Shooting to Stretch Win Streak Versus Yale and Brown
The Games: Dartmouth (9-9, 2-2) vs. Yale (9-9, 3-1) and Brown (11-7, 3-1)
Location: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
Tipoffs: Friday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.
Series Record vs. Yale: Bulldogs lead 106-96
Series Record vs. Brown: Big Green lead 76-71
Online Video and Audio: Big Green Insider on the Ivy League Digital Network — Dave Collins, play-by-play
Complete Game Notes
From One Extreme to the Other
• Dartmouth looks to extend its modest two-game winning streak this weekend when it hosts Yale and Brown on Friday and Saturday evenings, respectively.
• Last weekend, the Big Green were coming off a 30-point defeat and still reeling from the loss of center Gabas Maldunas to injury. Yet Dartmouth went from that low to a high of back-to-back nine-point victories over Penn and Princeton, the former the 200th career win for head coach Paul Cormier, the latter coming in overtime.
• The last overtime victory for Dartmouth came against Brown back on Feb. 6, 2009. Since then, the Green had lost all four that had gone past regulation.
• Junior John Golden was selected as an Ivy League co-Player of the Week after averaging 17 points and 5.5 rebounds in the two wins, setting season highs in rebounds (8) against the Quakers and points (19) versus the Tigers.
• But Golden did not lead the team in scoring in either game as sophomore Alex Mitola dropped in a season-high 25 points — 23 in the second stanza — on Friday, and senior captain Tyler Melville shook off a dismal January by tallying 21 the next night.
• With guard Malik Gill suffering an ankle injury against Penn, the Big Green were down to 10 available players against Princeton. Gill is expected to return for this weekend’s games.
Series vs. Yale
• Dartmouth has played the Bulldogs 202 times entering this contest. Yale has the advantage with a 106-96 mark against the Big Green.
• The Big Green split two games last year with the Bulldogs, ending a personal seven-game skid against them with a 71-62 victory at Leede Arena. Yale won the game in New Haven, 78-67.
• The Bulldogs have won 22 of the last 26 meetings.
• The Big Green are 14-11 all-time against Yale at Leede Arena.
• Head coach is 10-13 all-time against the Bulldogs, 8-12 while at Dartmouth.
Scouting the Bulldogs
• By winning four of its last five games, Yale has evened its overall record at 9-9 while sitting a game behind Harvard in second place in the league standings at 3-1.
• Last weekend, the Bulldogs enjoyed a home sweep of Columbia (69-59) and Cornell (61-57).
• Not only is Yale’s record dead even, so are the points scored by the Bulldogs and their opponents at 68.1 per game apiece.
• Joining Golden as the Ivy co-Player of the Week was Yale forward Justin Sears, who is averaging 15.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game.
• The other go-to scorer on the Bulldog squad is guard Javier Duren at 13.4 ppg, though his shooting percentage is just under 40 percent.
• Forward Armani Cotton has also come on with the start of the Ivy slate, averaging 12 points and 6.3 rebounds in the four league games thus far.
• Yale, which is shooting just 32.3 percent from long range, has been susceptible to the three-pointer as opponents have shot 41.2 percent from behind the arc.
• Head coach James Jones (Albany ’86) is the longest tenured head coach in the Ivy League, now in his 15th year with an overall record of 199-217 and a share of an Ivy title to his credit (2001-02).
Series vs. Brown
• While the Bears have won 11 of the last 13 and 20 of 26 against Dartmouth, the Big Green still hold the advantage in the all-time series, 76-71.
• Last year the Bears swept the two games from Dartmouth, winning in Leede Arena, 62-50, before besting the Big Green in Providence, 59-50.
• Since Leede Arena opened in 1987, Dartmouth has won 18 of the 26 contests against Brown.
• Head coach is 11-11 against Brown in his head coaching career, 9-11 at Dartmouth.
Scouting the Bears
• Brown has won five of its last six, including splitting two with Yale and sweeping Cornell and Columbia at home this past weekend.
• None of Brown’s seven losses has been by more than nine points, that coming at home against Rhode Island to start the new year.
• The Bears have proven to be a difficult team to shoot against, holding opponents to 38.3 percent shooting from the floor (12th nationally) and a paltry 28.0 percent from behind the arc (7th).
• Thanks to senior guard Sean McGonagill, who is leading the league in scoring at 18.5 ppg and is shooting 42.9 percent from downtown, Brown may have the best spread between making threes (40.4 pct., 13th in Division I) and giving them up.
• The Bears feature the league’s leading rebounder in Rafael Maia at 8.5 boards per game and the top shot blocker in Cedric Kuakumensah at nearly three per contest.
• Keep an eye on Dockery Walker off the bench as he is averaging 8.1 points in just 14.8 minutes.
• The one bugaboo for Brown has been foul shooting. McGonagill is converting 72.5 percent, but the next three leading scorers are all below 60 pct.
• Brown alum Mike Martin ‘04 is in his second season as the 31st head coach in the program’s history, sporting a 24-22 record. He spent a year at his alma mater as an assistant before serving on the staff at Penn for six seasons.
A Quarter Century in the Making
When Dartmouth defeated both Penn and Princeton at Leede Arena on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, it marked the first home sweep of the two traditional Ivy powers in 25 years (though the Big Green did win a weekend from the two on the road five years ago). The head coach of that 1988-89 squad should be a familiar name to fans — , during his first stint in Hanover. In all, it was the fifth time Dartmouth won both home games against the two since the inception of formal Ivy play in 1955-56, and just the sixth time at home and on the road.
Junior was chosen as one of the two Ivy League co-Players of the Week on Feb. 3 for his part in the victories over Penn and Princeton. Against the Quakers he recorded season highs with 15 points and eight rebounds, plus led the team with three assists and three steals. During one six-minute stretch of the second half, Golden tallied 11 of the Big Green’s 15 points to turn a two-point deficit into a 10-point lead. The next night versus the Tigers, the New Jersey native scored even more points with 19, the last two started the overtime period and Dartmouth never trailed after that. Golden shot 60 percent (12-of-20) for the week.
Melville Glad to See February
Senior captain broke out of a month-long slump by scoring a season-high 21 points against Princeton on Feb. 1, draining 7-of-11 shots, including 2-of-3 from three-point range. During January, he averaged just 1.2 points in the six games while shooting an unheard of 4 percent (1-of-25) from the floor. That came on the heels of his terrific play throughout 2013, during which he knocked down triples at a rate of 47.9 percent (35-of-73) and hit over half of all of his field goals at 91-for-178 (.511).
Overdue in Overtime
When Dartmouth defeated Princeton in overtime on Feb. 1, 78-69, it marked the first win after regulation for the Big Green since beating Brown on Feb. 2009, 63-61. Granted, they had only played four other overtime contests since then, but who’s counting? It also was the first time those two teams took longer than 40 minutes to decide a winner in 21 years. The Tigers beat Dartmouth in overtime on Feb. 19, 1993, by a final of 63-60, also in Leede Arena.
Princeton Brings Out Their Best
Both and have a little extra incentive when playing Princeton — Melville’s father was a two-time All-Ivy first-team player for the Tigers, and Golden hails from the Garden State. So it should come as no surprise that some of their best games have come against Princeton. Two of Melville’s three career 20-point games have come against the Tigers, including his career-best 23 points last year, while Golden’s two biggest scoring games have come versus Princeton — 19 points this season and a career-high 21 as a rookie.
Shooting Touch Returns
Not once during the 2013 portion of the schedule did the Big Green shoot worse than 41 percent for the floor, finished the calendar year above 50 percent as a team. It took nearly all of January for that stroke to return as Dartmouth failed to crack even 40 percent over the first five and a half games. It all came together in the second half against Penn on Jan. 31 as the Green ripped the nets to the tune of 55.6 percent (15-of-27) to storm back from a seven-point halftime deficit for a nine-point win (the first time they had come back to win a game they trailed at the intermission). The next night Dartmouth once again was back over 50 percent for the entire game to pull off the upset of Princeton.
Mitola Key to Ending 5-Game Slide
Having lost its last five games, Dartmouth was in need of a big offensive effort against Penn on Jan. 31. Sophomore stepped up to provide just that, scoring a season-high 25 points (also the most by any Big Green player this year). He didn’t score his first points until 2:47 left in the first half with a pair of free throws, but exploded for 23 in the second stanza, including 13 straight points early in the half.
Cormier Wins 200th Game
After losing five straight games, head coach finally got his 200th victory when the Big Green defeated Penn on Jan. 31, 67-58. Of Cormier’s 200 wins, 114 have come in his 11 seasons at Dartmouth, the other 86 during a seven-year stint at Fairfield. He didn’t waste any time earning his next triumph, however, with the overtime win against Princeton the next night.
More from Penn-Princeton Weekend
• Sophomore Matt Rennie made the first start of his career, playing a personal-best 27 minutes against Princeton.
• Another sophomore, Kevn Crescenzi, played a career-high 28 minutes and scored 11 points in the win over Penn, his most points since tallying a career-best 14 at Maine back on Dec. 1.
• The next night, it was Brandon McDonnell’s turn (yes, another sophomore) to shine, providing eight points (most since Dec. 14) and six rebounds (most since Nov. 13) off the bench.
• The Big Green made 23-of-26 free throws versus Princeton, their most makes since the season opener and just second time with at least 20.
• Princeton’s Will Barrett scored a career-high 28 points in the loss, the second-most by an opposing player this year (Bryant’s Dyami Starks put 35 on the board back on Nov. 13). The Leede Arena record is 39 by Eddie Benton of Vermont back on Jan. 11, 1994.
• Over the last four games, Dartmouth is shooting 45.6 percent (26-of-57) from three-point range.
• Sophomore , who missed the Princeton game and most of the second half against Penn with an ankle injury, is expected to be back on the court this weekend.