Harvard knows bigger challenges are ahead after sweeping Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H. – Animated is not a word normally used to describe Tommy Amaker, but there he was Saturday night at Leede Arena exhorting his team on, almost screaming, at least as much as Amaker is capable of such a thing.

The timing seemed strange. Just past the midway point of the second half, his Bryce Aiken-less Harvard team had just started to put some distance between itself and a pesky Dartmouth team that pushed the Crimson fairly hard the week before at Lavietes Pavilion and was only a four-point underdog (sports gambling recently became legal in the state of New Hampshire, for those who care). Harvard wasn’t playing its best game, but it weren’t playing poorly, either.

Read moreHarvard knows bigger challenges are ahead after sweeping Dartmouth

Full Leede Arena makes Dartmouth dream, even in loss

Let’s be honest with ourselves, the Ivy League is never going to win any Division I attendance titles. But what some of the homely and aging facilities in the Ancient Eight lack in size or amenities, they can make up for in old-school college basketball atmosphere, which anyone who has attended a big game at Lavietes Pavilion (home of this season’s Ivy League Tournament) or Lee Amphitheater can attest to after their ears take a couple of hours to adjust to normality.

Read moreFull Leede Arena makes Dartmouth dream, even in loss

Ninth straight Cornell loss hurts more than most

There was hope for Brian Earl and Cornell Sunday afternoon, a little gleam that shined through at Chase Family Arena. Sure, Hartford is a middle-of-the-road America East team (see: probably not Yale, Harvard, or Penn), but there the Big Red were, making shots, dominating inside and outside, finally able to remove some of the stench from an eight-game losing streak that had morale not-so-cheery as Christmas approaches.

And then it all fell apart.

Read moreNinth straight Cornell loss hurts more than most

Dartmouth frustrated by Bryant, but not discouraged

Saturday afternoon’s 64-60 loss to Bryant at Leede Arena left a bitter taste on the lips of Dartmouth as it breaks for the holidays.

And rightfully so. The Big Green (7-6) have overachieved for much of the first two months of this campaign, and if they are going to contend to compete in the Ivy League Tournament for the first time, they should be able to handle an NEC team – particularly a banged up one – at home.

Read moreDartmouth frustrated by Bryant, but not discouraged

Mike Smith carries Lions as they adjust to new normal

Mike Smith put Columbia on his 5-foot-11 frame and carried it to a much needed 68-64 victory over Lehigh Saturday afternoon at Levien Gym. The senior leader had 30 points, six assists (with only two turnovers), and drew 10 Lehigh fouls, five in each half.

“I just kind of mixed it up, I shot the three, got to the rim, hit a couple of pull-ups,” Smith said. “I just tried to change up the game, if I can score at all three levels, it’s kind of hard to stop it.”

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Dartmouth bests Florida Gulf Coast, moves to 2-0 for first time in 23 years

It doesn’t take a deep dive into the recent history of Dartmouth men’s basketball to see that finding positive material can be quite difficult, most prominently not having been to the NCAA Tournament since 1959, the longest active drought for any team that has actually appeared in the Big Dance.

So here is an incomplete list of accomplishments the Big Green has already gotten to after holding off Florida Gulf Coast 55-49 on an icy night in Hanover to move to 2-0 on the young 2019-20 season:

Read moreDartmouth bests Florida Gulf Coast, moves to 2-0 for first time in 23 years