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College Roundup: Lions Have Last Growl

Hanover — Dartmouth College men’s basketball coach Paul Cormier knew all about Columbia’s Alex Rosenberg long before the 6-foot-7 forward sauntered onto the Leede Arena court Friday night. After watching the junior miss only one shot while scoring 31 points in an 84-72 victory, the Big Green bench boss could only sigh and ponder what might have been.

“We tried to get Rosenberg in the worst way,” Cormier said of his staff’s unsuccessful recruiting efforts a few years back. “We just couldn’t get him to come visit.”

A product of Short Hills, N.J., 20 miles west of New York City, Rosenberg made 6-of-7 field goal attempts and all 17 shots he took from the free-throw line. When Cormier placed bulky forward Connor Boehm on him, No. 13 slid back and hit outside shots.

When the coach assigned swingman John Golden to the task, Rosenberg drove inside with aplomb and drew repeated fouls. He sank 14-of-15 free throws and scored 19 points during Columbia’s 10-point victory in New York two weeks ago.

“We didn’t have anyone who could stop him,” Cormier said. “He’s such a patient player and they just shot lights out.

“We didn’t defend the dribble well enough and it forced us into help defense, which gave them open shots elsewhere. And they hit every open shot.”

A month ago, Dartmouth lost All-Ivy center Gabas Maldunas for the season with a knee injury, yet rallied to sweep Pennsylvania and Princeton at home. Cormier said those foes seemed to assume they’d win over a shorthanded team, while the others since have not. The Big Green has lost seven consecutive games.

“Our kids are continuing to play hard and are trying to get after people but every possession is a struggle. If we make a mistake on defense, we don’t have a shot-blocker, and (on offense), we’re not getting the put-back shots like we did. We haven’t shot the ball well and that’s where we’re focusing our recruiting efforts.”

Columbia, which doesn’t have a senior on its roster, became the fourth Dartmouth opponent this winter to score 80 or more points and Cormier opined that Friday’s game wasn’t as close as the score might indicate. His team received 19 points from lone senior Tyler Melville and 17 from Connor Boehm. Alex Mitola and Brandon McDonnell each had 10.

The visitors scored 51 second-half points after leading 33-30 at intermission. Columbia made 21-of-22 free-throw attempts and also hit on 13-of-24 shots it took from beyond the 3-point arc. Dartmouth’s 19 rebounds were its fewest in more than three years.

Cormier was frank in describing what his program has and what it needs.

“We have to upgrade and get more elite players,” the coach said. “We have complimentary players who can play, but we don’t have two or three players you have to respect.

“Right now, teams play us straight up. They don’t double-team Connor Boehm or blitz Alex (Mitola) anymore. So you’re playing 5-on-5 on offense, but down the other end, they’re forcing you to play help defense and there’s an open player.”

— Tris Wykes

Women’s Hoop

Dartmouth 82, Columbia 75

New York —Senior Nicola Zimmer and sophomore Daisy Jordan set career highs in scoring as Dartmouth defeated Columbia.

Zimmer led four players in double figures with 23 points. Jordan added 19 points. Junior Abbey Schmitt chipped in 15 and classmate Milica Toskovic had 10.

The Big Green shot 61 percent from the floor and made six three-point baskets. The team shot on 73 percent from the line.

Men’s Hockey

Dartmouth 1, Cornell 0

Ithaca, n.y. — Dartmouth goalie Charles Grant stole the show, blanking No. 11 Cornell in front of a sellout crowd of 4,267 at Lynah Rink.

On a night when the Big Red’s Andy Iles broke the program’s all-time saves record, the story of the game was happening at the other end of the ice. Grant’s second career shutout also gave the Big Green (8-16-4) its first blanking in Ithaca since Jan. 23, 1960 (12-0), a span of more than 54 years.

The stellar play from its sophomore and his 36 saves helped push Dartmouth’s current unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1) and its ECAC Hockey record to 7-12-2 for 16 points as the postseason tournament looms next weekend.

The lone goal of the night came from team captain Tyler Sikura just 1:54 into the second period, slamming home a rebound alone in the slot after strong work from classmates Jesse Beamish and Charlie Mosey.

Cornell (14-8-5, 10-7-5), battling for one of the final first-round byes in the ECAC Hockey Championship, was dealt a serious blow to those hopes with the loss.

Dartmouth returns to action tonight in the regular-season finale at No. 16 Colgate.

Women’s Hockey

ECAC Quarterfinals Clarkson 2, Dartmouth 0

Potsdam, n.y. — Third-seeded Clarkson scored two power-play goals and shut out No. 8 Dartmouth in Game 1 of the best-of-three ECAC quarterfinals.

Special teams was the difference as the Big Green went 0-for-4 with the skater advantage, while Clarkson converted two of six attempts.

Dartmouth goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft stopped 38 shots.

Clarkson’s Jamie Lee Rattray netted both of her team’s tallies, one in the first and one in the third.

Golden Knights goalie Erica Howe registered her second shutout of the season against Dartmouth, turning aside all 15 shots she faced.

The Big Green continues the series today against the Golden Knights at 3 p.m.

Men’s Tennis

Dartmouth 6, Ball St. 1

Muncie, Ind. — Ranked 41st in the nation, Dartmouth (10-3) topped Ball State for its seven win in its last nine matches.

The Big Green got off to a quick start, taking two of three doubles matches to earn the first point of the day. Dovydas Sakinis and Brandon DeBot won 8-4, and the duo of George Wall/Erik Nordahl won 8-2.

In singles action, The Big Green took five of the six matches to earn the victory. Sakinis, Diego Pedraza, DeBot and Brendan Tannenbaum all won in straight sets. Wall netted a come-from-behind, 3-6, 6-0, 10-7 win.

Baseball

FIU 11, Dartmouth 0

Miami — Mike Franco twirled seven shutout innings and the 30th-ranked FIU Golden Panthers posted a pair of five-run innings to send visiting Dartmouth to defeat on Friday night in the Big Green’s season opener. Aramis Garcia and Gunnar McNeill drove in three runs apiece to help FIU win its 10th straight game to start the 2014 campaign.

Senior Jeff Keller ripped a pair of doubles and junior Matt Parisi also had two hits with a two-bagger for Dartmouth (0-1), but the Green had just three other baserunners.

Men’s Squash

Big Green at CSA Tourney

Philadelphia — Dartmouth had a pair of players compete at the CSA Individual Championship.

Seniors Chris Jung and Fletcher Pease saw action on the first day of play as Jung competed in the Pool Division and Pease took part in the Molloy Division.

The Pool Division features the top 32 ranked players in college squash, while the Molloy Division will see the No. 33-80 players.

Pease won both of his matches to advance to the round of 16. In the Pool Division, Jung dropped two matches.

Women’s Squash

3 From Dartmouth Advance

Philadelphia — The Dartmouth women’s squash team had four players compete in Holleran Division at the CSA Individual Championship.

The Holleran Division features the No. 33-80 ranked players in the country.

Three Big Green competitors won their opening round matches as Jacqueline Barnes, Nina Scott and Melina Turk advanced in the bracket.

Dartmouth’s Katherine Nimmo lost in four games.