had slight edges in shooting percentage, hitting on 22-of-54 (.407) from the floor compared to Dartmouth’s 20-of-54 (.370), plus was 6-of-17 (.353) from behind the arc to just 3-of-12 (.250) for the Big Green. Both teams hit 16 free throws, and the Bears held the rebounding advantage, 36-33.

Dartmouth plays again tomorrow evening at Yale (12-5, 2-1 Ivy) at 7 p.m., while Brown hosts 23rd-ranked Harvard (17-2, 3-0 Ivy) on Saturday as well at 6 p.m. The Crimson knocked off the Bulldogs on Friday night by 30 in New Haven, 65-35.