Men Aiming for First Ivy Win This Weekend
The Games: Dartmouth (4-16, 0-4) vs. Columbia (12-8, 1-3)/Cornell (7-11, 2-2)
Location: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
Tipoff: Friday, February 3 at 7 p.m. / Saturday, February 4 at 7 p.m.
Series Record vs. Columbia: Lions lead, 105-95
Series Record vs. Cornell: Big Green lead, 102-100
Live Audio, Video - Dave Collins, play-by-play
Complete Game Notes
Hunting the Elusive ‘W’
• A new month makes for a new beginning for the Dartmouth Big Green, which have lost nine of their last 10 games.
• Coming to Hanover this weekend are Columbia and Cornell, the latter of which is the last Ivy League team the Big Green beat. Dartmouth has lost 15 straight conference games, its longest skid in 30 years.
• One player who thrives against the Ivy League is sophomore Tyler Melville, as proven by his statistics. Against non-league foes in his career, Melville averages 4.0 points per game while shooting 33.9 percent. In the Ancient Eight, his numbers jump to 10.0 ppg and 42.9 percent.
• Melville was the only player to score in double figures in both games last weekend, tallying 11 at Brown and a team-high 14 at Yale.
• Dartmouth led for more than 32 minutes in the game against the Bears last Friday, but was held to just two field goals in the final 13 minutes.
• With rookie Gabas Maldunas leading the team in scoring at just 8.8 points per game, the Big Green are in danger of going a third consecutive year without a player averaging in double figures.
• With his next three-pointer, senior Jabari Trotter will become the 14th player in Dartmouth history to drain 100 triples in a career.
Series vs. Columbia
• These two teams have squared off exactly 200 times to date with the Lions leading, 105-95. Head coach Paul Cormier is 9-7 versus Columbia.
• Dartmouth has gone 15-9 against Columbia in Leede Arena, plus have won two of the last three meetings. The Lions did win here last year, 66-45.
• It was a closer game in New York, but the Big Green was on the wrong end of a 67-60 score.
• Although Columbia has won seven of the last 10 games, the last 32 encounters have been split evenly dating back to the 1996-97 season.
• Neither team has scored 70 points versus the other in the last 11 encounters, and in only three of those games did both teams reach 60.
Scouting the Lions
• Columbia has been quite streaky this year, losing its first four before winning 11 of its next 12 games. But the Lions have dropped three of their first four league match-ups, with none of the four games being decided by more than five points.
• The Big Green and Columbia have had just two common opponents to date — Holy Cross and Elon. Dartmouth went 1-1 against those two, while the Lions won both games.
• Columbia’s strength this year has been on defense with the league’s lowest opponent field goal percentage (.394) and second lowest points allowed per game (59.3).
• The Lions are playing without Noruwa Agho, a first-team All-Ivy pick last year, who played in just two games before an injury ended his season.
• Guard Brian Barbour leads the team at 15.6 points per game. His biggest weapon is getting to the free throw line where he is shooting 89.3 pct.
• Meiko Lyles is the top sharpshooter, while Mark Cisco shoots 60.3 percent and has 7.4 rpg.
• Head coach Kyle Smith (Hamilton ’92), who spent nine seasons with St. Mary’s (Calif.), is in his second year at the helm with the Lions, having produced a 27-21 record to date.
Series vs. Cornell
• Dartmouth has played the Big Red 202 times entering this game, more than any other opponent. The Big Green own the all-time advantage at 102-100, breaking a 10-game losing streak to the Big Red here at Leede Arena last year, 64-57.
• The most recent encounter came in Ithaca last year with Cornell bombing away with 16 three-pointers in a 96-76 defeat of Dartmouth.
• Dartmouth is 14-10 versus the Big Red in Leede Arena, and head coach has a personal 7-9 mark against Cornell.
Scouting the Big Red
• Cornell has been two different teams this year — the team that plays in Ithaca and the team that plays anywhere else. At home, the Big Red are 7-2, but on the road, winless at 0-9.
• They have had more than their fair share of close calls on the road, however, losing all but one by single digits, including at Illinois by four, Bucknell by three and Maryland by eight.
• Neither the Big Red nor their opponents have shot very well in their games this season. Cornell is shooting 41.0 percent as a team, but their opponents are slightly worse at 40.7 percent, but a woeful 27.6 percent on three-pointers, the ninth-lowest mark in the nation.
• Rebounding has been a big problem for Cornell, as only two teams in the nation have a worse rebound margin.
• All-Ivy holdover Chris Wroblewski has struggled to find his shot this year, connecting on just 28.4 percent from behind the arc. But he did knock down four treys in the recent win over Columbia.
• The leading scorer at 12.2 ppg is Drew Ferry, who has been the most consistent outside threat with 58 threes at a 42.0 percent clip.
• Rookie Shonn Miller has been a force, being named the Ivy Rookie of the Week four times thus far and averaging a team-best 6.3 rpg.
• Head coach Bill Courtney (Bucknell ’92) is in his second year with an overall record of 17-29.
Melville Making His Move
Conference play brings the best out of . In his career, the sophomore has averaged just 4.0 points a game against non-Ivy competition, but is scoring 10.0 points per contest in league play. At Yale on Jan. 28, Melville posted a season-high 14 points, and hit on 11 the day before at Brown. Three of the four games in which he has scored in double figures have come in the Ivy League.
Comfortable at the Line
So far this season, freshman Jvonte Brooks has converted 66-of-84 (.786) free throws, giving him the eighth best percentage in the league. But a more interesting note is the fact that he has 19 more free throws than field goals on the season. He is on pace to become just the fifth Dartmouth player ever to score at least 100 points in a season with at least 40 percent coming at the line.
Zero to 60s
Opposing teams have been pretty consistent in their scoring, tallying between 61 and 67 points in 13 of the 20 games thus far, including six of the past seven contests. But the offense has struggled for the Big Green, which has led to just one win in that stretch, that being an 83-67 victory over Longwood. All in all, Dartmouth has lost nine of its last 10 games.
Only 13 players in Dartmouth history have made 100 three-pointers in their career, but senior is on the verge of joining that distinguished group. After connecting on 40.4 percent as a junior, Trotter got off to a slow start this year, but over the last 10 games he has knocked down 20-of-47 (.426), including a 5-of-6 performance at Albany on Dec. 23. He enters the Columbia game with 99 to his credit.