Saturday, March 9, 2013

Game Recap: Cornell 62, Dartmouth 76

Box Score

Box Score (PDF)

HANOVER, N.H. -- Senior Errick Peck scored a career-high 26 points, but Dartmouth shot 52 percent from the floor against a depleted Cornell squad and came away with a 76-62 victory on Friday evening at Leede Arena. Cornell dropped its fifth straight to fall to 13-17 (5-8 Ivy), while the BigGreen improved to 8-19 (4-9 Ivy).

Peck hit 9-of-16 shots from the floor and 8-of-10 from the charity stripe to surpass his previous high of 22 against Dartmouth two seasons ago. He added seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Freshman Nolan Cressler added 14 points and seven rebounds, while senior Josh Figini had nine points, all coming in the first half.

Dartmouth's Gabas Maldunas had a breakout game of his own with a career-best 28 points to go along with eight rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists. Alex Mitola chipped in 15 points and Tyler Melville had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Cornell fell behind early, trailing 10-4 just five and a half minutes in, but the Big Green couldn't shake the visitors. Peck tied the game at 16-16 with a jumper, then got the team back within one at the half with a layup just before the first half buzzer.

The Big Red took a quick lead in the second half on a jumper by Peck, but Maldunas answered with a dunk shortly after and Cornell would never lead again. Dartmouth put an 11-2 spurt on the visitors over just 2:27 to go up 38-30. The Big Red made one last run to get within 39-37 with Peck scoring the last four points, but Mitola hit consecutive 3-pointers and the Big Green never looked back. Dartmouth ended the game on a 12-3 run before Dwight Tarwater nailed a trey as time expired to close out the scoring.

HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth sophomore Gabas Maldunas scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Big Green to a 76-62 victory over visiting Cornell on Friday night at Leede Arena. Joining him in double figures were freshman Alex Mitola with 15 points and junior Tyler Melville with 13 as Dartmouth (8-19, 4-9 Ivy) won for the second time in the last three games.

Errick Peck nearly matched Maldunas with 26 points for Cornell (13-17, 5-8 Ivy), but the Big Red shot less than 40 percent from the floor (21-of-53) to drop its fifth straight contest. Dartmouth, meanwhile, enjoyed its finest shooting night against a Division I team this season, knocking down 25-of-48 shots (.521).

While Maldunas was hitting 9-of-14 from the floor and 10-of-12 at the line to score his 28 points, he was also working hard at the defensive end with a game-high eight rebounds and four blocks. Mitola scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half with all four of his three-pointers, and Melville was a perfect 4-of-4 on field goals and 5-of-6 on free throws, plus dished out a game-high five assists.

Maldunas asserted himself from the get-go, scoring 10 of the Big Green’s first 12 points with four buckets in the paint and a pair of foul shots. But Dartmouth never trailed in the first half, Cornell would not let the Green pull ahead by more than six points in the first 20 minutes of action.

Following a 12-footer by freshman Connor Boehm to give Dartmouth a 16-11 lead, the Big Red scored five straight points to tie the score at 16. But Maldunas immediately converted two free throws, then dished to freshman Brendan McDonnell for an easy layup the next trip down the floor for a four-point edge with 7:15 left in the stanza. The Big Green lead hovered between one and four points the rest of the half, and settled at 27-26 when Peck turned a Dartmouth miss in the final seconds into a fast-break layup.

The statistics at the break were about as even as the score with Dartmouth shooting slightly better at 45.5 percent to 37.5 percent, and rebounding slightly better (14-13), but with one more turnover (7-6). Both teams sank seven free throws and Cornell had the lone three-pointer.

The Big Red took their only lead at the outset of the second half when Peck canned a jumper in the lane on their first possession. Again Maldunas had a response, flushing home a two-hand jam on a bounce pass from Mitola. That dunk ignited a swift eight-point run in less than a minute of game time with layups by Melville and Golden and a pair of Melville free throws.

Peck broke the string with a layup, then Mitola — who had 57 three-pointers coming into the game — attempted his first long ball and swished it through for a 38-30 lead. Cornell continued to battle back, whittling its deficit down to two as Peck hit four freebies, only to have Mitola rain in back-to-back triples to boost the Big Green lead back to eight.

Melville gave Dartmouth its first double-digit lead with just under 13 minutes to play with layup off a fast break. The difference on the scoreboard oscillated between six and 11 points for the next nine-plus minutes until Maldunas scored his final two points of the night at the charity stripe with 3:08 to play for a 69-56 advantage. A technical foul on Cornell head coach Bill Courtney in the final seconds of the game allowed the Green to take its largest lead of the night at 17 points before Dwight Tarwater sank a three-pointer for the Big Red as the buzzer sounded.

For the third straight game, Dartmouth converted at least 84 percent of its free throws, draining 22-of-26 (.846). The Big Green maintained that one-rebound edge on the glass when the horn sounded, 28-27, but dished out 15 assists on the night, matching a season high against a Division I squad.

Dartmouth will honor its lone senior — captain Matt LaBove — before the final game of the season tomorrow against Columbia (12-15, 4-9 Ivy) at 7 p.m. Cornell finishes its 2012-13 campaign at Harvard (18-9, 10-3 Ivy), which is tied with Princeton (16-10, 9-3 Ivy) in the loss column for the Ivy League lead, with the tip at 7 p.m. as well.

Notes: LaBove scored his 300th career point with a pair of free throws in the first half ... a win against the Lions would pull the Big Green out of the conference cellar for the first time since 2008-09 when they were 7-7 and tied for fourth ... both Mitola and Maldunas assured themselves of finishing the year with a double-digit scoring average, the first Dartmouth players to do so since Alex Barnett in 2008-09 ... Mitola's 61 three-pointers on the season are a Dartmouth freshman record ... the all-time series between Cornell and Dartmouth is now tied, 103-103 ... the 10 free throws made were a career high for Maldunas, while the 28 points are the most by a Big Green player since Barnett scored 28 against Brown on Feb. 6, 2009.

The Big Red will close out the 2012-13 campaign when it visits defending Ivy League champion Harvard on Saturday, March 8, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge, Mass. The game will be televised nationally by NBC Sports Network.


Anonymous said...

Reports of injury are false and Bill Courtney is attempting to save face.. Galal Cancer has quit the Cornell Basketball team. How could this happen? How do we lose one of our best players like this??

Anonymous said...

Why would BC need to save face because of Galal???? Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Well that would depend on the reason that Galal is no longer with the program. That truly is the question that we all are waiting to get the answer to. Hopefully it was just for personal reasons. Galal you will be missed!

Anonymous said...

For whatever reason he left, what's the big deal?????

Anonymous said...

Because he's the closest thing we have to a true point guard. That's a big hole, along with a big hole at the three. Maybe the seas will part and we'll land Solomon Mangham, who's got strong interest from BCS schools and most of the Ivies. Highly unlikely, though. I wonder if that's the guy BRF said wasn't getting a suitable financial aid package.