|BY THE NUMBERS|
|Opponent FG Percentage||.461||.428|
|Opponent 3FG Percentage||.326||.344|
|Opponent FT Percentage||.798||.660|
Game in the Windy City
• Coming off its first road win of the season, Dartmouth blows into Chicago to take on the UIC Flames for the first time ever.
• The Big Green have not played in a full week since knocking off Maine on its home court last Friday, 73-66.
• Senior Taylor Johnson provided the offensive outburst needed to take down the Black Bears, scoring a career-high 29 points, his second-straight 20-point game and third of his career.
• Johnson drained 11-of-13 field goals and 4-of-6 from long range, plus provided 12 of the final 15 Dartmouth points, including a 3-pointer with 1:47 left that gave the Green the lead for good.
• Freshman Chris Knight, who chipped in 13 points and four rebounds in the win, was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for posting those numbers in both games last week.
• Knight (12.9 ppg) leads the four healthy Big Green players averaging in double figures this season, including Johnson and Brendan Barry 12.7 apiece) and Miles Wright (11.7).
• The fifth player scoring at least 10 points a game is Guilien Smith, who had not played since the third game of the season due to a (non-shooting) hand injury and will be out for a while.
• Dartmouth is searching for back-to-back victories for the first time since winning three straight at the end of last December.
• Head coach David McLaughlin’s next win will be the 200th of his collegiate coaching career, with 189 coming at Division II Stonehill.
Series vs. UIC
• As noted previously, this is the first meeting between these two programs, and just the 12th game for Dartmouth against a school from Illinois.
• The last time the Big Green traveled to this state was four years ago when Dartmouth lost a pair of seven-point games to Northern Illinois and Illinois.
• The Green’s lone win in the state was on New Year’s Day in 1949 at Northwestern, 52-49.
• Dartmouth is 1-7 all-time within the state borders, and 2-9 against Illinois schools.
Scouting the Flames
• UIC has struggled of late, dropping five of its last six games with the lone win a 76-48 decision over Division II Wisconsin-Parkside.
• Last time out, the Flames fell to DePaul on this court, 65-55, while being held to 30.6 percent from the floor.
• Dikembe Dixson leads the team in scoring with 12.6 ppg while shooting 39.2 percent overall and 28.1 percent (9-of-32) from long range.
• Also averaging in double figures are Marcus Ottey (10.6 ppg) and Dominique Matthews (10.2).
• Matthews is the top long ball threat with 17 3-pointers, but has hit just one-third of his tries.
• UIC is the third straight Dartmouth opponent to be shooting under 30 percent from the perimeter.
• The Flames have battled opponents pretty evenly on the boards with 37.6 per game with Tai Odiase, who broke the program’s career record for blocks last week, leading the team at 5.9 rebounds a night.
• Reserve forward Clint Robinson has attempted just 19 field goals (made 11) this season but is 28-of-32 (.875) at the foul line and hauls in 4.3 rpg.
• There are no real weak links at the charity stripe with the team shooting 72.5 percent.
• Turnovers have been a bit of an issue at 16.3 per game, among the bottom 30 in the country.
• Steve McClain (Chadron State ’94) is in his third year as UIC’s head coach with a 25-50 record, taking the Flames to the semifinals of last year’s CBI. He also spent nine seasons as the head coach at Wyoming and has a career Division I coaching record of 182-165.
This is the third of nine Dartmouth games to be streamed live on ESPN3 this season, with three of the next five contests available through the service plus an appearance on ESPN2 at Notre Dame on Dec. 19 thrown into the mix.
Knight Ivy Rookie of the Week
While Dartmouth did not have a single rookie of the week honor from the Ivy League office last year (after getting nine in 2015-16), Chris Knight made sure another season did not go by without one. The freshman put up 13 points and four rebounds on the road against both Sacred Heart and Maine, helping Dartmouth to its first road victory of the year versus the latter. He also blocked three shots at SHU and shot a combined 10-of-19 (.526) from the floor.
Johnson Explodes for 29
Coming off a 20-point performance at Sacred Heart, Johnson outdid himself the next game by dropping a career-high 29 points to lead Dartmouth to a 73-66 win at Maine on Dec. 8. The senior hit a sizzling 11-of-13 shots and 4-of-6 from downtown, plus scored 12 of the final 15 points, including his last 3-pointer to give the Big Green the lead for good with 1:47 to play. It was his third career game with at least 20 points, and he has led Dartmouth in scoring in every game this trip after topping the team just once previously in his career.
Barry-ing the Three
Sophomore Brendan Barry was not to be outdone beyond the arc against Maine as he matched Taylor Johnson by drilling 4-of-6 3-pointers to put him in double figures for the sixth time in seven games this year. He also has at least two 3-pointers in each of his last nine games dating back to last year. Over the last two games Barry is 7-of-11, boosting his season accuracy to 48.7 percent (19-of-39), second in the league and 28th in the nation.
One reason Dartmouth defeated Maine on Dec. 8, 73-66, was due to a strong shooting effort, hitting 52 percent (26-of-50) from the floor and 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from downtown. It was the third time the Big Green topped 50 percent overall, matching the total from last year, and season highs in both 3-pointers made and accuracy from the perimeter.
Speaking of Shooting …
As a team, Dartmouth is shooting 46.4 percent from the floor this year. Should that hold up, it would be the team’s best shooting performance since the 1988-89 squad hit 47.7 percent.
Shot of Rai on the Glass
Rebounding has been a bit of an issue thus far with Dartmouth giving up three more boards a night. Against Maine, however, the Big Green enjoyed a sizeable 32-24 advantage, led by three players with five, one of which was freshman Aaryn Rai. The game before, Rai hauled in eight rebounds — the most by any Dartmouth player all season — as the Green battled Sacred Heart to a draw on the glass with each team hauling in 35 caroms.
Usually swords are associated with knights, but in the case of freshman Chris Knight, we have to talk about his shooting accuracy — shooting the ball, of course. The rookie, who has hit exactly five field goals in each of the last four games, is leading the Ivy League in field goal percentage (among players that qualify for the national leaders) and ranks 32nd in Division I at 62.7 percent.
Senior Miles Wright is well on pace to become the 29th player in Dartmouth history to score 1,000 points in a career. Through seven games he is averaging a career-best 11.7 ppg, but to reach the milestone he needs to barely average six points a game the rest of the way. He currently has 877 points to his credit — none of his teammates has 500.