As Dartmouth forward Paul Bode pulled down a defensive rebound, Barnett got tangled up with Harvard junior guard Jim Goffredo—a mysterious exchange that ended with Goffredo hitting the hardwood and Barnett receiving a technical foul, which was later downgraded to flagrant.
“I saw the end part of it where [Barnett] pushed [Goffredo] down,” senior swingman Michael Beal said. “I didn’t see what led up to it.”
“I did not see the play,” Harvard coach Frank Sullivan said. “It’s interesting, because if we were in a different kind of arena...the referees would have gone to the monitor to check it out. It became important, because they didn’t want to assess a technical foul unless they had to, so they just called it a flagrant foul.”
Goffredo, who is a 92-percent shooter from the line, sank both of his free throws, and junior forward Brian Darcy hit a jumper off the inbound. The play sparked a 7-0 run that gave the Crimson (10-5, 2-0) a 10-point lead, its biggest of the contest to that point.
“It slowed the game down a little bit and changed the tempo a little bit,” Sullivan said. “It was good to get grounded at that point.”
Dartmouth guard Leon Pattman converted a layup to close the gap to 47-40 with 11:21 left, but Harvard had the lead back to 11 with just under 10 minutes to go. It maintained its double-digit advantage for the rest of the contest.
“The momentum looked like it shifted,” junior center Brian Cusworth said. “It definitely silenced the crowd a bit. We were able to regain our composure, get back to our game, and take over.”
For the first time this season, both big men, Cusworth and captain Matt Stehle, recorded double-doubles.
Cusworth scored a game-high 12 points and added a season-high 13 boards, while Stehle posted 11 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.
“The goal coming into every game is to use our strength, our size, and our power to attack the basket,” Cusworth said.
Cusworth added three blocks, while Stehle dished out eight assists for the second-straight contest, once again leaving him two shy of a triple-double.
“This is a game where they put a lot of pressure on the point guard, and Matt became the alternative for handling the basketball,” Sullivan said. “It’s just good to see him on the high end of the assist-to-turnover ratio. Most of his career, it has been the other way.”
“[A triple-double] would be a great way for him to go out,” Sullivan added.
THE BEAL DEAL
Despite logging 28 minutes, Beal spent much of the game against Dartmouth hobbling through pain.
Beal tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during his sophomore season—an injury that has hounded him since, but that was seriously aggravated recently.
“I wanted to wait until after this game to get an MRI on it,” Beal said. “I’ve been able to get through it with the adrenaline and the brace, but the two weeks [off] it should be really good.”
Beal was scheduled to undergo an MRI this past Monday.
At this point, Beal could receive at most another semester of eligibility if he took off the spring semester. But the senior swingman appears resolute on going forward with the rest of the season.
“He missed a couple of days of practice this week, and he’s really got an issue there,” Sullivan said. “But he’s going to tough it out. He’s not going to go for surgery, not going to go for rehab.”
“That should be a good by-product of exam period—to get him some rest,” Sullivan said.
GET THE LEAGUE TOGETHER
One scheduling oddity of the week heading into the two Harvard-Dartmouth games was the Big Green’s playing of several non-conference contests. It even faced Stony Brook for a non-conference home tilt in the interim of the two Harvard matchups.
Like Brown and Yale, teams that similarly started the league season with a home-and-home, the Crimson chose to keep its schedule clear for a full week to prepare for the league contests.
Dartmouth had to schedule the games, according to coach Terry Dunn, because its exam break, which occurs at the beginning of December, comes when most teams are looking to play non-conference contests. Since the Big Green has to play scheduling catch-up, it has to take whatever it can get in January.
“Once people get into the league, they really don’t play out-of-conference games,” Dunn said.
With the win, the Crimson started out 2-0 in the league for the first time since the 2002-2003 season. Harvard has never started out 3-0 in Ivy play under Sullivan...Penn breezed past Cornell and Columbia this weekend to join the Crimson at the top of the league leaderboard. Yale took its home opener against Brown to open its Ivy slate. Those three teams constitute all of the league’s remaining undefeateds after one full weekend of play. The Bulldogs are back in action this weekend against Brown, while Harvard won’t play another league game until Jan. 27. The Quakers don’t meet Ivy competition again until Feb. 3.
—Staff writer Michael R. James can be reached at email@example.com.