Basketball teams turn in abysmal performances

by Katie Jarrett | 11/12/12 11:00pm

The Dartmouth men's and women's basketball teams have both experienced early season woes in non-Ivy competition as the women have dropped to 1-7 and the men to 2-7 on the season.

The Big Green men fell to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and Bucknell University on Nov. 24 and 27, respectively, before earning a victory at Longwood University on Dec. 1. Since the victory, the Big Green has dropped four straight contests, including losses to Elon University, the College of the Holy Cross, the University of Vermont and Arizona State University.

Against IPFW, the last game in the three-game opening home stand for the Big Green, Alex Mitola '16 and John Golden '15 each had 13 points in the second half, but Dartmouth could not come back from a 13-point deficit from the first half. The Big Green also struggled from behind the arc during the game, en route to a 70-66 loss.

Mitola continued his hot streak against Bucknell, leading the Big Green in scoring for the third game in a row with 12 points. A drastic change from the previous game, the Big Green hit 11 three pointers a season high for Dartmouth but the team only shot 20 percent from inside the arc, contributing to the Big Green's struggle to close the game.

Dartmouth committed 21 fouls in the second half, and Bucknell scored 21 of their final 25 points from the foul line as the Bison secured a 62-49 victory.

After a sloppy first half of 24 combined turnovers between Dartmouth and Longwood and trailing by four going into the second half, the Big Green finally engineered a turnaround, earning a 61-53 win with the help of Gabas Maldunas '15 (19 points, including 14 in the second half alone) and a 16-0 run in the second half.

Mitola helped clinch the victory with four free throws in the final seconds to seal the game, ending up with 10 points of his own, adding to his impressive play to start the season so far.The Big Green could not keep the winning momentum going as the team shot only 27.9 percent against Elon. The Big Green trailed by as much as 23 and eventually lost by a final margin of 71-49.

Despite tying its season-high shooting percentage of 44.9 percent against Holy Cross, the Big Green could not compete with the Crusaders' 10 three-pointers, as Holy Cross earned its first victory of the season. Jvonte Brooks '15 and Mitola both were in double figures with 16 and 15 points, respectively, but the Crusaders held the lead the entire game.

In Wednesday's contest against Vermont, Dartmouth trailed 52-50 with under 30 seconds remaining. The Big Green had two chances to take the lead, but three-point attempts by Mitola and Golden both went off the rim as Vermont staved off the potential upset.

Travelling to Arizona over the weekend, Dartmouth was overwhelmed by Arizona State in a lopsided 61-42 loss. The 42 points marked a season low for the Big Green, who connected on only 16 of its 49 shots in the game.

Despite the losses, there have been glimpses for a strong future for the Big Green as Mitola has shown promise as a rookie guard, averaging 10.9 points per game. Maldunas has had a strong presence in every game, leading the team with 12.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

For the Dartmouth women, the interim has been just as difficult. The team has suffered seven straight losses since a win in its season opener against Bryant University. The Big Green fell to Albany University on Nov. 24, to Northeastern University on Nov. 27, to Syracuse University on Nov. 29, to Old Dominion University on Dec. 2, to the University of New Hampshire on Dec. 5 and to the University of Hartford on Dec. 9.

Twenty-six turnovers and 31.3 percent shooting prevented the Big Green from closing in on Albany, as Dartmouth was down 30-20 at the half, and the deficit reached 14 during the second half. Dartmouth would come within 10 with just over eight minutes remaining, but that was as close as the Big Green would come in the 62-49 loss.

Faziah Steen '13 and Kamala Thompson '15 combined for 35 points, and Abbey Schmitt '15 added 10 rebounds. Schmitt again recorded 10 rebounds against Northeastern, but the Huskies' hot night from behind the arc sinking 13 of 20 threes kept Dartmouth out of range in the lopsided 80-45 loss.

Against Syracuse, Schmitt again stood out as she recorded a career-high 18 points, earning her the Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor for the second time this season. Syracuse's 20-4 run to start the second half after only leading by four going into halftime sealed the 91-64 victory for the Orange.

Steen and Nicola Zimmer '14 both scored in double figures, and the team recorded a season-high of eight threes, but it was not enough to stop Syracuse's hot second half.

Zimmer, Steen and Schmitt were the key players for the Big Green against Old Dominion, but closing the game again was a major issue for Dartmouth. Zimmer and Steen had 17 and 16 points, respectively, and Schmitt posted her fourth game in a row with double figures in rebounding as she brought down 11 in this game.

Dartmouth did came out strong to begin the game, going on an 11-4 run to take the lead, but a strong finish by Old Dominion handed the Big Green its fifth consecutive loss with a final score of 73-59.

A poor shooting performance doomed the Big Green against New Hampshire. Scoring just 13 points in the second half after only trailing by one at the break, Dartmouth shot only 29.2 percent in the 54-38 loss.

Hartford's strong attach proved too much to handle for Dartmouth in last Sunday's game. The Hawks shot 55.6% from the field, including four of 10 three-pointers in the first half to cruise to a 67-52 victory.

Similarly to the men's team, the women's team showed spurts of good basketball with four freshmen on the floor, especially on the defensive end. Steen leads the team with 13.3 points per game while Schmitt is first on the team with 8.4 rebounds per game is second with 10.3 points per game.

The Dartmouth men will take on Bryant University and Boston College in the remainder of the calendar year. The Big Green women will face Florida International University and Marquette University before competing in the Blue Sky Classic at the end of the year.