No. 11 BC outmatches men's basketball

by Ben Reed | 11/22/05 6:00am

The Dartmouth men's basketball team could not have scheduled a much more challenging opening to its 2005-06 season than a visit to Conte Forum to face the No. 11 Boston College Eagles. The Eagles returned four starters from last year's team, which opened its campaign with 20 consecutive victories. And when the final buzzer sounded Saturday night, all had gone as expected as bruising Preseason All-American power forward Craig Smith notched 22 points and nine rebounds to help the Eagles down the Big Green 80-61.

The lopsided final score, however, fails to account for what was a feisty Dartmouth effort throughout much of the game. The Big Green played tough on the boards and shot 43 percent from three-point territory to stay within striking distance for much of the game.

With just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation, a three-point field goal by guard Mike Lang '06 narrowed BC's lead to 59-51. But from that point on, Smith assumed control of the contest, making a layup, a jumper, two dunks and three free throws down the stretch to single-handedly outscore the Big Green 11-10 the rest of the way.

Dartmouth scored the first points of the game 30 seconds into the contest on a three-pointer by rangy center Calvin Arnold '06. Smith would respond by posting BC's first five points of the night to give the Eagles a lead they would never surrender.

Knotted at five points apiece four minutes into the half, BC took command of the game during the next three minutes, going on a 12-0 run on field goals from five different Eagles to make the score 17-5. With neither team able to go on an extended run thereafter, the Big Green headed to the locker room down 41-30 at the half.

In the second half, the men in green would keep the Eagles lead between eight and 14 points before Smith's outburst finally put the game out of Dartmouth's reach.

After missing most of last season, dynamic shooting guard Leon Pattman '07 sparked the Big Green off the bench with 14 points on six of 10 shooting from the field. Despite heavy foul trouble, Arnold was productive inside and outside, notching 11 points in only 14 minutes before fouling out of the game with six minutes remaining.

Lang provided the Big Green with long-range firepower throughout the game, drilling three of his five three-point attempts for nine points. He also added a team-high three assists.

Led by six rebounds apiece from Pattman and forward Chuck Flynn '08, the Big Green was outrebounded just 36-30 against one of the nation's top frontcourts. Hitting the offensive glass aggressively, Dartmouth logged 12 offensive rebounds.

The Big Green returns to action Friday when it plays host to UC-Davis in the team's home opener. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.