Big Green men's basketball falls short against Providence

by Dana Malajian | 11/20/08 3:22am

Dartmouth men's basketball dropped its second game of the season to Providence College by a score of 100-82 in Providence, R.I. on Tuesday evening.

A career-high 28 points from senior forward Alex Barnett was not enough to propel the Big Green (0-2, 0-0 Ivy) past Providence (1-1, 0-0 Big East).

Providence finished in the bottom half of the Big East standings last season with a 6-12 conference record but played against some of the top teams in the country, including the University of Connecticut, Georgetown University and the University of Pittsburgh.

"Going into the game, our mentality was to play hard, play as a team and of course win," Marlon Sanders '09 said. "In order for us to win, we knew we had to defend their 3-point shooting, rebound the basketball and make them work hard on defense."

The team from the Big East proved too strong for its Ivy League opponent Tuesday as the Big Green pulled within five points of the Friars twice but failed to lead at any point during the game.

Along with Barnett, several Big Green players did have impressive performances on offense. Jabari Trotter '12 shot six of 10 from the field, including three of four from behind the 3-point arc to contribute a total of 19 points in the losing effort.

Guard Ronnie Dixon '11 more than doubled his career high with 13 total points, going three for three from behind the arc.

Barnett, Trotter and Dixon combined for nearly three-fourths of the team's total offense, tallying a total of 60 points. The next highest scorer for Dartmouth was David Rufful '12, who recorded six points in 13 minutes of play.

Providence, on the other hand, showcased a deep roster on its way to victory, as seven Friars scored in double figures, compared to Dartmouth's three.

Sanders says that despite the loss, there was obvious improvement since Saturday's game against Army.

"We had 17 assists as a team, and I think that showed a lot of things," he said. "We were looking for each other on the floor, and we were making shots. We also shot well from the free-throw line, which is an improvement from our first game against Army."

The Big Green's defense, however, proved to be its weakness, as this game marks the first time in over six years that Dartmouth has given up 100 or more points. The last time the Big Green conceded triple figures was February 16, 2002, against the University of Pennsylvania, when the Quakers also scored exactly 100 points.

Dartmouth also fell short on the boards, as the Friars out-rebounded the Big Green, 53-33. 6'6" forward Herve Metsam '12 grabbed 12 boards for the Big Green, including six on the offensive end, to lead the team in rebounds. Two Providence players, senior forward Randall Hanke and junior guard Brian McKenzie, led the Friars with nine rebounds each.

The Big Green committed 33 fouls throughout the game, compared to Providence's 13. The Friars scored 31 of their 100 points from free throws, even while shooting a less-than-impressive 68 percent collectively from the line.

"As a team, we need to rebound better and get to the free-throw line more," Sanders said. "They shot 32 more free throws than we did and out-rebounded us by 20. Both of those categories have to improve for us to win against anybody."

Providence started off with an early 19-5 lead, an advantage that the Big Green never overcame. Twice in the first half, however, a Trotter 3-pointer gave the Big Green a chance to come back, but the team was not able to capitalize, allowing the Friars to gain back a 10-point lead before the break.

While Barnett opened the second half with a field goal that brought the Friars' lead down to eight, Providence retaliated and kept its lead above 10 points for the rest of the game.

"We definitely will be focused on rebounding and other things that hurt us in our game against Providence, but we also want to continue doing the things we did well," Sanders said. "We are 0-2 at this point, and we are hungry for a win in front of our home crowd on Saturday. Expect us to come out ready to play and looking for a win against a good Colgate team."

The Big Green will take on Colgate University in its home opener in Leede Arena on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. Colgate began its season with a close victory over Central Connecticut State University.