Following loss to St. Bonaventure, men's basketball to face Hartford

by Ray Lu | 11/18/14 2:07pm

The men’s basketball team opened its season with a non-conference loss, 77-57, against St. Bonaventure University — the first-ever meeting between the Big Green (0-1) and the Bonnies (1-0). Wednesday, the team moves on to play Hartford University (1-1). In its match against the Hawks last year, Dartmouth lost 68-56.

“We had a slow first half but our defense kept us in the game,” co-captain Alex Mitola ’16 said of the Saturday game “We came out in the second half, but had issues with their token zone pressure. Had a few turnovers and they went on a run, and then we were unable to respond to their run and ended up losing the game by 20.”

An off shooting night and a turnover-heavy second half contributed to the Big Green’s defeat. Down by one at halftime, 28-27, the men’s team scored only six points in the first 11 minutes of the second half as St. Bonaventure went on a 21-6 run.

“We did pretty well in the first half,” co-captain Gabas Maldunas ’15 said. “In the second half we just kind of collapsed and they started pressing us.”

A run fueled by a pair of jumpers by Kevin Crescenzi ’16 brought the Big Green within nine with 6:48 remaining, but Dartmouth would never come closer. St. Bonaventure’s one-two punch of redshirt freshman Jalen Adams and freshman Jaylen Adams was too much for Dartmouth to handle, combining for 13 of the Bonnies’ next 15 points, including three triples, to put the game out of reach. Jaylen Adams was the game’s high scorer for the game along with Bonnies’ junior Marcus Posely. Both had 16 points.

Crescenzi and Mitola led the Big Green with 10 points each. Miles Wright ’18 started in place of the injured John Golden ’15 and scored six points. Taylor Johnson ’18 also contributed five points in 22 minutes off the bench.

“We had two freshmen playing significant minutes,” said Maldunas, who had eight points and nine rebounds in the contest. “I think for the future they will help us a lot.”

The Big Green shot 35.8 percent for the game, compared to St. Bonaventure’s 40.6 percent clip, and turned it over 19 times to the Bonnies’ seven.

“They made easy shots they should’ve made and we didn’t make our shots,” Maldunas said. “We didn’t play as well as we were expecting.”

The three ball was key for the home team in building a second-half lead. While Dartmouth poured in four of eight deep balls in the second half, St. Bonaventure converted seven of 10 to go with nearly 50 percent from the field.

“We played pretty poorly and it wasn’t the start to the season we were hoping to have, but it really showed in the tape some issues that we have,” Mitola said. “A lot of it is minor details: spacing, where people are supposed to be. We really didn’t play consistent on both ends of the court, so we’re addressing that and working on that.”

Maldunas said the team has its sights set on the Ivy League title. Dartmouth would need to top Harvard, the winner of the last three championships.

The Crimson lost its opener to the College of the Holy Cross.

The men’s team faces Hartford University on the road at 7 p.m. Wednesday.