Women’s basketball falls on road
By Emma Willems, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Monday, February 18, 2013
The women’s basketball team fell to Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania on the road this weekend, ending its four-game winning streak. The Big Green (6-15, 4-3 Ivy) suffered a 77-65 loss to Princeton (16-5, 7-0 Ivy) on Friday, followed by a 63-40 loss to Penn (12-9, 5-2 Ivy) on Saturday.
Dartmouth’s game against Princeton, currently undefeated in the Ivy League, began in a back-and-forth manner, with both teams’ scores remaining close for most of the first half. However, a series of baskets by the Tigers in the last two minutes of the first half left Princeton ahead 35-29 heading into the locker room.
“We were happy at the half with how we were doing,” guard Nicola Zimmer ’14 said. “We sort of expected them to run us off of the court in the first five minutes, but that definitely didn’t happen.”
At halftime the Big Green discussed limiting Princeton’s possessions and offense in order to pull ahead. Carrying its high-energy play into the second half, the Big Green opened with a three-point basket by Zimmer, pulling within three points of the Tigers, but was unable to maintain its momentum. Princeton scored the next three baskets to make the score 43-32 and the Big Green never came within less than nine points for the rest of the game. Princeton had 21 offensive rebounds to the Big Green’s 12 and was able to use this advantage on the offensive glass to score second-chance points.
“In the second half, I think we took some quick shots that didn’t get in and they were able to get the rebound,” co-captain Faziah Steen ’13 said. “They were able to get a bigger lead and we couldn’t cut it down before time ran out.”
Nonetheless, the Big Green exhibited its offensive strength throughout the game. Zimmer added a career-high 19 points to the scoreboard and Tia Dawson ’15 continued to demonstrate her rebounding strength, pulling in 13 rebounds in total.
“We shot really well and we had some really great free throws,” forward Abbey Schmitt ’15 said. “Tia had some awesome rebounds and I think our offense was working pretty well in the Princeton game. We definitely put up a good fight”
The Big Green’s strength and composure on offense prevented Princeton from being able to use its usual strategies for attack.
“They weren’t able to do a lot of the trapping that they like to do,” Steen said. “We were able to force them to try different avenues.”
On Saturday, Dartmouth continued its road stretch, taking on the Quakers in Philadelphia. Ultimately, Penn’s ability to penetrate the Big Green defense helped it crush Dartmouth.
Like the Princeton game, the opening featured back-and-forth action from both teams, with the score fairly close. However, towards the tail end of the first half, Penn began to pull ahead. By halftime, the Quakers were ahead 33-25, capped off by a three-pointer from freshman Keiera Ray with 25 seconds remaining.
“They are a driving team and we didn’t do a good enough job at stopping them,” Steen said.
Penn’s intensity increased in the second half of the game and its scoring ability proved no match for the Big Green. By the second half’s nine-minute mark, Penn had pulled 20 points ahead of Dartmouth.
“They really just got away from us,” Zimmer said. “We had a hard time scoring and their pressure really affected us. Every shot was like a battle for us and that made it really tough.”
Ultimately, the Big Green only scored 15 points in the second half, while Penn added 30 points to its score.
“I think we had a general lack of energy,” Schmitt said. “We were more focused in the Princeton game and didn’t put as much into our second one. We weren’t at our top.”
Penn barrelled through the Big Green defense.
“Our defense usually does a good job of keeping teams out, but I don’t think we did that really well,” Zimmer said. “I think they had us on our heels on defense and we were constantly reacting to what they were doing. You don’t want to be in a constant state of reaction.”
This weekend, Dartmouth will take on Yale University and Brown University in Leede Arena, and are looking to improve in practice this week to prepare.
“I think we’re disappointed in the way we played offensively and defensively this weekend, and those are definitely things we will work on before next week,” Steen said. “We need to be able to transition from defense into offense a lot better.”