Women’s basketball completes Ivy League road sweep
By Katie Jarrett, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, February 4, 2013
In their first Ivy League road weekend sweep since the 2008-2009 season, the Dartmouth women’s basketball team defeated Brown University 49-41 on Friday and Yale University 63-48 on Saturday, giving the Big Green (5-13, 3-1 Ivy) a three-game winning streak.
“In conference play, every game is a battle and anyone can beat anyone,” co-captain Nicola Zimmer ’14 said. “These wins are huge for us, especially coming off of Harvard last weekend. We’re proving that we can be in the top section of the league and just taking it one game at a time.”
After offensive woes to start the season, the Big Green showed their effective offensive game, shooting 42.5 percent against Brown (7-11, 1-3 Ivy) and a season best of 49 percent against the Bulldogs (6-12, 1-3 Ivy).
“They’re both quick teams that like to get out and run and want to get out on the fast break,” Zimmer said. “We wanted to hold up their transition game. On the flip side, we wanted to take good shots that work for us then stop them on the other end with our defense.”
The Big Green came out of the gates strong as they put up a 9-0 lead to start the game, fighting off attempts to catch up and leading the Bears 22-19 at the half. In the second half Brown pulled ahead by one with 15:15 left with a score of 29-30, but the Big Green bounced back to tie the score at 38-38 with a little more than six minutes to go.
Following the tie, Dartmouth posted 11 more points to close the night on top.
Although Dartmout prevailed in Saturday’s game and posted a 15 point lead during the first half, the Big Green lost its momentum briefly as the Bulldogs came out of the half with a 8-0 run before the Big Green’s offense fought back and became too much for Yale. A 10-2 run to give the Big Green a 44-31 lead cleared the way for the team to clinch the victory.
“These wins are great for morale, especially for our younger players to get a chance to see what a real Ivy League weekend is and how much of a grind it is,” captain Faziah Steen ’13 said. “You just have to be mentally tough, especially in the second game of the weekend. It was good to see how we match up in the Ivy against these other teams.”
Steen finished the weekend with double figures in both games, scoring 19 points against Yale and 11 against Brown. Also scoring 11 points against Brown and 13 against Yale, Zimmer now has three consecutive games in double figures.
“In the Brown game I missed some shots I normally make, so just being able to keep shooting and doing what I do and letting my defense carry over to my offense helped me to be successful,” Steen said. “My teammates did a great job screening for me so that really helped.”
One of the biggest factors in the Big Green’s success this weekend was their inside game, led by reserve forward Lakin Roland ’16 with eight points against Brown and six against Yale.
“I think we just played as a team,” Dawson said. “We were able to bring our talents together and pass the ball around.”
Strong defensive play characterized both the season and the weekend as a whole. Dartmouth capitalized on 16 and 15 points off of Yale and Brown turnovers, respectively. The Big Green’s defensive intensity held Yale to just two field goals in the last five minutes of the first half.
“In both games we were able to neutralize their main players and our defense was great over the whole weekend,” Steen said. “We need to be more consistent on our help defense, but other than that our defense was huge and a real difference for us.”
Center Tia Dawson ’15 led the rebounding game this weekend for the Big Green with her eighth career double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds against Yale and 11 rebounds against Brown. Dawson now has had six games with double-digit rebounds this season. Guard Kamala Thompson ’15 also contributed seven rebounds against Yale to assist Dawson under the basket.
“Coach Yolanda Griffith has been talking to me a lot about being more aggressive on the offensive and defensive ends,” Dawson said. “I’m still working on the offensive end but defensively, I knew I could be more aggressive and she’s been helping me on different skills on how to defend the post and how to rebound.”
Adding to the excitement of the upcoming Winter Carnival weekend, the Big Green will return home to face Columbia University on Feb. 8 and Cornell University on Feb. 9, both at 7 p.m.