HANOVER, N.H. – Gabas Maldunas dominated in the paint to the tune of 29 points and nine rebounds Saturday night, powering Dartmouth College to a season-opening 67-54 men’s basketball victory over the University of Maine.
The Big Green opened the second half with a decisive 12-2 scoring run that put the Black Bears on their heels and enabled the hosts to take charge.
John Golden posted 13 points and five rebounds while Alex Mitola netted 12 points for Dartmouth, which shot 46 percent (22-for-48 from the field).
The Big Green bottled up UMaine post man Alasdair Fraser, who managed only two points (on 1-for-4 shooting ) and eight rebounds and committed five turnovers in 34 minutes.
Senior forward Mike Allison notched a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way for coach Ted Woodward’s Black Bears, who won the rebounding battle 36-32 but finished with 17 turnovers.
Justin Edwards contributed 12 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists for UMaine and Xavier Pollard posted 10 points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists. Jon Mesghna added six points and four boards.
The Bears spotted the Big Green an 8-1 lead, but Edwards scored six points to spark an 11-4 spurt that tied the contest. UMaine later extended the lead to four points on Allison’s dunk and a Pollard layup.
However, Dartmouth ended the half with a 9-3 run to take the lead for good at 28-26.
The Big Green then took the upper hand, outscoring UMaine 12-2 during the first five minutes of the second half.
The Bears came out and missed their first three shots of the period while committing two turnovers. Dartmouth answered with a Kevin Crescenzi and a layup by Maldunas. Allison responded with two foul shots, but Maldunas hit a jumper and Golden drained a 3-pointer to make it 38-28.
Two Jvonte Brooks free throws pushed the lead to 12 with 15:22 remaining. UMaine never got closer than five points after that.
Maine returns to action Wednesday at Holy Cross.