|BY THE NUMBERS|
|Opponent FG Percentage||.462||.470||.440|
|Opponent 3FG Percentage||.351||.354||.361|
|Opponent FT Percentage||.719||.782||.723|
In Search of First Ivy Win
• Having lost its first four Ivy games, Dartmouth heads to the state of New York looking for that first conference win at Cornell and Columbia.
• The road has been a tough place for the Big Green this year with a record of 1-10 outside of Hanover. The lone win came at Maine back on Dec. 8, 73-66.
• Dartmouth nearly got an elusive win in January after rallying from a 14-point deficit at Brown, tying the game with seven seconds left, only for the Bears to hit a shot at the buzzer.
• Taylor Johnson leads the team in scoring at 11.5 ppg, making him the third different player to lead the team after each of the last three games.
• Miles Wright, who needs 12 more points to reach 1,000 after scoring 10 at Yale, is close behind Johnson at 11.4 ppg.
• The other player who led the team in scoring recently, Brendan Barry, is at 11.0 even after failing to hit a 3-pointer in consecutive games for just the second time in his Big Green career.
• Freshman Chris Knight is fourth on the team in scoring (10.7 ppg) despite reaching double figures more times (13) than any other Big Green player.
Series vs. Cornell
• While Dartmouth did not trail the Big Red in the overall series in the series from 1957 until 2013, Cornell enters this year with a 108-106 advantage after sweeping the Big Green last year.
• The Big Red have won the first game between the two each of the past six seasons.
• In the first game last year, Cornell led by at least eight points for the last seven-and-a-half minutes, getting 22 points from Matt Morgan in a 75-62 victory, while the return game in Hanover was tight throughout with the Green trailing by two with a minute to play before succumbing, 69-65, with Morgan putting up 28 points.
• Miles Wright is averaging 9.0 ppg against the Big Red in six games during his career.
• Dartmouth is 9-17 versus Cornell in Newman Arena, but has won two of its last three games there after dropping 11 straight.
Scouting the Big Red
• Cornell earned its first Ivy victory by squeaking out an 82-81 win at home over Columbia, one week after losing to the Lions by 26 on the road.
• Newman Arena has been quite kind to the Big Red, which are 5-1 on their home court.
• Guard Matt Morgan, the sixth-leading scorer in the nation at 23.6 ppg, has averaged 24.5 points in four games against Dartmouth in his career, and is shooting over 50 percent from the floor for the year and over 40 percent from the perimeter.
• Complementing Morgan is 6-9 forward Stone Gettings, who provides 15.6 ppg and leads the team at 6.3 rebounds a night.
• Jack Gordon is the best 3-point threat after Morgan, hitting 25 triples at a 39.1 percent clip.
• Steve Julian has been a solid presence in the post at 6.1 rpg while blocking a team-high 28 shots.
• Turnovers have been a bit of an issue with the league’s worst margin (-3.5), though the Big Red are second in the league with 15.8 assists per game.
• Head coach Brian Earl (Princeton ’99) is in his second season guiding the Big Red after nine seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, entering this game with a record of 15-31.
Series vs. Columia
• Dartmouth picked up its 100th victory against the Lions in the second meeting last year, though Columbia leads the all-time series, 112-100.
• The Big Green salvaged a season split with the Lions when Taylor Johnson hauled in a missed free throw and raced down the court to sink a layup with one second left in overtime for an 80-79 win.
• Columbia held Dartmouth to its second-fewest points of the season in the first matchup, besting the Green, 66-54.
• Last year was the first time since the 2009-10 season that one team did not sweep the other.
• Dartmouth has a record of 17-26 in Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium since it opened in 1974, and is 43-63 in New York versus the Lions.
Scouting the Lions
• Since suffering through a nine-game losing skid, Columbia has split its last six games, including a convincing 88-62 win over Cornell before falling in the return game with the Big Red by one point.
• The Lions are not afraid to jack up shots from the outside, averaging over 10 3-pointers per game while hitting them at a clip of 36.0 percent.
• Point guard Mike Smith is the team catalyst, leading the Ivy League in assists (4.5 per game) while ranking fourth in scoring (17.3 ppg), although he is shooting less than 40 percent from the floor.
• Quinton Adlesh (41-of-91, .451) and Lukas Mesiner ((29-of-67, .433) are deadly perimeter shooters, though the latter is also the team’s top rebounder (6.3 rpg).
• Freshman Gabe Stefanini is the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week after hitting up Cornell for 17 points.
• Columbia is sixth in the conference in free throw percentage (.690), but Smith is very reliable at the charity stripe hitting 57-of-70 (.814).
• Jim Engles (Dickinson ’90), an assistant at Columbia from 2003-08, is in his second year leading the Lions, sporting a mark of 15-29 to date. He spent the previous eight years leading NJIT to a record of 111-139, including consecutive 20-win seasons.
Year Five of Ivy League Network
All home games and every Ivy League contest (19 in all) will be streamed live in high-definition this season through the Ivy League Network, now available on Apple TV, Roku and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices. Five of the conference games will be simulcast on ESPN3 (including the Cornell game) with four more televised by Eleven Sports Network and the Columbia game on SNY. Visit IvyLeagueNetwork.com for information on how to subscribe to the ILN.
Closing in on 1,000 Points
Senior Miles Wright, who played in his 100th game last Friday at Brown, is just 12 points shy of becoming the 29th player in Dartmouth history with 1,000 points in a career. When he does get those 12 points, he will become the first Big Green player with 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 100 steals and 100 3-pointers. Just waiting for Wright to post his pre-congratulations to himself on Instagram …
The last weekend of January was not kind to Dartmouth’s outside shooting. In the games at Brown and Yale, the Big Green knocked down just 5-of-34 3-pointers (.147), a far cry from the 37.8 percent they had drilled entering the weekend. Even with the 1-for-17 performance against the Bears (its worst in three years), Dartmouth found itself tied with the home team in the final seconds.
Leading Leading Scorer
Senior Taylor Johnson leads the team in scoring entering the weekend for the first time this season, making him the fourth player to claim the top spot. He took over by leading the Big Green with 15 points at Yale, the sixth time he has topped the squad this year, more than any other player. Brendan Barry has led the team in scoring after nine games despite having the most Dartmouth points in just three contests. Miles Wright has been at the top after eight games, and freshman Chris Knight has been up there twice.
Chris Knight has been the most consistent offensive performer for Dartmouth this season. The rookie has reached double figures more times (13) than any of his teammates, but only led the team in scoring in one game, which is why he is just fourth on the team at 10.7 ppg. After serving as the top reserve off the bench the first half of the season, Knight broke into the starting lineup against Harvard on Jan. 20 and has hit 64 percent (16-of-25) from the floor while averaging 12.3 ppg. For the season, he is shooting 58.0 percent, which ranks third in the Ivy League, and his 76 field goals lead the Big Green.
In the 74-64 loss at Yale, Dartmouth did a good job of distributing the ball to the open man with 18 assists on 25 baskets. Taylor Johnson dished out a career-high seven assists while Brendan Barry provided half-a-dozen dimes. Barry, second in the league with 4.1 assists per game, leads the loop in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.69 (32nd nationally). Dartmouth has had only eight players average four or more assists per game (a total of 18 times), the last by Flinder Boyd as a senior in 2001-02.
Hitting the Blocks
When Dartmouth entered halftime trailing by 13 points after hitting just 1-of-12 3-pointers, the coaching staff changed strategies. Sophomore Will Emery was one of the recipients of the Big Green pounding the ball down low, scoring 17 of his career-high 18 points after the intermission. He finished the game 7-of-8 from the floor with five rebounds, while fellow post player Chris Knight was the only other Dartmouth player in double figures with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
Cleaning Glass with Elbow Adrease
OK, I apologize for that stretch of a pun. But I’m not that sorry. Freshman Adrease Jackson made the most of his 17 minutes against Brown, recording season highs in points (9) and rebounds (13). The latter total matches the most by a Dartmouth player this year and is just the third foray into double digits on the boards.
Top-Three Shooting Teams
Over the last 10 seasons, a total of 15 Ivy League teams have ranked among the top three in the conference in all three shooting percentages — field goals, 3-pointers and free throws. Of those 15 teams, 13 finished in the top half of the final standings. Why do I bring this up? Well, Dartmouth currently is third in field goal percentage (.457), and free throw percentage (.738), plus second in 3-point percentage (.378). And only five teams in that time span finished in the top two in all three — three won the league title, the other two finished second.
Second-Half Surges For Naught
In each of the first three Ivy games, Dartmouth found itself trailing by at least 14 points yet managed to rally for at least a tie, only to come up short in the end. First, the Big Green turned a 15-point deficit in Cambridge on Jan. 6 into a three-point lead with six minutes to play, but the Crimson rallied for a 61-51 victory. Then on Jan. 20, Dartmouth fell behind by 17 before embarking on a 24-5 run to go up by two with 21.5 seconds left. Harvard thwarted the comeback, tying the game with two free throws before claiming the win in overtime, 62-57. The third heartbreaker came at Brown as the Big Green finally knotted the score with seven seconds left. But the Bears raced down the court and hit a shot at the buzzer to set off a celebration on their home court in the 64-62 final.