No ‘D’ Means No Win
Dartmouth Drops Seventh Straight Game
Dartmouth freshman guard Alex Mitola looks for an outlet near the basket in the first half of last night’s game against Colgate. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Purchase photo reprints »
Dartmouth coach Paul Cormier talks to his team during a timeout last night. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Purchase photo reprints »
Dartmouth's Connor Boehm (3) dribbles around Colgate's John Brandenburg in the first half. (
Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — A work crew began dismantling the Leede Arena bleachers immediately after last night’s Dartmouth men’s basketball game. The Big Green? They were taken apart about an hour before, early in a 78-62 loss to Colgate.
Dartmouth, which fell to 2-10 this season, trailed 40-24 at intermission and lost its seventh consecutive game. The Big Green allowed the Raiders to convert 52 percent of their field-goal attempts and 10-of-13 tries from beyond the 3-point arc, while being outrebounded, 36-28.
“Embarrassing,” said sophomore forward Jvonte Brooks, who produced team highs with 18 points and eight rebounds despite a lingering ankle injury. “That’s some of the worst defense we’ve played since I’ve been here. We let that team shoot however and whenever it wanted. We weren’t surprised by anything they did. We just didn’t come to play tonight.”
One of the pillars of the Dartmouth program the past three seasons has been strong and decisive guidance from head coach Paul Cormier. So it was startling to hear the veteran bench boss admit after last night’s debacle that he’s unsure exactly where to go from here.
“As I told the team, I don’t know what to say, and that doesn’t happen a lot,” Cormier said. “ I thought the situation was right for us to come out and just focus on winning … but we just didn’t look ready to go and I can’t explain it.
“That first half, we totally laid an egg.”
Producing the equivalent of loud clucking noises were starting guard John Golden, who managed three points and three rebounds in 31 minutes, and former starting center Gabas Maldunas. The latter had six points and six rebounds, but only two of those points came during the first 30 minutes. After starting 25 of 30 games last winter and each of Dartmouth’s first 10 contests this season, Maldunas has come off the bench the last two games and his once-bright potential dims by the week.
Two other Big Green starters, point guard Alex Mitola and post player Connor Boehm, had been hot before last night, but cooled against the Raiders (6-10). Mitola had three points and three rebounds in 31 minutes and Boehm had seven points and three rebounds but played only 20 minutes. Both are freshmen.
Aside from Brooks, Dartmouth’s best player was junior guard Tyler Melville, who had 11 points in 28 minutes. In the grand scheme of things, Melville shouldn’t be seeing anywhere near that much playing time, but his younger teammates show little consistency in execution or determination.
Colgate “hit some tough shots and it took the wind out of our sails instead of getting us more fired up,” Cormier said. “That’s not indicative of how we usually play. At least we got a good effort today from Jvonte. He played with so much heart and yet we have other kids who are healthy and we’re not getting that fire. I don’t have an answer for it but I’d better get it quick.”
Adding insult to injury, Colgate’s leading scorer was Murphy Burnatowski, a junior forward who appeared ticketed for Dartmouth when he left the University of Maine in 2011. Cormier said earlier this week that “academics and finances” eventually undid that planned transfer, and the Canadian National Junior Team member, who is 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, landed with the Raiders. He had 21 points last night and is averaging 18 per contest.
Dartmouth hosts Army (7-7) on Tuesday before opening Ivy League play against defending champion Harvard (8-5) at home on Saturday. The Crimson has beaten California and Rice and lost to St. Mary’s by a point in their last three games. After that, Division III Colby-Sawyer (3-8) comes to town.
“We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and not fight against each other,” Melville said. “I think we’ll come up with a solution.”
Tris Wykes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3225.