Dartmouth (5-24) at Columbia (14-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 3, 7:00 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Levien Gymnasium (2,700) -- New York, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Dartmouth 4-9, Columbia 7-6. Away Record: Dartmouth 1-13, Columbia 5-9. Neutral Record: Dartmouth 0-2, Columbia 2-0. Conference Record: Dartmouth 1-12, Columbia 3-10. Series Record: Columbia leads, 106-95.
GAME NOTES: The 2011-12 regular season comes to a close for both the Dartmouth Big Green and the Columbia Lions tonight, as the two square off in an Ivy League tilt from Levien Gymnasium in New York City.
Dartmouth's season has been a struggle from start to finish, winning just five of its 29 total games. It is also sitting alone in last place in the Ivy League with an embarrassing 1-11 conference mark. The Big Green have lost three straight, the most recent of which being a 70-57 decision to Cornell on Friday night.
Columbia's campaign has been a series of highs an lows en route to its 14-15 overall record and 3-10 league ledger. The Lions started 0-4, then won 11 of their next 12. They are now losers of a season-worst six consecutive games after falling to first-place Harvard in overtime on Friday, 77-70. It was also their sixth loss in 13 games played at Levien Gym.
After 201 all-time meetings between these two rivals, Columbia is clinging to a 106-95 advantage, which includes wins in four of the last five encounters.
No matter how you look at it, Dartmouth has the Ivy League's worst offense as it averages a mere 57.7 ppg while shooting 39.3 percent from the field, which includes a 33.8 percent effort from beyond the arc, and it owns a turnover margin of -1.76. It was much of the same for the Big Green in Friday's loss to Cornell, as the team shot a woeful 34 percent from the floor, missing 12 of its 15 three-point tries along the way, while committing 16 giveaways. Jvonte Brooks put together one of the better games of his young career with 15 points and nine rebounds. The freshman has been streaky this year, putting up double digits in points 14 times, while scoring five points or fewer seven times en route to an overall scoring average of 8.9 ppg. Though no Dartmouth player averages double digits in points, the young trio of Brooks, Gabas Maldunas (9.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and John Golden (7.5 ppg) gives the squad some hope for the future.
Columbia fought hard against Harvard on Friday, coming back from a four-point, first-half deficit to force overtime before ultimately falling in a 77-70 final. The Lions were on fire for much of the game, connecting on 50.9 percent of their field goal attempts, but the Crimson exceeded that efficiency, making a scorching 56.2 of their total shots. Brian Barbour had yet another stellar game in the loss, shooting 9-of-17 from the field for 23 points while also adding five boards and two steals. Barbour is the Lions' leading scoring at 15.7 ppg and he has upped that number to 17.5 ppg in conference games. Meiko Lyles chips in with 10.2 ppg and Mark Cisco brings a positive presence to the paint with 9.8 ppg and 7.1 rpg. Columbia has one of the better offenses in the Ivy League, putting up 65.3 ppg to claim a scoring margin of +3.0.
Even though Columbia is reeling right now, there were plenty of positives to take away from last night's loss to Harvard. Expect the Lions to finally get back in the win column against the hapless Big Green, thus closing the season on a high note.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Columbia 67, Dartmouth 57
03/03 11:01:03 ET