Hartford Head Coach, John Gallagher has added another "first" to his list of credentials leading his team to a 2-1 start for the first time in over a decade.
While they managed to hold out for the win, Dartmouth didn't make it easy. He was warned about Dartmouth's talents, "Mike Martin, head coach over at Brown's my best friend and he had warned me about the game and he had told me what Dartmouth is all about and we got a first hand knowledge of that. Gritty, tough and really really composed group... You have to realize how good that team is. I think that team's going to finish in the top 4 in the Ivy... Their point guard is as good as advertised... They say [Alex] Mitola's one of the best five basketball players in the Ivy."
The first half took a while to kick off for both teams, but Hartford's spark came after freshman John Carroll hit a three to bring them to an 8-6 lead, which was followed by threes from Nate Sikma, Corban Wroe and Taylor Dyson. Though the comment of "we only took 18 threes today" by HC Gallagher makes it seem he believes his guys can do much better than that.
Sikma stepped up having a team high 7 points in the first half, something I can't remember ever happening in the past three years. The big man lit up the stats sheet by the end of the game with three rebounds, three assists, three steals and nine points. For a guy who spent most of last season on the bench due to injuries, this wasn't exactly expected.
Though his performance helped lead the Hawks to victory, it's his personality off the court that seems to shine the most. "Nate's a guy that really understands what we're about and our program... What he does every day for John Carroll, just teaching him, is a great thing. He's a great mentor to all the guys. He has a great way about him... Nate has a great calmness about him. Just a good calmness. It's almost like he's going to the beach."
With another win behind them, the Hawks can move on to their next opponent, Niagara. The game is Saturday night at 7pm. Hopefully the snow won't give them much trouble.