The Dartmouth women's basketball team tips off the 2012-13 campaign on Saturday (Nov. 10) with an afternoon matinee with the Bryant Bulldogs in Smithfield, R.I. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Chase Athletic Center.

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Game 1: Dartmouth (0-0-0, 0-0 Ivy League) at Bryant (0-0-0, 0-0-0 NEC)
Date:
Saturday, November 10 (1 p.m.)
Location:
Smithfield, R.I. (Chase Athletic Center)
Series:
Dartmouth leads, 3-1
Streak:
Bryant has won one

Starting Five
1. Dartmouth opens its 40th season of varsity women's basketball on Saturday. The Big Green fielded a non-varsity team for one season prior. Today's game is number 964 since the first varsity season in 1973-74 and the program's all-time record is 534-429.

2. The Big Green will be young again this season. Dartmouth has just three upperclassmen with just one senior in Faziah Steen. There are 11 underclassmen highlighted by seven freshmen. In all, Dartmouth has just 10 years of collegiate experience on the court making them the second youngest team in the nation.

3. Dartmouth will hit the road for its season-opener for the third consecutive season. The Big Green last opened at home in 2009-10 against Bryant. Dartmouth has opened on the road eight times in the last 10 seasons.

4. Today's game marks the second time Dartmouth has opened the season against Bryant. The two squads also played each other to open the 2009-10 season.

5. Senior Faziah Steen enters today's game having started the last 56 games. The last time Steen didn't start a game for Dartmouth was during her freshman season in 2009-10. 

Dartmouth vs. Bryant Notables
- This will be the fifth consecutive season that the Big Green and Bulldogs meet. This will be Dartmouth's third trip to Bryant's home court where they have a 2-0 record, including a 75-72 overtime victory in 2010-11.

-Dartmouth will be the first of four Ivy League opponents on tap for the Bulldogs this season. Bryant will also take on Yale, Columbia and Brown.  Bryant is the only NEC foe on tap for the Big Green this season.

-This will be the third weekend game in the series. The Big Green and Bulldogs have played three of the four games in the series on either a Saturday or a Sunday. The only time the teams have met on a weekday was last season, when Bryant traveled to Hanover on a Wednesday.

A Win Would ...
1. Give Dartmouth its first season-opening win since the 2009-10 season when they defeated Bryant in Hanover, N.H. It would also be Dartmouth's first season-opening road win since the 2001-02 season when they defeated Colgate on the road.

2. Improve Dartmouth to 20-20 all-time in season-opening games and move the Big Green to 9-13 in season-opening road games, snapping a streak of seven consecutive season-opening road game defeats.

3. Get the Big Green back in the win column against Bryant. Last season, Bryant defeated Dartmouth for the first time in the series, snapping Dartmouth's three-game winning streak.

Scouting Bryant
Bryant returns a trio of starters from its 2011-12 squad that went 14-15, 7-11 NEC last season. Headlining this group is junior forward Naana Ankoma-Mensa, who led the Bulldogs in scoring last year to the tune of 12.4 points per game awhile averaging 9.6 rebounds per game. She's joined by senior guards Danielle Douglass and Katie Whittington, who were second and third on the team in scoring, respectively, last season. Head coach Mary Burke is in her 22nd year on the sidelines and will look to lead the Bulldogs into the postseason as they are eligible for the first time after a mandatory four-year reclassifying period.

Let's Get It Started
Dartmouth opens its 40th season of varsity women's basketball against Bryant on Saturday. The Big Green is 20-20 all-time in season openers and is 4-8 since the 2000 season. Dartmouth is looking for its second road-opening win in that span, having only defeated Colgate in 2001-02.

On the Road Again
The Big Green will open the 2012-13 season on the road for the third consecutive season and for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons. In season-opening games played on the road, Dartmouth has a 7-13 record all-time.

Youth Be Served
The Dartmouth women's basketball team is young ...very young this season.  Dartmouth features just one senior in Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) and only two juniors in Eve Zelinger (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.). Conversely, there are 11 underclassmen, highlighted by a seven-member freshman class.  Dartmouth will open the 2012-13 season with a collective 10 years of basketball experience among its 14 players giving them the second youngest squad in the nation.  There will be quite a bit of youth in Leede Arena this season as the Dartmouth men's squad has the distinction of being the youngest team in the nation.

Young But Experienced
Although the Big Green are the second-youngest team in the nation, they are bringing back some experience. The Big Green will return four of its top scorers including leading scorer, Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.). Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) saw quite a bit of time on the court, starting 25 of 27 games during her freshman season. Classmates Milica Toskovic (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Kamala Thompson (Selden, N.Y.) also saw significant time.

Abbey Schmitt is Back in Action
Part of Dartmouth's youth movement involves sophomore Abbey Schmitt (Winnetka, Ill.). The forward missed all of last season nursing injury but will be back in action in 2012-13. Schmitt also dealt with injury during her senior season in high school but led New Trier averaging 17.0 points per game and 9.5 rebounds. She was a BCA Class 3A/4A All-State Second Team selection and an ESPN All-Area Team selection. She also earned Chicago Sun-Times All-Area honors and was a two-time Central Suburban All-Conference Team. Welcome back to the court, Abbey!

Steen Climbing Up the Career Charts
Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) opens the season poised to make some moves into the Dartmouth history books. Opening the 2012-13 season, she ranks No. 15 on the all-time scoring list with 1,025 career points. She is averaging 341 points per season and should that hold true she has a chance to move as high as No. 8 on the all-time lists. Steen is also making a run at the steals record. She enters her senior season with 181 and needs 28 more to move into the top-five all-time. The record is 370 held by former great Betsey Gilmore.  Steen also has a chance to move up the three-point field goals made list. She currently has 137 is averaging 56 three-pointers over the last two seasons. If she can kept that up, she can move as high as third, ousting current Director of Operations, Koren Schram who concluded her career with 198 triples.

Get That Mess Outta Here
Dartmouth returns as the top shot blocking team in the Ivy League. The Big Green lead the league in rejections, averaging 4.8 in 2011-12. Dartmouth also returns the services of top shot blocker Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Dawson led the league with 1.7 rejections per game. Dawson's 47 blocks ranked 11th best on the Big Green's single-season list.   As a team, Dartmouth set a new single-season record with 135 blocks in 2011-12. The previous record was 126 set in 1988-89.   

Doubling Up
Several members of the team enter the 2012-13 season, riding double-digit streaks. Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) enters the season having scored in double figures in the last four games dating back to last season and in 20 of Dartmouth's last 21 games. Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) also enters her sophomore campaign having posted double-doubles in her last two outings.

Is That a New Number I See?
There will be several returners donning new numbers for the 2012-13 season. Sophomore Nicola Zimmer has done away with No. 10 and will be wearing No. 3 while Kamala Thompson will sport No. 52.

Wielgus Approaching 400 Dartmouth Career Wins
Entering the 2012-13 season, Dartmouth head coach Chris Wielgus is just 13 wins shy of reaching her 400th win at Dartmouth.  She is already the winningest coach in program history and has won 12 Ivy League titles in her two stints. Her last title came in 2008-09.  

Ivy League Preseason Poll Announced
Dartmouth was picked to finish in seventh place in the 2012-13 preseason poll. This is the third consecutive season Dartmouth has been picked below third place. The Big Green has finished lower than third five times since 1993-94 and just 11 times in 36 years.  Three of those instances have come in each of the last three seasons.

Put A Ring On It
Every Dartmouth class but one since 1980 has graduated with at least one Ivy League Championship ring. If Dartmouth doesn't win the Ivy League title, senior Faziah Steen will become the first senior to not win at least one Ivy League title since 1980. Graduated senior Sasha Dosenko was the last member of the 2008-09 Ivy League Championship.  

Need Some Home Cookin'
This season Dartmouth will look to turn things around at Leede Arena. Last, season the Big Green went 2-10 on its home court, posting its second losing home record in the last three seasons. Dartmouth has only posted eight losing home records in 39 years of varsity competition. Dartmouth will have plenty of opportunity to right the ship at home playing 13 home games, the most since the 2009-10 season when they also played a baker's dozen.   

Bring On the Competition
Dartmouth has once again put together a very tough non-conference slate. The Big Green will take on competition from the Big East (Syracuse, Marquette), WAC (BYU), CAA (Old Dominion) as well as mid-major power, Hartford. In addition, Dartmouth fans will be in for a treat as the Blue Sky will feature top 10 Delaware with State Farm All-American Elena Delle Donne, as well as Duquesene and Villanova. The good thing for Big Green fans is that Dartmouth will take on BYU, Syracuse Hartford, Duquesne and Delaware/Villanova at Leede Arena, so get your tickets for some good women's basketball in the Upper Valley.  The Big Green will travel to Old Dominion and Marquette.

Welcome to the Team Coach Woodbury
Not only do the Big Green add seven freshmen but they welcome Andrea Woodbury as an assistant coach. Woodbury comes to Hanover with over 20 years of collegiate experience most recently serving as associate head coach at Siena. Welcome to the team, Coach!

Captain, My Captain
Senior Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) and Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.) will serve as captains for the Big Green in 2012-13. Steen returns for a second stint as captain and returns as the leading scorer averaging 15.4 points per game. She is a three-time second-team All-Ivy League selection and scored her 1,000th point in 2011-12. Zimmer will be the a captain for the first time this season.

Bring on the Rookies
The Big Green welcomes a seven-member freshman class this season. Donning the Green and White for the first time are: Kasey Crockett (Southfield, Mich.), Daisy Jordan (Worcester, Mass.), Kaitana Martinez (Hailey, Idaho), Lakin Roland (Jeffersonville, Ind.), Sofia Roman (White Plains, N.Y.), Lauren Taiclet (Wellesley, Mass.), Jordyn Turner (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.).

From All Over the Land
Dartmouth's roster is comprised of players from 10 states. California, Massachusetts, New York and Michigan are the states that are home to multiple Dartmouth players.

Ivy League Elite
Dartmouth women's basketball is synonymous with success in Ivy League women's basketball. Entering this season, Dartmouth has won 17 of the possible 36 Ivy League Championships. The Big Green has won four of the last eight titles with the most recent title coming in 2009. 

Rare Air
Dartmouth's 17 Ivy League titles are the most titles in the Ivy League but they also rank among some of the nations elite when it comes to conference dominance. In the Ivy League there is no postseason tournament so that puts that much more emphasis on regular season results. Only Stanford from the Pac-10 with 21 regular season titles ranks higher than Dartmouth nationally.

Veteran Wielgus Back on the Sidelines
Head coach Chris Wielgus is embarking on her 28th season roaming the Dartmouth sidelines and her 30th season in the collegiate coaching ranks. Wielgus practically built the Big Green women's basketball program and in her first stint at Dartmouth coached the first team to play in the Ivy League while racking up 107wins and four Ivy League titles in eight seasons.  After getting out of coaching, she coached at Fordham for two seasons, where she went 37-21 and won a Patriot League title.  Wielgus returned to Dartmouth in 1993 and has picked up 280 wins and has added eight more Ivy League titles.

Big Green Blog is Back for 2012-13
For the fourth season, Coach Chris Wielgus, players and program insiders will be blogging throughout the season. Get the inside scoop on the Big Green women's basketball team at dartmouthwomenshoops.blogspot.com.

Follow the Big Green on Facebook and Twitter
Make sure to keep up with all the latest information on the Dartmouth women's basketball team by "liking" Dartmouth women's basketball on Facebook and by following them on Twitter (@Dartmouth_WBB).

Check out Inside Ivy League Basketball
"Inside Ivy League Basketball,"
a weekly online radio show dedicated to Ivy League men's and women's basketball, returns for its second season in 2012-13.

Hosted by Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer, "Inside Ivy League Basketball" takes an in-depth look at all the news and notes surrounding Ivy League men's and women's basketball on and off the courts. "Inside" runs a two-man weave this season with episodes on Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com (blogtalkradio.com/insideivyleaguebasketball) with every episode available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and at IvyLeagueSports.com. Each episode is packed with highlights, statistics and expert analysis in its 'Around the Ancient Eight' segment. Check  IvyLeagueSports.com each week for this season's episode schedule and guest lineups.