Men's basketball hits new year on high note after good December

by Caitlyn McGovern | 1/7/19 2:00am

After playing seven games in three states and two countries in one month, the men’s basketball team is currently 9-7 with a 0.562 win percentage. In November, the team traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to compete in the second Belfast Classic. Dartmouth was one of eight schools competing and faced off against both Marist College and the State University of New York at Albany.

“I think it really helped grow our sense of brotherhood and made us become better teammates, get to know each other better, and because we spent pretty much the whole day together so we got to know each other even better than we already did,” said Ian Sistare ’20. “It was a whole bunch of fun.”

The team took on Marist on Nov. 29 in their first international game, falling 76-58. While Chris Knight ’21 scored 16 points with a field goal percentage of .538 to try and keep the Big Green in the game, the team was knocked out of the tournament. The team then played Albany on Nov. 30 and had a strong showing, outscoring Albany 49 to 32 in the first half of the game. Brendan Barry ’20 scored seven 3-pointers and led the team with 25 points. Knight and James Foye ’20 followed closely with 20 points each. The team ended up beating Albany 91-77 before heading back to the States to kick off December.

December opened with a 64-59 loss against Quinnipiac University, a team Dartmouth has not defeated since 2006. While the team was not able to lose its losing streak to the Bobcats, Knight achieved a career high 23 points. The Big Green was able to rebound against the University of Maine just three days later with a 78-52 win, and took this momentum with them to take down Sacred Heart University, Boston University and Albany in the following week.

The team rounded out the month with a 76-68 win against the University of New Hampshire on Dec. 30. Dartmouth held a two point lead at the end of the first half of play at 35-33. While UNH took a 49-41 lead during the second half, the Big Green was able to come back to win. Sistare scored a career-high 21 points in the victory.

“UNH tried to pressure us and they kind of opened up a few driving ranges, and I was lucky enough to draw some fouls, but overall it was a hard fought game,” Sistare said. “UNH played really hard and I think it was just great for us to be able to come out with a win, especially around the holidays. We had a great crowd at home that night.”

Sistare also reflected back on the team’s performance during the month overall.

“It’s helped us become more aware of our individual roles,” he said. “In order to help the team, everyone has an important role on the team and some are a little bit different than others, but all are of equal value. I think this past month has kind of helped shape what the roles are going to be for this year, which hopefully we can just continue to work on and improve.”

The team ended December with a 5-2 record, winning all but one home game they played. This season, the team is 6-1 at home and 2-5 away for an overall record of 9-7.

“Playing at home is great,” Foye said. “It’s where you’re comfortable, and we really get energized playing in front of our home crowd. They’re loyal and they’re really supportive of us, which just makes it easier and easier to play. The road games are tough. I think that playing at home makes you appreciate that and then at the same time, with students coming back this month and hopefully getting a good amount of them to our games will only be an even bigger boost going into Ivy League play.”

Heading into Ivy League play, Dartmouth will take on Harvard in back-to-back match ups on January 12 at home and January 26 in Cambridge before continuing on against their other Ivy League opponents.