By: Rick Bender
DARTMOUTH (9-14, 2-6)
vs. PENN (13-8, 5-3)
and PRINCETON (11-10, 6-2)
Friday / Saturday, Feb. 21 / 22, 2020 | 7 PM | ESPN+
Leede Arena (2,100) | Hanover, N.H.
• After snapping a nine-game slide with last weekend’s sweep, Dartmouth is hoping to double down on that success with the double-P’s in town — Penn and Princeton.
• The Big Green pulled off a last-second, 65-63 victory over Columbia to end the losing streak when Aaryn Rai sank a shook shot in the lane with 0.2 seconds remaining, capping a 9-0 run over the last 6:50 of the game.
• The following night, Dartmouth posted its largest margin of victory in an Ivy League game in 21 years when it defeated Cornell, 75-53.
• Dartmouth had not sweep a conference weekend since the end of the 2014-15 season, and had not won consecutive Ivy games since beating Brown and Cornell on Feb. 13 and 19, 2016.
• Chris Knight was named the Ivy League Player of the Week as he averaged 20.0 points and 6.0 rebounds over the two games, matching a season-high with 23 points against the Lions and recording his third double-double of the season versus the Big Red.
• In addition to his weekly honor, Knight also became the 30th player in Dartmouth history to score 1,000 points in a career, hitting the mark on the first play of the second half against Columbia.
• Rai and James Foye scored in double figures in both games as well with Rai posting a double-double (11 points, 11 boards) in the win over the Lions.
Series vs. Penn
• Dartmouth has squared off against the Quakers 218 times with Penn sporting a record of 155-62.
• The Big Green won three straight in the series for the first time since 1958-59, but Penn has since won the last five meetings, including a 54-46 game at the Palestra on Feb. 1.
• Chris Knight had 12 points in the first meeting this year, and Trevon Ary-Turner added 10 off the bench.
• The Quakers have a slight edge in the last 14 games in the series at 8-6.
• Penn has posted a 22-10 record in Leede Arena. The Big Green won the first four but just two of the next 21 prior to the team’s four-game win streak that was snapped two years ago.
Scouting the Quakers
• The Quakers have won six of their last seven, including a 69-61 victory over Yale last Saturday.
• While Penn is the second-highest scoring team in the Ivy League (74.2 ppg), it also allows more points than any other team (71.3).
• Penn also plays at the fastest pace in the league by far with over 70 possessions per game (Dartmouth is at just under 66).
• Forward A.J. Brodeur is one of the conference’s top players, averaging 17.1 ppg and 9.0 rpg, but had just nine points in the first meeting this year.
• Three others score in double figures as well in Jordan Dingle (14.0 ppg), Devon Goodman (13.4) and Ryan Betley (12.4), though Betley has missed the last three games.
• All three will fire it up from 3-point range with Betley leading the team with 40 treys, but Max Martz has been the most accurate at 29-of-66 (.439).
• Penn ranks second in the league with 15.0 assists per game, and Brodeur (4.9) leads all Ivy players.
• Steve Donahue (Ursinus ’84) is in his fifth year guiding Penn with an 80-61 record entering the weekend. He also led Cornell to the Sweet 16 in 2010 and sports a 280-275 mark in 19 years as a D-I head coach.
Series vs. Princeton
• This is the 219th game in the series that dates back to 1905 with the Tigers leading, 155-63.
• Princeton is 105-23 against the Big Green since the inaugural Ivy season in 1956-57, losing consecutive games just twice in that span with Dartmouth sweeping the season series once (2007).
• In the first meeting this year, the Tigers pulled away in the second half, turning a five-point lead into a 66-44 victory
• Princeton has won 19 of the last 21 meetings.
• Dartmouth is 10-22 against the Tigers in Leede Arena since the venue opened in the fall of 1987.
Scouting the Tigers
• The Tigers got off to a slow start this season but have won eight of their last 10 and are tied atop the Ivy League standings with Yale at 6-2.
• Princeton shoots 46.9 percent from the floor as a team, second in the league, and is even better in league games at 48.2 percent.
• Jaelin Llewellyn (13.7 ppg) and Richmond Aririguzoh (13.0) are the top two scorers with the former a high-usage shooter (12.6 FG attempts a game) and the latter a high-efficient one (64.7 FG pct.).
• Freshman Ryan Schwieger (11.8 ppg) gives the Tigers are strong third scoring option as he shoots 47.1 percent from the floor.
• Aririguzoh is the top rebounder at 7.9 per game, nearly double that of any teammate (Llewellyn has at 4.0 per game).
• While Schwieger has good range (21-of-55 from distance, 38.2 pct.), Drew Friberg is the leading marksman with 39 triples at a 39.4 percent clip, matching Ethan Wright’s accuracy (but with 28 treys).
• Mitch Henderson (Princeton ’98) is in his ninth year guiding his alma mater with a 159-98 record and an Ivy title to his credit (2016-17) entering the weekend. He played in three NCAA Tournaments with the Tigers and spent 11 years as an assistant at Northwestern.
With a 65-53 win over Columbia and a 75-53 triumph over Cornell on Feb. 14-15, Dartmouth earned its first Ivy League weekend sweep since the end of the 2014-15 season when the Big Green beat Brown and Yale in two unforgettable games to cap a five-game winning streak to end Ivy play and earn a postseason bid (CIT) for the first time since 1959. These two wins also marked the first time Dartmouth had won consecutive games in the Ancient Eight in four years (Feb. 13 and 19, 2016).
30th 1,000-Point Scorer
Chris Knight reached a big milestone in the 65-63 win over Columbia, scoring the 1,000th point of his career. The junior is the 30th player in Big Green history to reach the mark and currently has 1,028 points, 26th on Dartmouth’s all-time list. He needs just 16 more to break into the top 25, and at his current pace, Knight would finish the season with 1,100 points.
Foye Academic All-District Again
No surprise here, but senior James Foye was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District I Team a year after earning Academic All-America Second Team honors as a junior. The guard is an economics major with a 3.97 GPA and is providing 9.9 points and 3.1 rebounds a game while starting all 23 contests thus far. This honor comes on the heels of being listed as one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.
Knight Ivy Player of the Week
It had been over a full calendar year since a Dartmouth player had been named the Ivy League Player of the Week, but Chris Knight ended the drought with his performance in a weekend sweep of Columbia and Cornell. The junior forward averaged 20 points and six rebounds over the two contests, matching a season high with 23 points against the Lions before ripping off his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds versus the Big Red.
400 Games at Leede Arena
The clash against Columbia on Friday night was the 400th men’s basketball game at Leede Arena, which opened for the 1987-88 season. Last year, the Big Green won eight games here, matching the most since the 2004-05 campaign. Overall, Dartmouth sports a 207-194 (.516) record on its home court.
Rai Beats the Buzzer
The Big Green found themselves trailing Columbia, 63-56, with 6:50 to play, then proceeded to break the Lions’ hearts on Valentine’s Day. Columbia was unable to score another point against the Dartmouth defense, while the Green rallied to tie the score with 50 seconds to play. Aaryn Rai then came to the rescue, hitting a turnaround hook shot in the lane with 0.2 seconds left, lifting Dartmouth to a 65-63 victory and ending a nine-game losing streak. Rai finished the game with 11 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double of the season.
Biggest Ivy Win in 21 Years
After sending Columbia away with a loss, Dartmouth played the role of rude host with Cornell the next night, defeating the Big Red by 22 points, 75-53. It was the Big Green’s largest margin of victory in a conference game since beating Brown, 70-46, on Jan. 30, 1999. Yep, it was the biggest Ivy win this millennium.
Several Streaks Snapped
As has been stated, Dartmouth’s win over Columbia ended a nine-game slide. But there were several other ignominious streaks that came to an end over the weekend:
• 14-game skid in conference play
• 12-game losing streak on Saturdays
• 11 Ivy losses in a row in games decided by five points or fewer
• Eight straight losses when a player scored 20 or more points
• Six consecutive defeats against Cornell
The Big Green will have to wait until next weekend to try an end a 20-game road losing streak in Ivy League play.