HANOVER, N.H. — Freshman Chris Knight had a season-high 18 points, including 10 of the final 12 to carry Dartmouth to a thrilling, 66-63 victory over visiting Brown at Leede Arena on Saturday night. The rookie also had a game-high eight rebounds, including the final one with a one-point lead and 0.6 seconds left after two Brown shots were off the mark, securing the three-point win for the Big Green (6-17, 2-8 Ivy).
With the game tied at 56 with 3:24 left, Knight took over offensively, first giving Dartmouth the lead on a layup, then added a short jumper in the paint for a four-point lead. After the Bears (11-12, 4-6 Ivy) answered with a dunk, Knight made a nifty move in the paint to get a lefty scoop shot to fall through to boost the difference back to four, 62-58, with 1:39 remaining.
But Brown would not go quietly as Brandon Anderson knocked down a 3-pointer to close the gap to one. After a Dartmouth timeout, senior Miles Wright drove to the rim for a layup while getting fouled, but his free throw was off the mark as the clock ticked down under a minute. A Big Green foul sent Zach Hunsaker to the line, and he hit both ends of a one-and-one with 51 seconds to play.
Dartmouth could not add to its lead, giving Brown an opportunity to take the final shot, three weeks after it beat the Big Green on a buzzer beater in Providence. But Hunsaker — who hit that game-winner — was off the mark on a 3-pointer, and Desmond Cambridge’s putback attempt would not fall. Knight hauled in the rebound as the buzzer sounder, but after a replay review, 0.6 seconds were put back on the clock following a foul. The freshman calmly sank both free throws, and Brown could not get a desperation 3-pointer off in time to give the Big Green their second Ivy win in their last three contests.
“Sometimes it takes Chris a little bit to get into the flow of a game, but it was great that he was demanding the ball and being aggressive, countering the double teams,” Dartmouth head coach David McLaughlin said. “It’s nice to have an interior presence like that, and he not only scored for us down the stretch, but also made a great play and great pass to Miles to get us an and-one in a key moment because of that terrific pass.”
The Big Green controlled the game for the first 14 minutes, going on a 10-point run after Brown scored the first bucket of the game as sophomore Brendan Barry and Johnson each scored five points consecutively, the last coming on a Johnson trifecta, causing the Bears to call a timeout less than three minutes into the game. Although the Bears ended the run shortly thereafter on a putback by Tamenang Choh off his own miss, it didn’t end the Big Green momentum as Johnson added three more points to his personal run before Wright first got on the board with his first of three long balls and Knight dropped in his first basket of the night for a 19-6 bulge.
Johnson boosted the lead to 14 with his second 3-pointer of the night, and a free throw by sophomore James Foye with 5:16 left in the half had Dartmouth sporting its largest lead of the night at 32-17. Brown proceeded to turn up the defensive pressure and force five turnovers on the next six Big Green possessions to fuel an 11-point run, capped by a Cambridge layup on the break after Anderson stole the ball.
Wright ended the run with a tough layup with 1:35 left in the half, and his 3-pointer in the final minute allowed Dartmouth to take a 37-34 lead into the locker room, just its fourth advantage at the break all season. It was a good omen for the Big Green for they had won the first three.
When Dartmouth got a shot off in the first 20 minutes, it was generally successful, shooting 59.1 percent (13-of-22) overall and 66.7 percent (6-of-9) behind the arc. But the 10 turnovers led to 11 Brown points, allowing the Bears to get back in the game. Brown, meanwhile, was a woeful 1-of-10 from distance and 41.9 percent (13-of-31) overall while converting all seven free-throw attempts.
After the break, Brown continued its surge, holding the Green without a field goal for the first five minutes to take a 46-40 lead as Cambridge and Anderson drilled 3-pointers. When Knight hit a contested shot down low with 14:56 to play, it ended a 13-minute stretch during which Wright had the only field goals for Dartmouth.
Less than a minute later, freshman Adrease Jackson hit a desperation 3-pointer in the corner to beat the shot clock, which seemed to swing the momentum back toward the Big Green. Knight cut the deficit to one with a layup, and with 11:50 to play, sophomore Will Emery laid in a shot to put Dartmouth back on top, 51-50.
Both teams had trouble scoring for the next eight-plus minutes, scoring a combined 11 points, leaving the score tied at 56 to set up Knight’s heroics down the stretch.
Knight finished the game 7-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-4 at the line with all but two of his points coming in the second half, plus blocked three shots, two in one possession late in the second half. Both Johnson and Wright hit 6-of-10 field goals, scoring 15 points to go with five rebounds apiece. That trio led Dartmouth to a 24-of-46 (.522) performance from the floor and 7-of-15 (.467) outside the arc to help offset 20 turnovers, matching a season high.
Cambridge led four Bears in double figures with 13 points, but hit just 4-of-17 shots and 2-of-8 from the perimeter. Choh and Anderson each had 11 and Hunsaker added 10 as Brown shot just 37.9 percent (22-of-58) for the night and 18.2 percent (4-of-22) on 3-pointers.
Dartmouth will hit the road one last time next weekend, taking on league co-leader Penn (19-7, 9-1 Ivy) and Princeton (11-14, 3-7 Ivy). The game at The Palestra against the Quakers will tip off at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on the Ivy League Network, now available on Apple TV, Roku and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices.
Notes: Dartmouth has hit at least half of its field goals eight times this year, its most games at that mark in at least 25 years … the 15 3-point attempts were a season low for the Big Green … Dartmouth is now 5-5 at home this season and 81-76 all-time against Brown.