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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 7, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leede Arena (2,100) -- Hanover, New Hampshire. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 6-2, Dartmouth 7-4. Away Record: Yale 2-7, Dartmouth 2-5. Neutral Record: Yale 1-0, Dartmouth 0-0. Conference Record: Yale 3-1, Dartmouth 2-2. Series Record: Yale leads, 116-71.
GAME NOTES: A couple of Ivy League teams with identical overall records get together tonight in New Hampshire, as the Dartmouth Big Green entertain the Yale Bulldogs at Leede Arena.
Yale had won a total of just five times through the first 13 games of the campaign, but in recent weeks it appears as though the program's luck is changing. In addition to posting four victories in the last five outings, the Bulldogs are currently 3-1 in league play, thanks in part to a 61-57 win over Cornell last weekend at home.
With a victory tonight, Yale head coach James Jones would have the 200th of his career. At this stage, Jones is also eight wins shy of becoming the all- time winningest coach in Yale history as well.
As for the Big Green, they have matched Yale in overall record (9-9) heading into this week, but several of those triumphs have come against programs outside of Division I. However, last week Dartmouth not only managed to snap a five-game slide, it did so with back-to-back wins against Penn (67-58) and Princeton (78-69 OT).
The teams split their two meetings last season, each winning on their home floor, which means the all-time series now stands at 116-71 in favor of the Bulldogs.
While the Bulldogs were able to pull out a couple of league wins last week, the team could not be all that thrilled about defeating Cornell by a mere four points at home, especially when you consider the Big Red have come up real small with just one win in 18 tries this season. Justin Sears came off the bench to generate a double-double consisting of 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Javier Duren accounted for 19 points, but also five of the unit's 14 turnovers.
Sears, who has started all but two of the team's 18 games on the campaign, leads the Bulldogs in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg), not to mention coming up with 29 of the program's 71 blocked shots. Duren chips in another 13.4 ppg and is tops with 53 assists and 27 steals, putting his quick hands to work at both ends of the floor for a Yale team that has scored exactly the same number of points (1,226) that it has allowed.
In a game that featured six ties and a hectic 17 lead changes, Dartmouth had to go to overtime against the Tigers last week, but once into the extra session the Big Green took over by hitting all but one of 12 free-throw attempts in the nine-point decision. Tyler Melville stepped up with 21 points, John Golden added 19 and Connor Boehm 14 points and seven rebounds, as the Big Green outscored Princeton at the charity stripe (23-13) and goaded the visitors into 17 turnovers.
In the last five games, Dartmouth has had a different leading scorer each time out, one of them being Gabas Maldunas with 23 points in the loss to Harvard on Jan. 11, but you won't be seeing him among the leaders any more this season because he is out following right knee surgery, which means Dartmouth has to find a replacement for its top scorer. After Maldunas (11.2 ppg), who was also the leader on the glass (8.5 rpg), Boehm and Mitola come to mind with 10.9 and 10.4 ppg, respectively.
The loss of Maldunas will be tough to overcome for the Big Green since he was such an influential performer in the paint at both ends of the floor. Being at home may give Dartmouth a spark, but probably not enough of one to come out ahead tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Yale 68, Dartmouth 62
02/07 10:15:02 ET
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