By: Rick Bender
at ALBANY (3-7)
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018 | 3 PM | ESPN+
SEFCU Arena (4,538) | Albany, N.Y.
• Barely two weeks after dropping 17 3-pointers and 91 points on Albany at the Belfast Classic, Dartmouth will take on the Great Danes again at the SEFCU Arena in an attempt to beat a non-conference team twice in one season since … beating Albany twice in January of 2001.
• The only other instance of the Big Green playing a team from outside the Ivy League twice in one year since then was in 2008-09 when Dartmouth lost twice to Army.
• A win over Albany would give the Green four straight victories for the first time since ending the 2014-15 regular season with five in a row to qualify for postseason play in the CIT.
• No surprise here, but Dartmouth has been successful when hitting at least 49 percent from the floor, winning all seven games, while losing the five contests in which they shot less than that.
• Junior Brendan Barry became the eighth Big Green player to score at least 30 points in Leede Arena with his career-high 31-point eruption in the 78-68 win over Boston University on Thursday.
• Barry got to 31 on the strength of his eight triples, tying a personal best set in the season opener.
• Dartmouth’s leading scorer, sophomore Chris Knight, scored 20 points — his third game of 20 or more in the last five — and nine rebounds to move into third among the Ivy rebounding leaders (7.7).
• As a team, the Big Green had 14 3-pointers in 30 attempts, improving their per game total to 11.9 (fifth in the nation) and percentage to 42.7 (ninth).
• Barry has hit 44-of-79 (.557) 3-pointers to rank third in the country in percentage. He is also the D-I active leader in accuracy at 48.0 percent with 122 triples to his credit.
Series vs. Albany
• These two teams have split their 10 meetings with Dartmouth evening up the series in Northern Ireland two weeks ago with a 91-77 win.
• The Great Danes had won four straight against the Green, including a 91-73 contest last year at Leede Arena.
• Dartmouth is 2-4 all-time at Albany, including a 43-23 win in the first showdown almost exactly 91 years ago (Dec. 17, 1927).
• The Big Green are 120-112 all-time against current America East schools, including wins over Albany and Maine this season.
Scouting the Great Danes
• Albany has lost five of its last six with the lone win an 82-63 victory over Monmouth last week.
• The lone common opponent is Boston University, which defeated the Great Danes a month ago by 10 points, 71-61.
• Four days ago, Albany lost to another Ivy League team, Yale, 71-63 on the road.
• As a team, the Great Danes are shooting just 41.4 percent from the floor, but a solid 35.3 percent from long range.
• Ahmad Clark is the top player on the squad, averaging 19.2 ppg with 22 3-pointers and a team-best 42 assists.
• Cameron Healy has given Albany a strong scoring duo at 16.9 ppg while shooting 39.5 percent (32-of-81) from the perimeter.
• The Great Danes have held their own on the boards with a plus-0.7 edge, led by Adam Lulka (7.2 rpg) and Devonte Campbell (6.6).
• Albany is one of the top free throw shooting teams in the country at 77.8 percent (11th).
• Will Brown (Dowling ’95) heads up the Great Danes, now in his 18th season with a career record of 285-255 entering this game. He has led Albany to five NCAA Tournament appearances and topped 20 wins each of the last four years.
Big Green Say It “Alban-3”
You may remember that in the first meeting with Albany, Dartmouth drained 17 3-pointers, its second-most of the season behind the school-record 22 in the season opener against Newbury College. Well, it was also the second-most for the Big Green ever against a Division I opponent, and the Great Danes were the victim for the top one as well — 18 in an 88-76 victory on Jan. 20, 2001. And of the seven games in which Dartmouth has had at least 15 triples, three have been against Albany with the other coming in 2002 (15).
Three In A Row
With the 78-68 defeat of Boston University on Dec. 13, Dartmouth enjoyed its first three-game win streak since the end of the 2016 calendar year, almost exactly two years ago. A victory over Albany would give the Green their first four-game streak since a five-gamer at the end of the 2014-15 regular season.
The win over BU boosted Dartmouth’s record to 7-5, the best 12-game mark for the Big Green since the 2013-14 team was also 7-5. The last time it was better than that after a dozen contests was in 1996-97 (9-3). Dartmouth has not finished a season at .500 or better in 20 years (14-12 in 1998-99).
31 Points On Mostly One Flavor
Junior Brendan Barry enjoyed a career night against Boston University on Dec. 13 by collecting 31 points, the first 30-point game by a Dartmouth player since Miles Wright tied the Leede Arena record with 39 against LIU Brooklyn on Nov. 29, 2015. Of those 31 points, 24 came on 3-pointers as Barry drained eight to match his personal best set in the season opener. Six of his eight long balls came in the second half as he posted 21 points after the intermission. The 6-2 guard is now third in the nation in 3-point percentage (.557, 44-of-79).
20 Points of Knight
For the third time in a five-game span, sophomore Chris Knight provided at least 20 points for the Big Green as the forward tallied exactly 20 in the 78-68 win over BU on Dec. 13. His 10 field goals matched his personal best set just eight days prior against Quinnipiac, and he added nine rebounds to his line. He enters the Albany game third in the Ivy League with 7.7 rebounds per game and sixth in scoring at 15.3 ppg.
49 Percent Threshold
It seems that Dartmouth has set the bar for its shooting percentage at 49 percent in order to win a game. The Big Green shot exactly 50.0 percent from the floor against Boston University in the 78-68 win, improving to 7-0 when shooting at least 49 percent. Below that mark and they are 0-5. Granted, the threshold could be 48 or 47 percent since the highest field goal percentage in a loss thus far is 46.4 percent at Davidson back on Nov. 9.
First-Half Limit for Opponents
Dartmouth has limited its opponents to no more than 27 points in the first half in each of the first six home games. As a matter of fact, during the recent four-game home stand, every opponent had exactly 27 points at the intermission — Quinnipiac, Maine, Sacred Heart and Boston University. My explanation? Three is a magic number, just like Schoolhouse Rock taught my generation, and 27 is three to the third power. If you have something better, I’m all ears.
Rai Rises Up
An injury during the offseason slowed Aaryn Rai during the first few weeks of the season, but the sophomore looked more like the player that started 17 games last season as a rookie when he came off the bench to provide six points and seven rebounds, as well as a pair of blocks — all season highs — in the win over Boston University.
Lighting It Up
• Dartmouth ranks fifth in the nation in 3-pointers made (11.9 per game) and ninth in percentage as a team (.427) after going 14-of-30 from the perimeter against Boston University.
• In eight of the first 12 games, the Big Green have hit at least 10 treys. The last season with at least that many games in double digits was the 2002-03 campaign (9) while the school record is 16 set the year prior (2001-02).
• The Big Green are well on pace to shatter the program record of 263 3-pointers made — set in that 2001-02 season — with 143 treys after just 12 games. At that rate, Dartmouth would finish the regular season with 358.
• Dartmouth started the year with four straight games with at least 10 3-pointers, its longest such streak since a six-game stretch in 2002.
• Brendan Barry ranks third in the country at 55.7 percent (44-of-79) behind the arc while James Foye (54.3) and Ian Sistare (52.3) have not made quite enough triples to qualify for the rankings.
• The Big Green hit 22 trifectas in the season opener, breaking the team record of 18 set in a win over Albany on Jan. 20, 2001.
• Dartmouth has had 15 or more 3-pointers in a game three times this season after reaching that total just four times previously since the 3-point line was instituted 32 years ago.