SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Paced by a 54-point second-half output, including 74 percent shooting from the field, the Bryant University men's basketball team took down Dartmouth, 79-66, Saturday afternoon at the Chace Athletic Center in the final contest before the holiday break.
The Big Green (2-8) were able to cut the Bulldog (6-4) lead to 13 points five different times in the final 10 minutes of play, but the visitors couldn't overcome a 20-4 Bulldog run that spanned 6:18, snapping a 31-31 tie and vaulting Bryant to an 51-33 advantage with 11:07 to go.
Senior Frankie Dobbs (Berea, Ohio) led the Bulldogs, tying his season high with 19 points, including 14 in the second frame, and a season-high seven assists, while junior Corey Maynard (Adelaide, Australia) chipped in a season-best 15 points and six rebounds. For the first time since January 2011, five Bulldogs recorded double-figure points in the win, with junior Alex Francis (Harlem, N.Y.) adding 13 (eight rebounds) and sophomores Dyami Starks (Duluth, Minn.) and Joe O'Shea (Burlington, Vt.) chipping in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Connor Boehm put up a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds for Dartmouth, while Alex Mitola added 15 points and five helpers. The victory guarantees the Bulldogs a winning non-conference record with just one game left before starting Northeast Conference action.
After shooting just 34.4 percent in the opening period, the Bulldogs went off in the second half, posting a 73.9 percent shooting clip and missing just six shots in the period. Bryant finished the game shooting better than 50 percent (.509) from the floor for the third time this season and went 19-for-21 from the free throw line, getting to the stripe 20 times in the second frame.
An emphatic slam from Francis granted the Bulldogs an 11-7 advantage nearly halfway through the opening frame, as the methodical pace of the contest made points hard to come by early on for both squads.
As the half progressed, the pace and scoring output began to pick up for Bryant, as the Black and Gold rattled off a 9-2 run by forcing Dartmouth into turnovers and controlling play on the glass. The Bulldogs would take a 22-12 advantage at the 3:27 mark, but it wouldn't last long, as a deep triple from Mitola sparked an 11-3 Big Green run in the closing minutes of the first half that brought the visitors within a single basket, 25-23, heading into the locker room at the intermission.
Maynard led the Bulldogs with seven points and four rebounds at the half, while Francis put up six points and four boards in 18 minutes of play. Mitola paced the Big Green with seven points and two assists.
Neither team wasted time coming out of the locker room in the second, as both squads traded baskets to open the frame. But after a Boehm layup knotted the score at 31-31 at the 17:25 mark, the Bulldogs responded with 13 uninterrupted points, a streak highlighted by a pair of Francis slams and a three-point play from rookie Shane McLaughlin (Old Tappan, N.J.).
Boehm got the Big Green back on the board with 12:15 remaining on the clock, but the Bulldogs continued to get out in front in transition, scoring seven more consecutive points for the 20-2 run that put the game out of reach.
A trifecta from Dartmouth's John Golden at 9:33 brought the visitors back within 13, but it was the closest the Ivy League opponent would come, as the hosts extended their advantage to 20 points, 58-38, with 8:20 to go and maintained the double-digit edge through the remainder of the outing for the 79-66 final.
Bryant's 90.5 percent conversion from the free throw line marked a new season best, as Maynard (4-4), Dobbs (6-6), McLaughlin (3-3) and Starks (2-2) were all perfect from the charity stripe.
The Bulldogs will have a six-day break before their next outing, as the team travels to Bethlehem, Pa., on Dec. 29 for its final non-conference matchup of the season.