Short-Handed Dartmouth Succumbs to Harvard, 80-50
HANOVER, N.H. — Harvard shot 78.9 percent (15-of-19) in the second half and 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from three-point range for the game in handing Dartmouth an 80-50 defeat in an Ivy League game televised by NBC Sports Network on Sunday afternoon at Leede Arena. Laurent Rivard led the Crimson (15-3, 2-0 Ivy) with 15 points, while sophomores Connor Boehm and Malik Gill led the host Big Green (7-9, 0-2 Ivy) with 16 apiece.
Dartmouth played the game without the services of its leading scorer and rebounder, junior center Gabas Maldunas, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice earlier in the week. In the first meeting between the two squads two weeks ago, Maldunas provided 23 of the Big Green’s 45 points.
As Harvard was shooting 65.9 percent for the game, its defense was contesting most of Dartmouth’s shots as the Green went 20-of-53 (.377) from the floor. The Crimson had the advantage on the glass, outrebounding Dartmouth 31-22, but Harvard committed 22 turnovers thanks in part to nine Big Green steals, six by Gill alone.
After being shut out against Dartmouth on Jan. 11, Rivard found his stroke, going 3-of-4 from behind the arc and 4-of-5 overall while converting all four of his foul shots. Siyani Chambers was deadly from long range as well, hitting 4-of-6 three-pointers as he and Brandyn Curry tallied 14 on 6-of-8 shooting for the Crimson. Also in double figures was Steve Moundou-Missi with 12 as he knocked down 5-of-7 field goals.
Boehm, the league’s leader in field goal percentage, continued his solid stroke by going 7-of-12 from the floor while sinking both of his free throws. Gill, meanwhile, took advantage of his first career start by draining 6-of-13 with a three-pointer as part of his career-best 16 points. The rest of the Big Green squad, however, could only muster seven field goals in 28 attempts (.250).
The two teams started slowly with Harvard leading just 7-6 after more than eight minutes of action. But the Crimson ran off the next 14 points as Dartmouth was held scoreless for seven minutes. Curry caused Big Green head coach Paul Cormier to call time after scoring on a layup, stealing the inbounds pass and scoring again immediately, at which point Harvard led 13-6. Curry and Laurent Rivard then drained consecutive three-pointers, and Curry sank another jumper, leading to another Dartmouth timeout.
The Big Green finally ended the drought when Gill, who had already scored four of the first six points, rained a long three to begin a 9-0 spurt and close the gap to six at 21-15. Boehm provided a pair of buckets during the run, bookending a John Golden lefty floater in the lane.
Over the final 4:07 of the half, however, Harvard outscored Dartmouth, 16-5, beginning with back-to-back triples by Chambers and Rivard. The Crimson went inside after that, getting four baskets in the paint while the Big Green countered with two of their own, one each by Boehm and Gill. Chambers threw up a halfcourt prayer that failed to connect, but Harvard still went into the locker room with a 37-20 advantage.
Harvard quickly extended its lead to 20 with another Chambers triple to start the second half, and Rivard matched it a minute later. Dartmouth did manage to string together six points later in the stanza to bring its deficit back to 20 at 49-29 with 13 minutes to play, causing Crimson head coach Tommy Amaker to call a timeout, but Harvard ripped off the next 11 points in a two-minute span. The last two buckets in the run were dunks by Agunwa Okolie.
Golden provided a brief respite from the Crimson surge with a three-pointer from the left wing, but Moundou-Missi slammed home two more dunks. Boehm responded with a pair of buckets, and Golden let out some frustration with a two-hand jam off one of Gill’s steals, but Harvard continued to extend its lead to as many as 35 at 77-42 when Rivard scored his final points on a pull-up jumper just outside the paint. Gill scored five straight points before the two teams traded three-pointers in the final 65 seconds to conclude the game.
Dartmouth continues its five-game homestand in conference play on Friday when Penn (4-11, 1-0 Ivy) comes to Hanover for a tip at 7 p.m. Harvard returns to Cambridge to host Princeton (12-3, 0-1 Ivy) that same night at 7 p.m. as well.
Notes: Gill’s previous high of 15 points also came against Harvard, and on this very date last year in Cambridge in an 82-77 overtime defeat … Dartmouth, which started the year 7-4, has lost all five games since the calendar changed to 2014 … the Big Green also shot 50.2 percent from the floor in the first 11 contests without shooting below 41 percent in any of them. Since Jan. 1, they have failed to crack 40 percent in five games … the Crimson have won 10 straight in the series against Dartmouth, but the Green still hold a 94-84 advantage all-time ... the 30-point margin was the largest in defeat for Dartmouth in nearly three years when Penn beat the Big Green on Feb. 4, 2011, 78-47.