We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Dartmouth is next because Gabas Maldunas delivers.
Our No. 3 all-time Dartmouth moment just so happens to be the same as the No. 8 all-time Harvard moment.
Dartmouth went into its regular season finale on March 7, 2015 needing to defeat Yale to finish 14-14 and thus qualify for the College Invitational Tournament (CIT), for what would mark the program’s first postseason appearance since 1959.
But with just 28 seconds left and Dartmouth trailing 57-52, the Big Green’s Connor Boehm missed a three-pointer and Yale forward and Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears snared the rebound, seemingly ending the home team’s hopes.
With 24 seconds remaining, Yale led by three and had the ball. But then four Dartmouth defenders tied up Yale guard Javier Duren, resulting in a jump ball call and possession awarded to the Big Green.
Just 10 seconds later, Dartmouth’s Miles Wright used a Connor Boehm screen to nail the game-tying shot.
Duren subsequently drove through the lane and drew a shooting foul. He made one of two, handing Yale a one-point lead. (As our Crimson Crawford noted in March, KenPom put Dartmouth’s chances at 1-100 at this point.)
With only two seconds left, Dartmouth called timeout. Out of the timeout, Dartmouth threw a full court pass, but Sears appeared to bat the ball out of bounds trickled out of bounds under the Dartmouth hoop. Then Dartmouth’s John Golden tossed a perfect lob pass to a racing Gabas Maldunas, who caught and swished the ball in a continuous motion, handing Dartmouth its first ever CIT appearance (and Harvard its fifth consecutive Ivy League title and eventually fifth consecutive NCAA tournament berth). Yale’s 53-year NCAA drought continued, while Dartmouth’s 56-year postseason drought ended.
Dartmouth went on to lose at Canisius, 87-72, in the first round of the CIT, but the Big Green’s dramatic and highly consequential win over Yale will be remembered by fans of the Big Green and Crimson (joyously) and Bulldogs (painfully) for many years to come.