Looking to Finish Season Strong
The Games: Dartmouth (5-23, 1-11) at Cornell (11-15, 6-6)/Columbia (14-14, 3-9)
Location: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y./Levien Gymnasium (2,700), New York, N.Y.
Tipoff: Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m./Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m.
Series Record vs. Cornell: Big Green lead, 102-101
Series Record vs. Columbia: Lions lead, 106-95
Live Video - cornellbigred.com ($)/Big Green Insider
Live Audio - WUVR 1490 AM (Dave Collins, play-by-play)
Complete Game Notes
Trying to End Season on High Note
• The last two games of the 2011-12 season take place at Cornell and Columbia this weekend.
• A Big Green victory at either venue would push Dartmouth past its win total for each of the past two seasons, and the first road win in three years.
• Dartmouth is coming off its worst loss of the season, 85-61 against Princeton. Of the Green’s 23 losses this year, 15 have been by single digits, like the three-point defeat the night before vs. Penn.
• Freshman John Golden picked up his second Ivy League Rookie of the Week award after averaging 17.0 points against Penn and Princeton last weekend while shooting 62.5 percent overall and from three-point range.
• Dartmouth has earned a school-record nine Rookie of the Week honors during the season, with Gabas Maldunas taking home four and Jvonte Brooks three. Only two other Ivy squads have earned more in one year — Cornell in 2006-07 (13) and Penn in 1996-97 (11).
• Speaking of Maldunas, the freshman leads the Big Green in both scoring (9.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg), the latter of which ranks fourth in the conference.
Series vs. Cornell
• Dartmouth has played the Big Red 203 times entering this game, more than any other opponent. The Big Green need a win to maintain the all-time advantage, which stands at 102-101.
• Last year Dartmouth ended a 10-game losing streak to the Big Red with a 64-57 triumph at Leede Arena.
• Cornell led wire-to-wire in the first game this year, but the Big Green were within two points with under two minutes to play before Cornell pulled away for a 68-59 victory.
• The Big Green are 7-14 versus Cornell in Newman Arena, having lost the last seven after winning five straight here.
• Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier is 7-10 against the Big Red during his career.
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 9-2, but on the road they are just 2-13.
• They have lost just once in five Ivy games on their home court, a 12-point defeat against Penn. The only other team to win here was American by two back on Nov. 27.
• 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 got off to a slow start but has shot well for the last month. His 11.2 points per game rank second on the team, and he is handing out more than five assists a night.
• The leading scorer at 11.3 ppg is Drew Ferry, who has been the most consistent outside threat with 78 threes at a 39.2 percent clip.
• Rookie Shonn Miller has been a force, being named the Ivy Rookie of the Week five times thus far while scoring 9.3 ppg and averaging a team-best 6.3 rpg.
• Head coach Bill Courtney (Bucknell ’92) is in his second year with an overall record of 21-33.
Series vs. Columbia
• These two teams have squared off 201 times to date with the Lions leading, 106-95. Head coach is 9-8 versus Columbia.
• Dartmouth has gone 15-22 in Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium since it opened in 1974.
• Earlier this year, the Green suffered a 64-62 loss to Columbia in Hanover when Mark Cisco knocked down a 12-footer on the baseline with 3.1 seconds to play.
• Although Columbia has won eight of the last 11 games, the last 34 encounters have been split evenly dating back to the 1994-95 season.
• Neither team has scored 70 points versus the other in the last 12 encounters, and in only four of those games did both teams reach 60, including the one last month.
Scouting the Lions
• Since beating Dartmouth in early February, Columbia has lost six of seven, including the last five in a row.
• One of those losses was by a single point against Yale at home (blowing a 20-point lead in the process) and a two-point defeat in overtime at Penn.
• Columbia’s strength this year has been on defense with the league’s second lowest points allowed per game (61.8).
• 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 15.5 points per game. His biggest weapon is getting to the free throw line where he is shooting 90.7 percent with more free throws made (137) than field goals (130) on the season.
• Meiko Lyles is the top sharpshooter (42.4 pct.), while Mark Cisco shoots 58.3 percent and has 7.2 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 29-27 record to date.
The Golden Child
Freshman is hitting his stride as the season winds down, leading the team in scoring in each of the past two games, including a season-high 21 points against Princeton on Feb. 25. His performance against Penn and the Tigers earned him his second Ivy League Rookie of the Week award this year and school-record ninth for the team. Only Cornell in 2006-07 (13) and Penn in 1995-96 (11) have ever had more in one season.
24-Point Loss An Anomaly
When Dartmouth suffered a 24-point loss to Princeton on Feb. 25, 85-61, it was the first time all year it had lost by more than 18 points. As a matter of fact, 15 of the 23 losses this season have been by single digits, 10 of which have been by six points or less. And the Tigers’ 65.4 percent shooting was just the second time all year an opponent had topped 50 percent (and the highest in at least a decade).
Needing a Road Map in the League
The road has been an unwelcome place in the league lately as the Big Green have lost 23 straight to Ivy opponents. The last time Dartmouth won consecutive road games was at Penn and Princeton on Feb. 20-21, 2009 — coincidentally the only time it has defeated both schools on the road in one weekend, and also the last time it won back-to-back games.
Free Throw Facts
• In Ivy games, Dartmouth ranks third in the league with a 72.7 free throw percentage.
• The overall percentage (.705) at the foul line is the third highest of the past 23 seasons.
• Sophomore Tyler Melville is tied for the league lead in conference games, having converted the minimum to qualify at 24-of-26 (.923), while freshman ranks eighth at 78.8.
• Brooks is second in the Ivy League with 103 free throws made, a Dartmouth freshman record and tied for 27th most in Big Green history.
Maldunas Making His Mark
On Feb. 20, freshman was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season. He earned the award for his season-high 23 points and 11 rebounds against Yale, followed by eight points and nine boards in a win over Brown. If he holds true to form, he will also get the award after this weekend, for he has received the honor once in each month of the season.