"They played zone against us and that is really rare in college lacrosse," head coach John Danowski said. "Overall I was really happy with the number of shots. I was happy with a lot of the possessions. A bunch of different guys scored goals and that was great."
Duke held the Big Green scoreless for 34:46 over a span of three quarters and rattled off nine unanswered during that stretch to remain unbeaten against Dartmouth all-time. The Blue Devils improve to 5-3 on the year, while Dartmouth falls to 2-3. The three goals allowed are the fewest by Duke this season and the fewest since March 25, 2008 when the Blue Devils defeated Harvard 10-3.
"I think guys are getting better," Danowski said about his defense. "There is a certain chemistry being developed as the season goes on. I think there's also a certain focus because we've had some days that weren't as good as we'd like. So I think the guys have turned up their focus a little bit."
Crotty, Howell and Quinzani each had five points apiece. Howell and Quinzani turned in matching four-goal and one assist performances and Crotty contributed one marker and four assists.
The Blue Devils opened the scoring 1:24 into the game when Crotty struck for his seventh goal of the season. Howell added a goal 29 seconds later to make it 2-0 before Dartmouth's Ari Sussman got on the board at the 11:40 mark to cut the lead to 2-1.
Duke closed out the quarter with four unanswered for a 5-1 lead after 15 minutes and added two more in the second frame to head into the locker room with a 7-1 advantage. Four different players tallied a goal during that five-goal run to finish the half.
Picking up right where they left off, the Blue Devils tacked on four more goals in just 3:37 to make it 11-1 at the 8:25 mark of the third quarter.
Nikki Dysenchuk registered an unassisted goal to stop Duke's nine-goal run with 6:54 left in the period, but Duke would close out the final 21:54 with four of the next five goals for the win.
The Blue Devils dominated in all facets of the game, outshooting the Big Green 44-21. They won the ground ball battle for the seventh time this season, picking up 30 loose balls to Dartmouth's 21.
Duke's clearing game was nearly perfect at 24-of-26, while the man-up offense was a perfect 4-of-4. Michael Manley helped anchor the defense with a season-high four caused turnovers.
Senior Sam Payton went 5-of-14 at faceoffs and picked up five ground balls and forced three turnovers.
Duke returns to action on March 27 at No. 10 Georgetown. Faceoff is set for 12 p.m., on ESPNU.