Wright '18 sets Leede record as basketball wraps up interim

by Max Kanefield | 1/4/16 6:47pm

After opening the season with two early losses, Dartmouth men’s basketball earned a 4-5 record over the winter interim to move its current status to 4-7 on the season. Playing all non-conference matchups, the Big Green notched wins over Long Island University Brooklyn, the University of Hartford, the University of Maine and Longwood University, but fell to the University of Vermont, Stanford University, California State University, Bakersfield, the University of New Hampshire and Bryant University.

The team began the break with a 79-56 victory over Long Island (6-6) as guard Miles Wright ’18 poured in points to make history. With 39 points on 13-22 shooting, including 7-9 from three-point range, Wright’s performance soared to tie the Leede Arena scoring record. Forward Connor Boehm ’16 came in with a double-double, sealing the win for the Big Green.

“We had a good week of practice after finishing up finals, so we all felt good going into the game,” Wright said. “We had some trouble in the first half, but we did a good job of finding the open man in the second half. For me, shots were falling early in the game and my teammates kept getting me the ball when I had the hot hand and was in good position to score.”

The Big Green dropped their next game to Vermont (7-7) 63-68 in the teams’ 100th meeting. In a game in which neither team led by more than five and the lead changed hands 14 times, the Vermont Catamounts did just enough to grab a win in Hanover.

Wright came off his historic game to record his first double-double of the season, registering 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Evan Boudreaux ’19 poured in a nearly identical 18 points and nine rebounds, but the Big Green’s efforts fell short in the end.

This marked the 16th loss for Dartmouth in these two teams’ last 17 meetings. Dartmouth, however, still leads the all-time series against Vermont 57-43.

Following the loss, the team registered back-to-back wins, beating Hartford (5-10) 74-65 and Maine (4-9) 79-69.

Against Hartford, Brandon McDonnell ’16 led Dartmouth with 17 points in just 16 minutes off the bench. The team displayed a balanced scoring attack that featured four players in double figures.

Following the win against Hartford, Dartmouth notched their only road win of the young season against Maine with a season-high 49.1 percent team shooting performance.

Over the break, Big Green basketball demonstrated its ability to win in a variety of ways, boasting five different leading scorers over their nine games played since the end of fall term.

“I think it’s a pretty versatile team,” Boudreaux said. “I think we have a lot of guys who can play a bunch of different roles, a lot of guys who are skilled enough to play a bunch of different positions. Any one of us can go off on a specific night, and that is going to be good going forward.”

After earning wins in three of four games to start the winter interim, the Big Green dropped four of their next five games, starting with a 50-64 loss at Stanford. The team struggled to protect the paint and run its sets on offense against the size and length of Stanford. The Big Green followed their loss at Stanford with a 62-69 loss against CSU Bakerfield despite forcing 21 turnovers.

The team then dropped its third straight game, a 56-76 loss to New Hampshire in which they shot a season-low 28 percent. All three losses were on the road, where the team has struggled thus far, posting a 1-5 record over winter interim.

“Early in the season we play a lot of high-major teams, which contributes to being on the road,” team captain Tommy Carpenter ’16 said. “We are also playing a lot of younger guys. Playing on the road in college is tough to get used, whether it’s a crowd or a new arena. I think as our younger guys start to get more comfortable we’ll be able to get better on the road in the future.”

The team broke out of the losing streak with a 78-54 victory over Longwood (4-12) behind Boudreaux’s 17 points and nine rebounds. He helped keep the team close in its next game as well, pouring in 16 points and 13 rebounds in a 60-62 loss to Bryant (3-10). Boudreaux’s efforts earned him his fourth selection as Ivy League Rookie of the Week this season. He is the first Dartmouth freshman to earn the award four times since Gabas Maldunas ’15 and Jvonte Brooks ’15 both accomplished the feat during the 2011-2012 season.

“It’s been a great honor to have won something like that,” Boudreax said. “I just try to stay focused and do what the team asks me to do whether that be rebounding a bunch or scoring as much as possible. We are really just concerned with wins right now, but to get recognition like that is certainly very humbling.”

The Big Green head to Connecticut on Jan. 4 to face Fairfield University (6-6), where they will look to get back on track on the road. The game will be the team’s final tune-up before its Ivy League opener at Harvard University (6-8) Jan. 9.