NEW YORK, N.Y. — Dartmouth once again rallied from a large second-half deficit, only to be denied in the final minute as the Columbia Lions staved off the Big Green on Saturday night in Levien Gym, 77-74. Mike Smith, who led the Lions with 20 points, hit the decisive 3-pointer with 1:05 on the clock to lift Columbia (6-13, 3-3 Ivy) to its third win in the last four games.
Freshman Adrease Jackson led all players with career-highs in points (24) and rebounds (14) for his first double-double for Dartmouth (4-15, 0-6 Ivy) in his first collegiate start, while senior Miles Wright added 19, all but two in the second half. The Big Green finished the night hitting 14-of-27 from the perimeter (.519), four from Jackson and three each from Wright and sophomore Brendan Barry, who had 11 points.
Dartmouth has trailed in the second half by double digits in all six Ivy League games thus far, rallying to tie or take the lead late in all but one, only to come up empty in the win column.
“Our resilient group is playing hard each time we take the court,” McLaughlin said after the game. “Tonight was no different. The final possession was not in our favor, but we worked hard to take a lead late in the game through some adverse conditions. This time and score experience will serve us well as we work to prepare to defend our home court this Friday.”
Columbia owned a 12-point lead at the half and immediately boosted it to 15 when Quinton Adlesh hit his fifth of six 3-pointers on the night to start the second stanza. Wright helped Dartmouth keep pace, however, scoring 13 of the Big Green’s first 16 points out of the locker room. But Adlesh ripped another shot from the perimeter and Gabe Stefanini added another before Wright responded with two trifectas bookending a Lion layup, closing the gap to make it a 52-43 game with more than 14 minutes still to play.
A Columbia free throw briefly boosted the difference to double digits for the last time, and Barry popped his first of his three triples. Less than two minutes later, the teams started trading long-range bombs with Jackson draining a pair and Wright his third to more than offset treys by Mesiner and Smith.
But after Smith hit his 3-pointer with 9:57 left, the Lions did not collect another field goal for nearly six and a half minutes, scoring just three points at the foul line. Dartmouth, meanwhile, went to work, beginning with that last Jackson trey. The rookie then hit four foul shots, closing the gap to three, and following two free throws by Kyle Castlin, Barry and sophomore Ian Sistare hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Big Green their first lead, 67-66, since the first seven minutes of the game.
Castlin, who had eight points in the first 36 minutes, took over the offense from there, knocking down field goals on three straight possessions. Barry answered the last one with Dartmouth’s 14th three-ball of the night, knotting the game at 72 with 1:34 remaining. Smith then hit his shot from downtown with just over a minute left for a 75-72 lead.
Sophomore Will Emery was fouled on the return trip down the court, making both free throws to make it a one-point game. The Dartmouth defense got the stop it needed with Jackson blocking one shot and forcing a miss on another, but the rebound fell into the hands of the Lions’ Patrick Tape, his 10th of the night, and the Green had to foul. The only problem was that it was just the team’s sixth foul, so Dartmouth had to foul again, which took the clock down to 4.9 seconds.
Castlin hit both free throws, and after the Big Green called a timeout at mid-court with 3.2 ticks left, the Lions fouled Jackson off the inbound pass. He missed the first free throw, then masterfully missed the second on purpose as the ball ended up in the hands of Barry outside the arc. But his quick trigger was smothered by Castlin to end the game.
Jackson led the way in the first half for the Big Green, tallying 11 points with a pair of 3-poindters while grabbing eight rebounds. But Columbia rained down six triples, four Adlesh who led all players with 12 points in the opening stanza to take its 12-point lead into halftime. The Big Green offense struggled for much of the half, hitting just 33.3 percent (10-of-30) from the floor and turning the ball over eight times.
Castlin finished the night with 16 points off the bench, including 10 of the Columbia’s final 13 points over the last 5:13 of the game. Meisner also had 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting with two 3-pointers, plus ended up with a double-double thanks to a team-high 11 rebounds. All 18 of Adlesh’s points came from the perimeter as he went 6-for-10 from the outside, and Smith was 5-of-14 overall with three triples and 7-of-9 at the charity stripe for his 20.
Jackson hit 7-of-13 field goals, including 4-of-5 from long range, and 6-of-9 at the line in posting his career-high 24 points. One night after reaching the 1,000-point milestone, Wright went 6-of-13 overall and 3-of-7 from deep while hitting 4-of-5 at the line. Dartmouth finished the night shooting 42.6 percent from the floor (23-of-54), overcoming a sluggish first half to hit 13-of-24 (.542) after the intermission. Ten of those 13 baskets were from distance.
The Lions finished the night hitting 47.3 percent (26-of-55) of their field goals and 40 percent (12-of-30) outside the arc with six treys in each half, plus had a 36-29 edge on the glass.
Dartmouth, having played five of its first Ivy League games on the road, returns to Hanover for the next two weekends, yet will have to start the homestand against the league leaders, Penn (15-6, 5-0 Ivy) on Friday night at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Network, now available on Apple TV, Roku and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices, with Bob Lipman and Jay Burnham calling the action. Fans can also listen locally on KOOL FM 106.7 and 96.3 or online at koolnh.com with Brett Franklin and Jill Glessner on the call.
Notes: Jackson’s double-double is Dartmouth’s second of the season, the other recorded by Barry at Notre Dame on Dec. 19 with 10 points and 12 assists … Columbia shot 81.3 percent (13-of-16) at the foul line, continuing the trend by Big Green opponents, who have hit a collective 79.2 percent there this year, the highest against any Division I team … senior Taylor Johnson chipped in 12 points as well, giving Dartmouth four players in double figures, but the Green are now 0-8 when four or more players score 10 points or more … Emery hit a 3-pointer in the first half, the first of the 6-9 forward’s career … Sistare’s long ball provided the only bench points of the night for the Green … the 14 3-pointers were the second most this season for Dartmouth, having hit 15 at Notre Dame.