VESTAL, N.Y. – The Dartmouth women’s basketball team faced a tough opponent in Sunday afternoon’s final game of 2017 at Binghamton, and fell to the home team 80-64. The loss moves the Big Green to 8-5 on the season while the Bearcats improve to 9-4, before both teams head into conference play later this week.
“Binghamton is another excellent team with great guard play, great inside play and just a balanced attack from them we had a hard time matching up with Imani (Watkins), she’s just an excellent player,” said head coach Belle Koclanes. “It’s been great for us to figure out different lineups, different matchups, the first half was tough but I am pleased with the way we responded in the second half. We lost the third quarter by four, but we won the fourth quarter and that was our goal.
Threes in the first quarter killed the ability for Dartmouth to keep up, as Binghamton dropped five threes in the first 10 minutes and was shooting 55.6 percent from the field compared to Dartmouth’s 33.3 percent, and the home team continued to knock down threes in the second period. With 11 three-point field goals at the end of the second and a 52-29 lead, the Bearcats were in a comfortable position entering halftime.
To open the second half, the Big Green sent the home team to the line twice in a row as Binghamton continued to score, and Dartmouth didn’t back down, but by the third media timeout of the game the Bearcats had a 60-37 lead with 4:39 left in the third period, a deficit that posed a strong challenge for the road team to overcome.
While Binghamton never stopped making threes even with a large lead, the Big Green chipped away at the score. At the three-minute mark, the home team led 73-57 and was shooting 52 percent from three with 13-of-25 made, while Dartmouth had only made two the entire game until that point.
Freshman Anna Luce, juniors Cy Lippold and Kealy Brown combined for the final seven points from the road team to cut into the score before the final buzzer. An off shooting day can be blamed for the loss as the Big Green shot 11.5 percent from three which is uncharacteristically off, although the team shot well from the free throw line, 70 percent, 10 trips to the charity stripe did not give enough opportunity to rebound from the deficit.
“You got to see our emerging players get some time and contribute, so that’s exciting. All in all, credit to Binghamton and their program, our non-conference slate was an awesome one, we really loved this non-conference schedule and loved every challenge," Koclanes said. "We are improving and we are going to continue to pull the lessons from the non-conference to prepare us for Ivy League play, which is here in less than a week, so our eyes are forward.”
Sunday’s game concludes the non-conference schedule for Dartmouth, who heads home for the first game of Ivy League play next Saturday, January 6, hosting Harvard at 5 p.m.