A Look At Dartmouth

A Look At Dartmouth

             After being blatantly overwhelmed by the athleticism and high-octane brand of basketball employed by the UConn Huskies, the Quinnipiac Bobcats will look to spring back during a three-game non-conference slate.

             Quinnipiac coach Tom Moore was reminded of the torrent of talent he scored the nation’s hoop hotbeds for on Sunday, as his former team blitzed the Bobcats to the tune of 32 points.

             The Bobcats return to the cozy confines of the TD Banknorth Sports Complex for a 7PM meeting with Ivy League foe Dartmouth College. Albeit Sunday’s humiliating loss generated unfeasible frustration, a win would give the Bobcats their third victory in four games. The team’s morale would receive an immediate boost with a “W”, injecting momentum before the ‘Cats face Mike Trimboli, Marcus Blakely and the Catamounts at the University of Vermont on Dec. 22.

             The Big Green (5-4) hope to jack their win streak up to three games after registering a 70-67 squeaker over UC Davis that was followed by a 88-52 drubbing of Division-III Daniel Webster. Quinnipiac has won five of the nine overall games since establishing the annual out-of-conference contest in the schedule, holding a 5-4 edge against the Big Green.

             Dartmouth, which has won four of its last five, is led by Alex Barnett’s 16 points and seven boards per game. The 6-foot-6 guard forward dropped 20 and 25 in back-to-back wins over Colgate and Vermont, respectively, in late November. He shot a combined 18-for-30 in those two games and is shooting a sizzling 53 percent from the floor. Pegged as streaky in previous years, Barnett has established himself as an efficient go-to-guy this season.

              Quinnipiac (4-5), which placed strong emphasis on defensive energy last practice, will need to keep Barnett from scoring in clusters. The perimeter defense has been woeful, and on Sunday the Bobcats simply couldn’t fend off the relentless Connecticut Tree Service, a formidable frontcourt featuring 7-foot-3 Hasheem Thabeet as the man in the middle.  

            The Bobcats will also need to strap up on DeVon Mosley (14.4 ppg), who has played better off the ball lately. Mosley is shooting 92 percent from the free throw line.

           Coming into the season, the biggest concern was down low. The Big Green were out-rebounded by five boards a game last season and have received meager production from bigs Eldin Fitzgerald and Kurt Graeber.  

           While the Bobcats relied heavily on their perimeter game against the Huskies, Karl Anderson, Louis Brookins, Ed Zajac, or Justin Rutty could be on the verge of a breakout game around the cup. Dartmouth doesn’t seem to have the personnel in this category and could be in peril if Quinnipiac clamps down on top dogs Barnett and Mosley.

           Quinnipiac off guard Evann Baker (11 ppg), who suffered a hip injury against Army and did not play against UConn, will likely be out again.

            -Zach Smart

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