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Maldunas Collects Fourth Ivy Rookie of the Week Award

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By David Silverman(
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HANOVER, N.H. — For the fourth time in the 2011-12 season, Dartmouth freshman Gabas Maldunas was chosen as the Ivy League Rookie of the Week. Overall, Big Green players have earned the honor a total of eight times this year, the fourth most for a single team in one season since the award’s inception in 1984-85.

Maldunas averaged a double-double against Yale and the Bears over the weekend, registering 15.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. He exploded for a season-high 23 points — just the third 20-point performance by a Dartmouth player this year — and 11 boards versus the Bulldogs on Friday night to give him his fourth double-double of the season in a 70-61 defeat. The next night he wasn’t far off another double-double with eight points and nine rebounds as the Big Green rallied for their first Ivy win of the season in a 58-53 triumph over Brown. The native of Panevezys, Lithuania, filled up the stat sheet with a pair of assists and personal bests with four blocks and three steals as well.

For the season, Maldunas is tied for the team lead in scoring (9.0 ppg) and ranks fifth in the Ivy League in both rebounding (7.2 rpg) and blocked shots (32). He is shooting 43.8 percent (96-for-219) this season, and his 19 steals are the second most among Dartmouth players.

Other Big Green players to earn the Rookie of the Week award this year are three-time winner Jvonte Brooks, who shares the team lead in scoring and is second in rebounding (6.6 rpg), and John Golden, who is fourth in scoring (6.7 ppg), second in three-point shooting (29-of-80, .363) and third in rebounding (3.5 rpg).

Dartmouth (5-21, 1-9 Ivy) plays at home for the final time this weekend when it hosts traditional Ivy powers Penn (15-11, 7-2 Ivy) and Princeton (15-10, 6-3 Ivy). The Big Green will play the Quakers on Friday at 7 p.m. in an attempt to avenge their loss in the final seconds at Penn just two weeks ago on a three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the game. On Saturday, Dartmouth will celebrate Senior Day by recognizing the trio in the Class of 2012 — Kirk Crecco, David Rufful and Jabari Trotter — when it plays the Tigers at 7 p.m.