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Women's Basketball Begins Ivy League Play Hosting Harvard

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By Mark Washburn


(2-10, 0-0 Ivy)

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Date: Jan. 11, 2014 |  Time: 2 PM |  Venue: Leede Arena (2,100) |  Location: Hanover, N.H. 

Live Stats: | Live Video: Ivy League Digital Network ($$$) | Live Audio: Ivy League Digital Network (FREE) Koclanes Weekly Radio Interview : WTSL-WTSV 

Entering today’s Ivy League opener, Dartmouth and Harvard have sailed different paths through the non-conference slate.  At 9-4, the smooth waters etched out by wins over Boston University, Florida International, Hofstra and Tulsa put the Crimson a step ahead of the competition. For the Big Green and first-year head coach Belle Koclanes, high seas have diverted her crew to a 2-11 record. Marked by early season injuries and illnesses, the Green and White are determined to erase the memories of 2013 and push onward in hopes of winning their 18th Ivy League crown. 


• The Big Green struggled offensively against Hartford, shooting 28 percent from the field. Sophomore Lakin Roland finished with her third double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. 

• The Hartford defense did a nice job stopping freshman Fanni Szabo, but the sharpshooter penetrated the lane late in the contest and scored nine points on 4-of-16 from the field. 

• Roland and Szabo were named to this week’s Ivy League Honor Roll. Roland finished the week with double-double figures, averaging 10.5 points and 10.0 rebounds. Szabo led the offensive charge with 21.5 points and 4.0 steals. Szabo’s 34-point performance against UMass was a new personal best. Earlier in the week, the duo was named to the All-Classic team at the 2013 Blue Sky Classic. 

• Dartmouth is 17-17 all-time in Ivy League season openers. The Harvard game begins the 35th season of Ancient 8 regular-season play. From 1974-78, the conference ran a tournament to decide the winner without playing any in-league regular season games. 

• Harvard is looking for their 10th win of the season after falling to Fordham in the championship game of the Fordham Holiday Classic on Dec. 30.  Christine Clark leads the Crimson, averaging 17.4 points per game. Temi Fagbenle is second in scoring at 13.2 points, but leads the team in rebounds at 10.4. 


The 14-game tournament known simply as The Ivy League begins at Leede Arena at 2 p.m. For all eight teams that encompass this historic league, there will be no neutral site competition, no brackets, no pre-tournament gala; just 14 games to determine who will represent the league at the NCAA Tournament in March. In the Ivy League, short-term memory loss is a good thing, especially if you are a team on the wrong side of a Friday night decision and have to immediately bus to your next destination for a Saturday evening contest. 


The 74th meeting between the Big Green and Crimson is set for Saturday afternoon. The Crimson hold a 41-32 edge over the team from the Upper Valley, but it was Dartmouth who took the last decision, a 58-45 victory at home on Jan. 26, 2013. The prior meeting in Cambridge went the way of the home team, as Harvard handed Dartmouth an 88-66 setback. In this historic rivalry, it was the Crimson taking the first five meetings, which included a playoff contest won by the hosts in 1978.  Dartmouth took control of the early 1980’s, winning the next seven meetings. It wasn’t until 1982 that saw the home-and-home series, begin between Ivy foes.  Both sides traded wins through the mid-80’s, but it was Harvard winning six of seven appearances in the early-90’s that allowed the Boston-based institution to thrive.  Over the past decade, the series has been a virtual deadlock, with Harvard taking just one extra win away from the Big Green, 11-10, with two playoff games to determine an outright league winner – both in favor of the Green.  Since turning over into the new millennium, Dartmouth and Harvard have met to begin the Ivy League season 14 consecutive times with Harvard holding an 8-6 margin. 

2013 RECAP:

Harvard took the opening game of the series, 88-66, in Cambridge, but two weeks later, the Big Green tied the series and grabbed their first home win of the year, 58-45.  For Dartmouth, Faziah Steen ’13 averaged 15.5 points to lead the Green. Nicola Zimmer played in the home game and led the team with 18 points. Tia Dawson, who will miss this year’s festivities, averaged nine points and eight rebounds. On the Crimson side, Christine Clark averaged 22 points and six rebounds after hitting the 22-point plateau twice. Victoria Lippert had 19 points in the win, but struggled at Leede Arena scoring just two, while Temi Fagbenle averaged eight. 


The battle of the top shooting guards in the league will matchup on day one. Dartmouth’s sharpshooting freshman phenom Fanni Szabo, who leads the Ancient Eight in scoring at 18.2 points per game, will square off against the league’s third-best scorer, Christine Clark at 17.4 per night.  Szabo set a career-high 34 points in the Big Green’s last home match to UMass on Dec. 30.  The quick-shooting rookie has scored in double figures 10 times this season, topping 30 points on three occasions.  Clark has led her team through 10 games played. She missed three games in the month of December, and failed to reach double figures twice. Her season-high is 28 points against Northeastern on Nov. 26. 


Fanni Szabo added her second Ivy League Rookie of the Week after scoring a career-high 33 points in a home loss to Providence. Szabo started out slow, scoring seven points in the opening frame, but exploded out of the gate in the second half with 26 points on 11-of-15 from the field and 4-of-6 from the outside. Szabo also added six steals, three rebounds and two assists to her game accolades.


Fanni Szabo was named the first Ivy League Rookie of the Week this season after scoring 21 points in her collegiate debut against Holy Cross. 


Szabo has led the team offensively in eight of the 13 games so far this season and continues to push her team. Her career-high of 34 points capped a 76-72 victory for the team against UMass in the Blue Sky Classic. In the squads other win this season, Szabo netted 31 in her home debut against Vermont. Through 12 games this season, Szabo has scored 227 points, while averaging 18.9 points per game. She has eclipsed the 20+-point plateau on six occasions this season with three games in the 30+ region. Only twice has she come up short scoring less than 10 points, both losses. 


The Big Green have yet have a game this season, where all 17 members have been healthy enough to dress. The team has gone through stretches where at least one member of the opening night starting lineup has been scratched due to an injury or illness. The team  went through a three-game stretch in December where three of the five were inactive. Senior Nicola Zimmer missed seven games due to Mono, as did junior Milica Toskovic who needed four games rest from the same illness. Junior Tia Dawson sat four games with a concussion and will now miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury she sustained after returning from her initial injury. The team has yet to see sophomores Kasey Crockett and Lauren Taiclet return from injuries sustained from last season. Sophomore Daisy Jordan also began the season on IR and missed the first eight games with a knee issue, but returned to full active duty against DePaul. Classmate Sophia Roman has also returned from an in-season injury sustained during practice at Syracuse which inactivated her for three games. 


Seniors Nicola Zimmer and Eve Zelinger were named co-captains for the season. Zimmer, returns for her second season as team leader, with Zelinger being voted on by her teammates. 


Junior Abbey Schmitt had a great first season with the big Green in 12-13 after sitting out her freshman campaign with a knee injury, as the Winnetka, Ill. native was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week three times. As a junior, Schmitt transitioned into a center and is averaging 6.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest. In the Green’s home defeat against Albany, Schmitt registered her third career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Schmitt and the Big Green will make a special appearance in her hometown for a pair of games before the holiday break, against DePaul and Loyola Chicago.  Against DePaul, Schmitt scored 10 points and had four rebounds. Against Loyola, she had six points, five rebound and one steal. 


Game Program Cover vs. Harvard, Jan. 11, 2014
Click through for the game program

Sophomore Lakin Roland impressed the new coaching staff during training camp and has jumped in the starting power forward spot. Roland is second in scoring, averaging 9.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. At 6-0, Roland will need to use her size and ability on the glass to help her team on both ends of the court. Roland has also been a tremendous help on the defensive side and has taken five defensive charges so far.  During the recent Chicago trip, Roland nearly averaged a double-double with 11.5 points and nine rebounds. She notched her first double-double against Loyola with 10 points and 12 rebounds. In the next game at home against La Salle, she claimed her second with 13 points an 12 rebounds. Roland finished the Blue Sky Classic with 11 points and six rebounds and was one of two Big Green members on the All-Classic squad. Over the past five games, she has scored in double figures in each game with two double-doubles in consecutive appearances. In total, she has notched double figures in seven games and tallied nine points twice.


Junior Tia Dawson was set to have a breakout season with the Big Green after setting a new high of six blocks in the home-opener against Vermont.  Since then she has played in three more games with a four-game absence sandwiched in between.  After returning for just one game against DePaul, where she scored four points but grabbed eight rebounds and helped the Big Green break the full court trap of the Blue Demons, Dawson went down with a season-ending ankle injury in warm-ups against Loyola. Her presence will be missed on the floor, as the team will now once again look for size inside. 


Szabo has made quite a name for herself in her native Hungary.  Szabo has been named to multiple All-Tournament teams and has taken the stage in many important games for her country, including an exhibition against Team USA in 2011. Szabo scored four points in the game that featured current WNBA stars Cappie Pondexter, Brittney Griner and Tina Charles. 


The Big Green were chosen fifth in the 2013-14 Ivy League preseason poll, that was conducted by various media outlets within the eight institutions and one national media member. 

TUTTO IN FAMIGLIA (All in the Family)

After being hired by Dartmouth, Koclanes searched for a staff that would complement her coaching style. Former Navy assistant Maria Noucas was tabbed as the top-assistant, after battling Koclanes the past few seasons in the Patriot League.  Koclanes’ next option was to find someone who understands the ins and outs of the Ivy League. Enter the 2011 Ivy Player of the Year Addie Micir, a Princeton graduate. Micir is a smart, energetic fresh mind that just finished two seasons overseas in Europe. Her most recent team was Challenge Sports Binnenland in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The final position on the staff went to Koclanes’ former student-manager at ODU Michael Motta.  The youngest member on staff, Motta spent last season with Providence as a graduate assistant coach. 


The schedule will feature six teams that played in the post-season last year, including three from the Ivy League. Dartmouth will square off against four teams from the America East Conference (Albany, Hartford, New Hampshire and Vermont) and two teams from the Big East (DePaul and Providence), Atlantic-10 (La Salle and UMass) and Patriot League (American and Holy Cross).  The Big Green will also face single foes from the Atlantic Coast Conference (Syracuse), Northeast Conference (Bryant) and Independent (NJIT). 


Dartmouth will play the most home non-conference games at Leede Arena since the 1992-93 season, when they hosted eight teams.  In total this season, the Big Green will welcome 15 different schools to Hanover, but only 14 will face the Green. Binghamton is the only team to not face Dartmouth, as they are the third team in the Blue Sky Classic. 


Dartmouth Athletics, in partnership with NeuLion, announced the launch of the brand new Ivy League Digital Network, featuring enhanced live video streaming of all home games and extensive coverage of Big Green road contests against Ivy League foes.

Starting with the 2013-14 season, the completely redesigned Dartmouth channel — known as Big Green Insider — will include an easy-to-navigate interface with a league-wide network schedule and new interactive features that showcase the expanded content offerings available on computer, mobile and tablet devices, all without the use of an app.


This season 24 of the 28 games will be streamed with free live audio on and the Ivy League Digital Network. Brett Franklin will have the call beginning with a live 15-minute pre-game show where he will be joined by an assistant coach and player and then an extensive postgame show with head coach Belle Koclanes.  During select road games this season, assistant SID Nick Guerriero will join Franklin to help breakdown the game and give the inside scoop on Dartmouth women’s basketball.  


Inspired by former Old Dominion head coach Wendy Larry; Belle Koclanes is following in her footsteps with her own radio talk show segments. Koclanes joins WTSL 94.3FM/1400-AM and WTSV 1230-AM host Brett Franklin every Tuesday evening from 5:30-5:45 p.m.  An archive of the weekly segment can be heard on the following day. 


Interested in the Big Green on social media or looking for in-game updates? Then follow the official twitter account @Dartmouth_WBB. Head coach Belle Koclanes is also on twitter @coachbelleko. Assistant coaches Maria Noucas and Addie Micir can be followed at @mnoucas and @amicker23. Director of Basketball Operations Michael Motta can be searched under @michael_motta. The official FB page is