HANOVER, N.H. — Princeton utilized its size advantage, scoring 36 points in the paint and grabbing 14 more rebounds than host Dartmouth to earn a 73-55 road victory over the Big Green on Friday evening at Leede Arena. Four of the five Tiger starters scored in double figures, led by Denton Koon with 18. Dartmouth got 16 points and a game-high eight rebounds from center Gabas Maldunas.
Princeton (12-8, 5-1 Ivy) ripped the nets all night, hitting 27-of-48 (.563) from the floor and 8-of-14 (.571) from long range to knock off Dartmouth (6-15, 2-5 Ivy) for the seventh consecutive meeting. Koon was 7-of-12 himself and 2-of-3 on three-pointers while leading scorer Ian Hummer canned 6-of-10 field goals and 2-of-3 at the line for his 14 points.
While Maldunas was collecting his 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting and 4-of-6 from the line, the tall Princeton defense was smothering Dartmouth’s leading scorer in freshman Alex Mitola. The 5-11 point guard was held scoreless for the second time this season, missing all seven of his shots on the night, but he did lead the squad with three assists. Sophomore John Golden was on the mark from long distance, however, canning all three of his three-point attempts for nine points while rookie Kevin Crescenzi also chipped in nine on 4-of-5 shooting.
The Big Green battled point for point during the first 10 minutes. Princeton led by as many as five in the early going, that coming after a Will Barrett three-pointer to make it 13-8. But three-pointers by Malik Gill knotted the score at 19 with just under nine minutes gone from the clock.and fellow freshman
Koon gave the Tigers the lead for good the next time down the floor with one of his two triples, which began 15-3 spurt. Hans Brase, who finished the night with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, had a three-point play, Hummer added a pair of layups and Koon provided the final five points with a trey and a layup for a 34-22 lead.
A first three-pointer by Golden and a three-point play for Maldunas cut the deficit in half to six, but Princeton rattled off the final eight points of the half to take a 14-point lead into the locker room at 42-28.
Princeton did not miss much in the first 20 minutes, shooting 60 percent (15-of-25) overall, 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from downtown and a perfect 7-of-7 at the charity stripe. Koon had 12 of his 18 points in the opening stanza while Hummer added 10.
Early in the second half, the Big Green got the difference down to 13 points thanks to a three-pointer by junior Tyler Melville and a layup by Maldunas. But the second of Barrett’s three three-pointers, sandwiched between Brase buckets, gave the Tigers their first 20-point bulge of the game at 53-33 with 16:06 to play.
The Dartmouth deficit was still 20 five minutes later when Golden popped another trifecta and freshman Brandon McDonnell converted a Gill steal into a lefty layup on the break, causing Princeton to burn a timeout. A 12-2 Tiger run over the next five minutes ended any hopes of a miraculous comeback, although the Big Green did finish the game on an 8-1 spurt.
For the game, Dartmouth shot 43.1 percent (22-of-51) from the floor and 38.9 percent (7-of-18) on three-pointers while making just seven trips to the foul line, making four. Neither team picked up a steal in the first half, but the Big Green collected seven in the second stanza with Gill swiping the ball four times.
Dartmouth will play host again tomorrow night when Penn (5-18, 2-4 Ivy) comes to town for a tip at 7 p.m. Princeton is set for a showdown with Harvard (14-7, 6-1 Ivy) in a battle for first place in the conference standings tomorrow in Cambridge at 7 p.m.