Dartmouth connected on four of their last five three point attempts, and didn’t go down without a fight.
“This is the second time in the last three games where we didn’t finish well, but fortunately for us, we were able to sustain their late charge and come away with the victory,” Groce said.
“I thought our bench was really good tonight as well” Groce said of his freshmen. “I thought Malcolm (Hill) and Kendrick (Nunn) gave us good energy coming off the bench”, Groce continued on.
Dartmouth was playing the third of three games in a midwestern swing, and according to Cormier, it appeared to take its toll on the way the Big Green played.
“We just didn’t have the firepower tonight”, Dartmouth coach Paul Cormier said. “I thought we played awful in our first two games of this road trip (losses to Northern Illinois and IPFW), but we had a couple people, particularly freshmen, step up tonight in addition to Connor (Boehm),and Gabas (Maldunas), who each scored a game high 17 points.”
With the loss, Dartmouth falls to 3-4 on the season.
This was the last non-conference home game for the Illini this season, and they will embark on a mini two-game road swing, that will start in Portland, Oregon Saturday with a game against the No.15 Oregon Ducks at the Moda Center (8:00 p.m., ESPN2). The game will also be broadcast locally on WDAN 1490 and WDNL 102.1.
Jim Cotter is a freelance writer for the Commercial-News, and can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org