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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Men's basketball stuns Vermont with game-winning layup

Men's basketball powered past Vermont for a buzzer-beating victory.
Men's basketball powered past Vermont for a buzzer-beating victory.

This was the first time the Big Green had beaten the Catamounts since Dec., 1998. With back-to-back come-from-behind victories in the past week, the Dartmouth men's basketball team pulled its record even to 3-3 on the season.

Head Coach Terry Dunn was especially pleased with the team's effort during the past two games.

"We're coming together as a team," Dunn said. "We were so close at Rutgers (a 55-50 loss), and we talked after that game about coming out every game with the same effort and the same belief. The last two games they have. It was a terrific team effort."

Led by Alex Barnetts '09, who notched a career high 25 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, the team was able to finish its battle against Vermont on top.

But, like Dunn said, the team was full of heroes in this contest. DeVon Mosley '09 also scored in double digits with 17 points, and Michael Giovacchini '08 hit a key three-pointer down the stretch. The Big Green's bench, led by Giovacchini and Elgin Fitzgerald '10, with eight and six points respectively, outscored the Catamounts' bench 20-5, 14-1 in the second half.

"Alex was just tremendous," Dunn said. "He's been double-teamed and triple-teamed and still has been close to double-doubles in the last three games. Other guys are stepping up like DeVon Mosley, Robby Pride, Mike Giovacchini and Elgin Fitzgerald. Brandon Ware ['10] has done a super job running our team, and John Marciano['09] came in and did a nice job."

Pride's only field goal of the night was the one that would give Dartmouth the dramatic win.

"I think the main thing is that people stepped up and played well tonight," Barnett said. "We got help from our bench, and our big men did a good job stepping up also."

In the first half, both teams took turns racing ahead. The Big Green opened the game with an early 12-5 lead after a bucket by Ware three minutes in. However, the Catamounts would climb back behind junior Mike Trimboli, who scored 10 of Vermont's first 15 points. The Catamounts extended their lead using an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to go up 30-18. But the Big Green closed the half with an 8-2 run, heading into the break down by only three points.

The second half was much of the same story. Despite allowing Vermont to score 12 of the first 16 points to open the half and gain a 45-37 advantage, the Big Green stormed back using a 12-0 run midway through the half to take its first lead since midway through the first, 53-52. Then, just as quickly, Vermont answered by scoring 12 of the next 14 to claw back on top and extend its lead to 64-55.

But this was a game of runs, and the Big Green countered with a 9-1 spurt to cut the contest to one, and with 3:14 remaining, Giovacchini hit a triple to make it 69-67 in favor of Dartmouth.

Still, the Big Green trailed 75-74 going into the final minute after a pair of free throws by Trimboli. Time was winding down after scoreless possessions from both teams, but with 15 seconds to go, leading Catamounts scorer Marqus Blakely was called for an offensive foul, giving the Big Green one last chance.

The Big Green didn't disappoint thanks to Pride's game winner, and even though the Catamounts had the final opportunity, Trimboli was called for a charge trying to steal the win with a lay-up, sending the home crowd happily on its way.

"In the second half, I felt like we knocked down some crucial shots which gave us momentum to defend on the defensive end, and that's what ended up winning the game for us," Barnett said.

Second-half defense was key for Dartmouth. After allowing Vermont to shoot 52 percent in the first half, the Big Green defense stifled the Catamounts, allowing Vermont to shoot only 36 percent in the second half.

"We just played harder and tried to exceed the intensity of Vermont," Mosley said. "Alex Barnett's shot-blocking presence greatly helped us defend their post play as well."

The Big Green returns to action on Saturday hoping to make it three straight victories. The team will travel to Stony Brook for a 2 p.m. start time.