The men’s basketball team will round out its 2009-’10 road schedule with games at Dartmouth (5–19, 1–9 Ivy) and Harvard (18–6, 7–3) this weekend. The Bulldogs (10–17, 4–6) will try to bounce back from last weekend’s sweep at the hands of Princeton and Penn by completing their fourth season sweep of the Big Green in the last five years and avenging their heartbreaking Feb. 12 overtime loss to the Crimson.
Harvard currently trails second-place Princeton by just a half game in the Ivy League standings, as the two vie for second behind two-time defending conference champion Cornell (23–4, 9–1). Dartmouth sits in the Ivy league’s cellar with just one win, which came against Columbia last weekend.
In their last meeting, the Elis and Cantabs played an overtime thriller featuring 13 ties and 12 lead changes. Harvard pulled out the tough 82–79 win as Yale captain Alex Zampier ’10 could not connect on two potential game-tying threes at the end of the extra period to give the Crimson the victory. The last time the Bulldogs and Big Green clashed, the Elis got the better of their foes to the north, coming back to win 69–56.
Harvard will feature Bob Cousy Award finalist Jeremy Lin, whose 16.8 ppg have put him in the running for being recognized as the nation’s top point guard. He’ll lead a talented freshman class into action against the Elis — a class that combined for 53 points in the game two weeks ago.
For Dartmouth, the problem this season has been a lack of offense. Though the Big Green are undefeated when they shoot over 41 percent from the field, they have only done that five times, and none of their players averages double figures. Their defense has been more impressive, allowing only 64.8 ppg. That statistic, however, combined with a scoring offense that has put up just 54.2 points per game — creating a minus-10.6 scoring margin — indicates why Dartmouth has struggled this season.
The Bulldogs stand a half game behind Penn for fourth in the Ivy League. Their current position, fifth, matches their preseason ranking, and if the Elis hope to improve on that this weekend, they will need to assert themselves in the paint. Yale is 0–10 this season when getting out-rebounded and will need a big weekend from center Paul Nelson ’10 (5.7 rpg), as well as forwards Mike Sands ’11 (5.6 rpg) and Greg Mangano ’12 (5.8 rpg), if it hopes to rebound from last weekend’s sweep.
The action gets underway Friday night at 7 p.m. at Leede Arena in Hanover, N.H.