HANOVER, N.H. — Trailing 50-43 with just over seven minutes to play, the Dartmouth Big Green men’s basketball team outscored visiting Brown, 15-3, for the remainder of the game to end an eight-game slide by beating the Bears, 58-53. Dartmouth (5-21, 1-9 Ivy) got a game-high 15 points from sophomore Tyler Melville as the Big Green also snapped a 20-game skid in conference play dating back to last January. Brown (7-20, 1-9 Ivy) got 14 points from both Sean McGonagill and Matt Sullivan in a losing effort.
Stephen Albrecht drained a three-pointer to boost the Bears’s bulge to seven points, 50-43, with 7:08 left in the game before Dartmouth went to work. The comeback trail began with a nifty pass from senior Jabari Trotter to freshman Gabas Maldunas for a layup, and following a Brown turnover, Melville drove the lane and was fouled yet still managed to get his layup to fall through the iron. He completed the conventional three-point play to bring the Big Green within two, 50-48, with 5:33 still to play.
The score remained that way until McGonagill sank 1-of-2 free throws, but junior R.J. Griffin came right back with a three-pointer from the right wing, tying the game at 51. Three consecutive turnovers led to Griffin getting fouled and converting both ends of a one-and-one, giving Dartmouth the lead for the first time in over 17 minutes.
McGonagill misfired on a potential game-tying jumper, and at the other end Maldunas drove to his left, getting to the rim for a layup and a four-point advantage, 55-51, with barely a minute to play. After a Brown timeout, Albrecht could not get his shot to fall leading to Melville being fouled. Like Griffin, he was able to knock down both ends of a one-and-one, boosting the lead to six.
When McGonagill sank two foul shots to make it a 57-53 game with 26.9 seconds to go, Brown immediately fouled Melville, who only hit the first of two free throws this time. It did not matter, however, when McGonagill could not get a layup to fall and the Big Green ran out the clock, sending the crowd of 1,326 into a raucous frenzy.
“The one thing we hadn’t been able to do much this year is make plays down the stretch, at either end of the floor,” stated a relieved Cormier after the victory. “Obviously R.J.’s three-pointer to tie the game was huge for the team’s psyche, and everyone did a terrific job at the defensive end to give us this opportunity to win the game. I am so happy for our entire team, particularly our seniors, who have never stopped working to get better all season.”
After Albrecht’s three-pointer with 7:08 remaining put Brown up seven points, the Bears went 0-for-7 from the floor and turned the ball over three times, managing just three points from four free throws.
Brown led for most of the first half as well, but never led by more than six points at 17-11 thanks to a McGonagill three-pointer. Melville responded with a triple of his own to trigger a 10-4 spurt to knot the score at 21. Albrecht drained a trey to put the Bears up again with two minutes left in the half, but two free throws by freshman Jvonte Brooks and a Griffin trifecta from the corner that got a favorable bounce with five seconds on the clock gave Dartmouth a 26-24 lead at the break.
Joining Melville in double figures were Golden with 10 points and Griffin off the bench with 13, both of whom were 4-of-5 from the floor and a combined five three-pointers in seven attempts. The Big Green finished the game shooting 46.3 percent from the floor (19-of-41), their third-best efficiency of the season, plus rained in six three-pointers just one night after failing to hit one from deep. On the boards, Dartmouth enjoyed a significant 32-22 advantage with Brooks hauling in a game-high 11 rebounds and Maldunas grabbing nine more.
Sullivan hit all four of his field goal attempts, including three triples, and was 3-of-4 at the line to account for his 14 points. Albrecht had 11 for the Bears, but he and McGonagill were held to a combined 8-of-23 shooting on the evening.
Dartmouth will attempt to string together consecutive victories for the first time in three years next Friday at 7 p.m. when Penn (15-11, 7-2 Ivy) comes to town after beating Columbia in overtime tonight. Brown returns home to host Cornell (10-14, 5-5 Ivy) at 7 p.m.
Notes: Senior David Rufful scored his 800th career point when he hit the first of two free throw in the first half ... he also played in the 110th game of his career, setting a new Dartmouth record ... the Big Green led for a total of just 5:37 in the game ... Brooks equaled a season-high with four assists while Maldunas set personal bests with four blocks and three steals ... Dartmouth ended a personal six-game losing streak against Brown.