Dartmouth (9-12) at Columbia (14-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Levien Gym (3,400) -- Manhattan, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Dartmouth 7-6, Columbia 9-2. Away Record: Dartmouth 2-6, Columbia 3-7. Neutral Record: Dartmouth 0-0, Columbia 2-1. Conference Record: Dartmouth 2-5, Columbia 3-4. Series Record: Columbia leads, 107-97.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams in the bottom half of the Ivy League standings take to the floor in New York tonight, as the Columbia Lions play host to the Dartmouth Big Green at Levien Gym.
Luckily for the Lions, they are at home this weekend because last night they were taken to two overtimes before losing to league-leader Harvard, 88-84. The defeat was the second in a row and the fourth in five tries for a Columbia squad that is one game below .500 after seven Ivy bouts.
Also caught in a close matchup last night, Dartmouth was turned away by Cornell, 70-67, one of the weakest teams in all of college basketball this season. The defeat was the third straight for the Big Green as they sank to 2-5 in conference action and have now dropped eight of the last 10 contests on the schedule overall.
The history between these teams dates back more than a century, with the Lions claiming a 197-97 advantage over Dartmouth. However, the Big Green swept the season series in 2012-14 to close the gap in the all-time series.
In a game that featured seven ties and nine lead changes, Dartmouth battled back from a 15-point deficit late in the second half to take a three-point lead, but that advantage didn't last long enough as the team suffered the loss to Cornell on the road. Tyler Melville led the offense with 14 points, Alex Mitola added 12 and Connor Boehm chipped in 10 points, while John Golden pitched in with eight points and tied for the game high with 11 rebounds.
Dartmouth has had a different leading scorer in four of the last five games and part of the reason for that is the fact that Gabas Maldunas (11.2 ppg) has been missing with a knee injury for several weeks now and a variety of players have been forced to step up their efforts. Mitola and Boehm are trying to shoulder more of the load with 10.4 and 10.2 ppg, respectively, but in addition to losing significant scoring by Maldunas, the squad has also had to find a way to make up for his 8.5 rpg and that has not been easy.
Alex Rosenberg posted a career-high 34 points for the Lions on Friday night, helping the team to battle back from a 12-point, second-half deficit and force a pair of overtimes before bowing to the visiting Crimson. Rosenberg made good on 10-of-17 shots from the floor, including 4-of-6 behind the 3-point line, all while pacing the program on the glass with seven rebounds. Maodo Lo added 20 points, five boards and five assists, but he made only 5-of-17 from the field, 2-of-9 on the perimeter. Before fouling out, Cory Osetkowski chipped in 10 points and four blocked shots for the hosts.
Despite the scoring burst by Rosenberg last night, his average on the season is still just 15.3 ppg. Obviously that is still a significant number that paces the Lions at the moment and is even more impressive when you consider Rosenberg has come off the bench more often than not during the 24 games played. Lo pitches in with 14.1 ppg and Grant Mullins another 12.2 ppg, although the latter tallied a mere four points in 44 minutes of action in the loss Friday.
Columbia might be a tired bunch after coming so close to knocking off Harvard, but at least the Lions had the luxury of sleeping in their own beds last night, something that will certainly work in their favor on Saturday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Columbia 73, Dartmouth 68
02/15 10:29:11 ET