Men’s basketball looking for boost at home vs. Dartmouth

By Brian Earle

Men’s basketball will look to bounce back after its 63-58 defeat at Nebraska with a matchup with Dartmouth at 7 p.m. today at the Convocation Center.

The Huskies (2-4) had a chance to tie the game with nine seconds left, but sophomore guard Travon Baker’s three-point attempt was off the mark. Even though the Huskies came up short, coach Mark Montgomery was proud of his team’s performance against a Big 10 opponent.

“We went wire to wire,” Montgomery said. “We had our chances to at least tie. That was a competitive game. We feel we belong. Now we just want to be able to finish some of these games.”

The Big Green (3-1) come into this contest on a two-game winning streak, most recently taking down Maine, 81-56. They are a strong shooting team and are led by sophomore guard Alex Mitola, who scores 13 points per game.

“Dartmouth plays a similar style to James Madison, [who] we played earlier,” Montgomery said. “They will back-cut you. They have extremely good shooters, so if you take away one thing they have other weapons. I think they have four guys in double figures so we’re going to have to get out on their shooters.”

Dartmouth is a strong team in the halfcourt and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. They are anchored by junior center Gabas Maldunas, who nearly averages a double-double, scoring 9.8 points per game, while grabbing 11 rebounds per game.

“They’re an Ivy League team,” said redshirt junior center Jordan Threloff. “They’re a smart team, they take care of the ball, they don’t make a whole lot of mistakes. Their starting five-man is averaging a double-double, so we gotta keep him off the glass.”

The key for the Huskies in this game will be their ability to play inside and out with their big men. Threloff has been strong for the Huskies off the bench this season, scoring 9.7 points per game. His strong play garners a lot of attention and double teams, leaving shooters open on the perimeter.

What the Huskies are focused on most coming into their matchup with Dartmouth is their ability to close out games and make plays down the stretch.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get the wins, but we’ve been in every game,” Threloff said. “We’re so close, that’s what’s so frustrating right now…. We just have to dig a little bit deeper. In the last two, three minutes we’ve had a chance to win the game every game so far, so we just have to make those clutch plays.”