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Courtesy: Mark Washburn

Melville, Boehm Both Top 20 to Lead Big Green to Victory at Brown

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 03/07/2014
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Senior Tyler Melville tied a career high with 23 points and sophomore Connor Boehm had a season-high 22 to lead the Dartmouth Big Green to their first victory at the Pizzitola Sports Center in nine years, beating host Brown, 75-68. Sophomore Alex Mitola added 17 to send Dartmouth (11-16, 4-9 Ivy) to its second straight victory, while the Bears dropped to 15-12 overall and 7-6 in league play.

Melville was 7-of-13 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from the perimeter, as he topped 20 points for the second time this year and fourth time in his career. Boehm, meanwhile, drained 8-of-14 field goals with a three-pointer, plus converted 5-of-6 free throws for his third career 20-point effort. As a team Dartmouth shot 40 percent for the game (24-of-60) and 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from long range.

With the Big Green trio of Melville, Boehm and Mitola recording 62 of the team’s 75 points, Dartmouth was able to offset the 18 points by Leland King and double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) by Sean McGonagill. While Brown posted similar shooting numbers from the floor — 25-of-60 (.417) overall and 9-of-20 (.450) on three-pointers — the game was won at the foul line where the Green hit 19-of-30 (.633) compared to just 9-of-17 (.529) for the Bears.

“I told the guys that this was a pride game,” said Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier. “Right now we are playing for pride, and they went out and battled hard for 40 minutes, fought for everything they got tonight. We came up with some big plays at key moments, and the guys showed character tonight that will only help us going forward.”

The two teams came out for the second half tied at 34, and Mitola traded three-pointers with McGonagill before the Big Green scored seven of the next nine points to take a 44-39 lead. After the first media timeout, the Bears roared for eight points in less than a minute thanks to three-pointers from Norman Hobbie and McGonagill, which sandwiched a breakaway dunk by Cedric Kuakumensah to put Brown up three, 47-44.

Cormier quickly called time to calm his troops, and just one minute later, the Big Green were back up two, 49-47. Hobbie tied the game with a layup off a nice feed from Steven Spieth, but Dartmouth answered with a Mitola three-pointer off of an offensive rebound by sophomore Matt Rennie. As it turned out, the Big Green would never trail the rest of the night.

The difference was still three when Melville cranked a three-pointer with 8:15 to play, and a pair of Boehm free throws with 6:40 on the clock put Dartmouth up eight at 62-54. Brown gradually whittled its deficit down to two, however, before Melville drove to the rim for a layup with just over three minutes to go to make it a 64-60 ball game.

Although both teams missed key free throws down the stretch, the Bears’ misfires proved to be more costly. McGonagill sank 1-of-2 with 1:25 to play, leaving Brown 5-of-12 in the second half at that point. The Big Green then milked the clock until junior John Golden fired up a jumper that went halfway down before popping back out. The momentary disappointment quickly faded as Rennie battled for the offensive rebound and cleared the ball back to the top of the key, where Melville was fouled.

Melville only made the first freebie, and when Hobbie quickly drove for a layup at the other end, Brown was still down just two, 65-63, with 36.7 seconds left. Again the Bears fouled, but Mitola sank both free throws for a four-point lead. The Dartmouth defense then stepped up, forcing a turnover, and on the ensuing inbounds play, Rennie was left all alone under the basket for a fastbreak layup. Another Bear turnover led to two Melville free throws, sealing Brown’s fate.

The game began with Brown jumping out to an early 6-4 lead when the Big Green went on an 11-0 run with three-pointers by Boehm, Mitola and Melville, the last of which gave Dartmouth its largest lead of the night at 15-6. The Bears closed the gap to two with more than seven minutes left until halftime, 24-22, only to have sophomore Kevin Crescenzi and Melville drain consecutive trifectas. But as the half came to a close, Brown eventually took a one-point lead on a Spieth three-point play before a Melville free throw with 6.9 seconds on the clock knotted the score at 34.

Both Boehm and Golden led Dartmouth with eight rebounds, but the Bears held a 44-38 advantage on the glass with McGonagill and Kuakumensah gathering 10 caroms apiece, while the latter also swatted seven Big Green shots. Aside from the free throw shooting, turnovers also proved to be a difference as Dartmouth coughed the ball up a season-low five times compared to 11 for Brown.

The Big Green conclude their season tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. at Yale (15-12, 9-4 Ivy), which was eliminated from the Ivy League title race after falling to Harvard tonight, 68-57. Brown will host the Crimson (24-4, 12-1 Ivy), who clinched their fourth straight conference crown with the win over the Bulldogs, with the opening tip taking place at 7 p.m.

Notes: Dartmouth’s 11 victories are the most for the team since the 1998-99 squad posted a 14-12 record … Melville’s 23 points give him exactly 800 in his career … Mitola has 61 three-pointers this season, making him just the fourth Big Green player to collect at least 60 in more than one season. He recorded 65 to set a Dartmouth freshman record last year … the Big Green will try to end a long losing streak at Yale tomorrow night. The last Dartmouth victory at Lee Amphitheater came 15 years ago.

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