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Harvard Men’s Basketball Dominates Dartmouth 77-59, Improves to 3-4 in Ivy League Play

The Harvard men's basketball team posted an impressive 77-59 victory over the Dartmouth Big Green on Saturday.
The Harvard men's basketball team posted an impressive 77-59 victory over the Dartmouth Big Green on Saturday. By Courtesy of Harvard Athletics
By Alexander K. Bell, Crimson Staff Writer

Traveling Dartmouth (5-15, 1-6 Ivy) fans hoping for an upset at Lavietes on Saturday afternoon might have felt a sense of optimism about the prospect of earning their second Ivy League win with the Big Green leading 14-13 against Harvard (12-8, 3-4 Ivy) eight minutes into the first half. The Crimson, however, had other ideas and four minutes later capped off a 14-2 run that it would use to clinch its 77-59 victory.

Harvard built upon its momentum and used its 41-28 halftime edge to establish dominance enroute to its decisive victory. The Crimson boasted depth on the offense, with six of its players tallying eight or more points, including four in double digits. The onslaught was led by freshman guard Malik Mack who dished out five assists in addition to his 18 points.

The Ivy League conference office announced Monday that Mack had been selected for Ivy Rookie of the Week honors for the eighth time this season, tying a league record held by three former student athletes (Michael Jordan: Penn, 1996-97, Adam Gore: Cornell, 2005-06, and Evan Boudreaux: Dartmouth, 2015-16). With four weekends and seven Ivy games left to play in the regular season, Mack has the chance to make the record his alone.

“We had great balance out of our guys,” Head Coach Tommy Amaker said. “We got different contributions from a lot of different areas. The word ‘balance’ is critical. We had that this afternoon from so many different guys.”

Harvard had a lot to smile about after the game. It out-rebounded Dartmouth 34-27 and limited the Big Green to just five offensive rebounds, an area that has consistently proved problematic for the Crimson this season.

“We haven't been great with keeping people off the offensive glass,” said Amaker. “That’s an area that we needed to do better in and we did. We didn't give up many offensive rebounds.”

The squad's upcoming double-header weekend will prove crucial to securing its spot in the Ivy League post season tournament.
The squad's upcoming double-header weekend will prove crucial to securing its spot in the Ivy League post season tournament. By Courtesy of Harvard Athletics

The Crimson has also been hurt this season by poor three point shooting. Against the Big Green, however, both Mack and junior guard Louis Lesmond knocked down four three pointers. First year forward Thomas Batties II added two more as Harvard hit at least ten three-pointers in a game for the second time in the Ivy League this season on 47.6% three-point shooting.

“It means a lot,” Lesmond said after the game. “In the Ivy League every single game counts, there’s no easy game, and it’s always good to have a good team win at home in front of our people. It sets us up for the next week.”

After Saturday’s win, the Crimson sits tied for fourth place in the Ivy League with Columbia (12-8, 3-4 Ivy). The squad sits squarely behind Princeton (17-3, 5-2 Ivy), Cornell (17-4, 6-1 Ivy), and Yale (16-6, 7-0 Ivy). Yale narrowly defeated Cornell 80-78 on Saturday night to level its record to 7-0, securing its spot as the sole first place team in the league.

Harvard will hit the road this weekend for crucial rematches against Cornell (5-14, 1-5 Ivy) on Friday at 6:00 p.m. EST, and fourth-placed rivals Columbia on Saturday, at 6:00 p.m. EST. Both games will be broadcasted on ESPN+.

—Staff writer Alexander K. Bell can be reached at alexander.bell@thecrimson.com.

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