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The Dartmouth
February 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Injury-riddled Big Green fall short of comeback at Princeton

Despite excellent play from Brandon Mitchell-Day ’26, the Big Green could only pull within nine before the Tigers ran away with an 18 point victory.


With 4:25 remaining in the first half and the Big Green down 35-22, Brandon Mitchell-Day ’26 caught a pass at the top of the key and knew he needed to make a play. He had just set a pin-down off-ball screen for Dusan Neskovic ’24 and now eyed up the defense of Ivy League’s cream of the crop, the Princeton Tigers. 

He took off and then contorted his body to absorb the expected contact, but the contact never came. Mitchell-Day flushed with authority as the path he created never closed, and the ESPN play-by-play commentator Noah Savage reacted.

“Add that one to his highlight reel!” Savage yelled.

Although he is only a sophomore, this game will stand as a representation of Mitchell-Day’s growth from even one year ago. He ended the game with 15 points, leading the Big Green despite falling 76-58 to the defending league champions. 

At the 2:36 mark, Mitchell-Day would flush again, helping to fill out a four rebound, three assist, 7-for-14 afternoon. With Ryan Cornish ’25 and Jackson Munro ’26 out with injuries, Izaiah Robinson ’24 provided 13 points and led the team in minutes, all off the bench. 

“Always stay prepared, always get into the gym and always stay ready. That’s been my focus up to this point,” Robinson said in an interview conducted by Dartmouth Athletics on X. He also mentioned that while the Big Green are injury-plagued, “this group is still fighting, still trying to be competitive, we have a motto that no one cares about the circumstances or situation.”

For the Tigers, senior guard Matt Alloco pitched in 25 points, including five three-pointers. Potential All-Ivy League and Princeton sophomore Xaivian Lee was somewhat contained by the Dartmouth defense in the first half, but ended with 16, including a perfect seven-for-seven from the charity stripe.

Head coach David McLaughlin echoed the praise of the defending league champions. “Princeton’s an excellent team, high-octane offense,” McLaughlin said. “They know who they are. They have a couple guys that are extremely talented players …We can’t get down 25-10, regardless of whether or not some of those shots were tough shots. Now you’re kind of digging out for the rest of the half.”

He did, however, mention some bright spots, despite the tough loss.

“I felt we really found our identity, on both ends of the floor, and cut it to nine,” McLaughlin said. “We had to make plays, and they made some tough ones.”

He finished by emphasizing the importance of returning key pieces as the Big Green continued on into Ivy League play.

“We have to get healthy, but this was a good test,” McLaughlin said. “And we learned a lot about ourselves.”

The Big Green fall to 0–2 in conference play, while the Tigers improve to 2–0. Here’s a look into the Ivy League Standings after the action on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

Looking ahead to next week, the Big Green will take on the Yale University Bulldogs, (11–6, 2-0 Ivy League), who are led by sophomore forward Danny Wolf, who is averaging 14.4 points per game to go along with 9.5 rebounds per game. In their last matchup on Feb. 4 , Yale defeated the Big Green 72-53 in Hanover.