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Big Green Travel to Sunshine State for Matchup with FIU

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The Big Green take the court in the Sunshine State on Sat. when they face FIU.      By Mark Washburn

The Big Green women's basketball team hits the road for a matchup with FIU from the Sun Belt conference this weekend. The teams are set to tipoff at 6 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 15) at US. Century Bank Arena.

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Game 9: Dartmouth (1-7-0, 0-0 Ivy League) at FIU (3-5-0, 2-3-0 Sun Belt)
Saturday, December 15 (6:00 p.m.)
Miami, Fla. (U.S. Century Bank Arena)
FIU leads, 2-0
FIU has won two

Starting Five
1. Saturday's meeting will be the first meeting between Dartmouth and FIU since the 2003-04 season and is Dartmouth's second trip to Florida. The series first started between the programs during the 1984-85 season under former head coach Jacqueline Hullah.  This will also be Dartmouth's first trip to the Sunshine State since the 2003-04 season.

2. FIU is the only member of the Sun Belt conference that the Big Green have faced in program history and this will be just the third meeting between the schools.  One thing of note is that assistant coach Yolanda Griffith is a graduate of Florida Atlantic, also a member of the Sun Belt.

3. Dartmouth is looking for its second road win of the season and the first in its last four road games. The Big Green opened the season with a road win at Bryant on Nov. 10 and haven't won another road contest this season.

4. Dartmouth is looking to snap its current seven-game losing streak. After winning its season-opener at Bryant (Nov. 10), Dartmouth has dropped seven consecutive games. Last season, Dartmouth had a 13-game losing streak, the longest in program history.

5.Saturday's game is the first of two road games for Dartmouth before breaking for the holidays. After the FIU game, Dartmouth will travel to Marquette on Dec. 20. The Marquette game will conclude a stretch in which Dartmouth played six of its last eight games on the road.

Dartmouth vs. FIU Notables
-This will be the third meeting in the series between the Big Green and Panthers with FIU owning a 2-0 series advantage. This is the first meeting since 2003-04 and will be the second trip to Florida for the Dartmouth squad; FIU hasn't made the trip to Hanover.  

-Dartmouth is the lone Ivy League team on the FIU schedule in 2012-13. The teams do have a common opponent in Northeastern, who will be traveling to Miami just after the holiday season.

-Aside from first time opponents BYU and Duquesne, FIU is one of three 2012-13 non-conference opponents in which Dartmouth has yet to win a game in the series. Dartmouth is winless against Old Dominion and Marquette as well.

-There is an Old Dominion connection between the teams. FIU head coach Cindy Russo played and coached at ODU and the Big Green took on the Lady Monarchs in non-conference action earlier this season.

A Win Would ...
1. Give Dartmouth head coach Chris Wielgus her 389th win at Dartmouth. She entered the 2012-13 season needing 13 wins to claim her 400th victory as head coach of the Big Green.

2. Snap the Big Green's seven-game skid and give Dartmouth its second road win of the season. Dartmouth last won a road game on Nov. 10 against Bryant. Prior to the Bryant game, Dartmouth's last road win came against Brown on Feb. 18 of last season.

3. Give the Big Green its first win over FIU in three meetings and its first in over a team from the Sunshine state.

Scouting FIU
FIU enters Saturday's game with a 4-4, 1-2 Sun Belt Conference record after defeating UCF, 66-49, on Thursday night. The Panthers win moved them to .500 and was their second consecutive victory. Jerica Coley is leading the Panther offense with 20.0 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game. Marita Davydova is also in double-figures with 11.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Head coach Cindy Russo is in her 34th year at the helm of the program and has guided the Panthers to six NCAA Tournament appearances.  FIU is in the midst of a six-game homestretch that concludes with the Dartmouth game.

On The Road One More Time
Dartmouth hits the road for its next two games before coming home for a three-game homestretch, which features the 36th annual Blue Sky Classic and a non-conference matchup with Holy Cross. The Big Green have been on the road quite a bit in the non-conference. Out of its eight games this season, Dartmouth has played five road games including a stretch which they are in the midst of in which they are playing six of their last eight games on the road.  

Dawson Steps Up Against Hartford
Sophomore center Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) has had a slow start to her sophomore campaign, but looked like she was trending upward against Hartford. She tallied a season-high 14 points and was just one rebound shy of her seventh career double-double with a game-high nine rebounds. It was Dawson's first game in double figures this season.  

Big Green with the Rebounding Edge
One of Dartmouth's strengths this season has been rebounding. The Big Green have outrebounded five of its eight opponents and have posted at least 40 rebounds on three occasions. Particularly impressive, has been Dartmouth's presence on the offensive glass. This season, the Big Green are averaging 12.6 offensive rebounds per game and have only twice failed to reach at least 10 offensive boards. Last season, the Big Green only averaged 10 offensive boards and only had 17 games with 10 or more, although they did close the season with 10 or more in each of the last seven games of the season. 

Catch Those Thieves
For the first time this season, the Big Green posted double figure steals with 10 against Hartford. Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) spearheaded the effort with a career-high four steals while Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) added three. Dartmouth has struggled with steals and aside from the Albany game where they posted nine steals, hasn't had more than six steals in a game prior to the Hartford contest.

Post Players Owning The Paint
Much like the rebounding this season, Dartmouth's presence in the paint has been very good for a young team. The Big Green have scored 160 points in the paint this season and have threes time scored 20 or more points in the paint. Post players Abbey Schmitt (Winnetka, Ill.) and Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) are leading the charge but freshmen Daisy Jordan (Worcester, Mass.) and Lakin Roland (Jeffersonville, Ind.) have also contributed.

100 Percent From the Stripe
Dartmouth made a little history from the free throw line against Hartford. The Big Green were a perfect 7-of-7 from the line, marking the first time since the 2004 season when they went 15-of-15 against Yale, that the Big Green have been perfect from the free-throw line. Dartmouth is shooting .740 percent (97-of-131) as a team from the line, good for second-best in the Ivy League. Resident sharp shooter, Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) leads the way, shooting .889 percent (24-of-27) from the charity stripe, third-best in the league. In fact, Steen was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally last year for her prowess from the charity stripe.