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Cager Squads Sweep Green, Claim First

Rullman's 21 Points Spark Win

By Michael Stankiewicz, Special to The Crimson

HANOVER, N.H.--There were very few little things on the basketball court in the Harvard-Dartmouth men's basketball game here Saturday night at Leede Arena.

Almost all things on basketball courts are at least six feet tall. And most close basketball games are won by big people making big plays.

But Harvard's Tyler Rullman earned a tenured position in the Little Things Department, as he made all the little plays and scored 12 big points in the final 11 minutes to help the Crimson preserve a 73-70 win over the Big Green.

"Down the stretch, they did the little things and we didn't," Dartmouth Coach Paul Cormier said. "Tyler Rullman hurt us in the second half. They all pitched in. It was a good team effort on their part."

Harvard (3-9 overall, 2-0 Ivy) remains in first place in the Ivies with its two wins over Dartmouth (3-7, 0-2), as no other Ivy team has begun league competition.

"The road to the Ivy title and the NCAA tournament is won by stealing some games on the road," said Harvard Coach Peter Roby, who claimed a two-game sweep over his alma mater for the first time in his six-year coaching tenure. "This by no means does anything but give us one-up on everybody else. Until somebody proves they can win up here in this environment, we have one in our pocket."

Dartmouth utilized the absence of foul-trouble-plagued Harvard Co-Captain Ron Mitchell to turn a 40-36 deficit into a 55-52 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the game. But Rullman went to work, hitting a banker in the lane, a three-pointer and a pair of foul shots over the next three minutes to tie the contest, 59-59.

"One of the things we like about our team is our versatility," Roby said. "When you always look to one person to score, you stand around when they're not in wondering whose going to take over. We don't do that. We spread the wealth."

Rullman then clinched the game with the "littlethings." Harvard sophomore Matt McClain pulled upfor a short jumper and found nothing but air. Butbefore any of the 1710 boisterous Big Greensupporters could open their mouths to yell,"Airball," Rullman slid in under the net andtipped the errant shot high off the backboard andinto the net as Dartmouth Co-Captain BrendanO'Sullivan shoved him in the back. Rullman'ssubsequent free throw gave the Crimson a 62-59lead.

With Harvard still holding on to a slimone-point advantage with just 80 seconds to play,Rullman faked an 18-foot jumper from the leftside, causing Dartmouth forward John Conley toleap high into the air. The Crimson forward,nicknamed the "Springfield Rifle," went up for ashot anyway, fouling Conley out of the game andearning two foul shots to put Harvard in acommanding position for the win.

"When two teams are evenly matched, you have todo the little things. We didn't," Cormier said."They got a couple of second shots. We fouled whenwe shouldn't have. We didn't foul at the end likewe should have. Our plan was to one-trap and lookto foul. We didn't when we had the opportunity."

The "not fouling when we should have" occurredin the game's final minute, with the Crimsonclinging to a 71-70 lead. Harvard came out of atimeout and managed to run off 29 seconds beforethe Big Green finally fouled Harvard Co-CaptainRalph James, who finished a perfect 7-for-7 fromthe foul line. Who the Big Green didn't foul--andshould have--was Tarik Campbell, who was 1-for-5from the charity stripe after entering the gameshooting only 40 percent from the line.

Both of James' foul shots bounced on the rimand rolled in for the 73-70 lead--just a couplemore little things that helped give Harvard acritical road victory.

"Harvard just played a great game," saidDartmouth guard Bill Taylor, who scored 14 points,including 4-for-8 from three-point range. "Therearen't too many teams that can come into LeedeArena and play like that. We played probably ourbest game of the season and they just respondedreally well."

Taylor's backcourt mate, James Blackwell,chipped in a team-high 20 points and eight assiststo help Dartmouth stay with the Crimson. Blackwellwas shut down by James, but when Mitchell got infoul trouble and James was forced to defend aforward, Blackwell almost buried the Crimson.After Rullman's three-point play gave Harvard a62-59 lead, a pair of Blackwell jumpers keyed a6-0 Dartmouth run. And the All-Ivy candidate fedTaylor for an open three-point jumper and aseemingly commanding 68-63 lead with 3:45 left toplay.

"The overall hustle of James was the differencefor us," Taylor said. "He would come in and itwould be an instant spark and we get back intoit."

But Harvard responded to Blackwell with a late8-0 run, including McClain and James jumpers andtwo foul shots by Mitchell, who finished with 11points and 11 rebounds in only 18 minutes of play.

"Our foul trouble hurt us. They could go to[Michael] Lombard, who had a decisive heightadvantage on Rullman," Roby said, "but I thoughtRonnie did a terrific job playing with fourfouls."

NOTEBOOK: With Mitchell playing only 18minutes and center Mike Minor missing his thirdstraight game with a knee injury, Harvard wasoutrebounded, 43-29. O'Sullivan (11 rebounds) andLombard (10) led the Big Green inside. "We wantedto force their big guys to beat us and they did abetter job this time, just not enough to beat us,"Roby said...For the second time this season,Harvard's Peter Condakes was fouled after hittinga three-point shot. The trey pulled the Crimsonwithin one, 53-52, with 12 minutes to play.Condakes, who made his first start of the season,finished with 12 points and three rebounds in 30minutes of action...Harvard forced 21 Big Greenturnovers.Crimson, 73-70 in Hanover, N.H.

HARVARD  38-35--73Dartmouth  36-34--70

HARVARD (73): Ron Mitchell 3-7 5-6 11;Tyler Rullman 7-12 5-5 21; Peter Condakes 3-6 4-512; Ralph James 4-13 7-7 15; Tarik Campbell 2-81-5 5; Matt McClain 3-7 1-2 7; Jabbar Abdi 1-1 0-02.

Totals: 23-54 23-30 73

DARTMOUTH (70): John Conley 1-6 0-2 2;Brendan O'Sullivan 5-9 0-3 10; Michael Lombard 2-47-8 11; Bill Taylor 5-12 0-0 14; James Blackwell8-15 4-5 20; Gregg Frame 1-4 0-0 2; Alex Gayer 2-50-0 4; Stan Kowalewski 3-5 0-0 7; Reggie Talbert0-0 0-0 0; Mike Crotty 0-0 0-0 0; Gary Campbell0-0 0-0 0.

Totals: 27-60 11-18 70

Three-pointers: Rullman 2, Condakes 2; Taylor4, Kowalewski. Fouled Out: Conley. Rebounds:Harvard 29 (Mitchell 11); Dartmouth 43 (O'Sullivan11). Assists: Harvard 14 (Campbell 9); Dartmouth18 (Blackwell 8). Steals: Harvard 8 (James 3);Dartmouth 12 (Lombard 4). Blocks: Harvard 2(Rullman, James); Dartmouth 5 (Lombard 2). TotalFouls: Harvard 17; Dartmouth 25. Turnovers:Harvard 15; Dartmouth 21.

Attendance: 1710

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