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Big Green Drops Heartbreaker to BYU, 58-57, in Home Opener

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Steen scored 16 second half points to lead the Big Green in a 58-57 hearbreaking loss to...     By Mark Washburn

HANOVER, N.H - A put back from sophomore forward Abbey Schmitt (Winnetka, Ill.) as time expired wasn't enough as the Dartmouth women's basketball team dropped a 58-57 contest to BYU on Tuesday (Nov. 13) in its home opener.

The Big Green trailed 58-55 with 11 seconds left before junior captain Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.) lined up a triple, which would have tied the game, but it rimmed out leading to Schmitt's last effort put back.

In a game that featured seven ties and nine lead changes, nothing came easy for either team and the final 3:45 of the game showcased that. With the Big Green leading 52-49 at 3:45 the Cougars posted back-to-back layups from Bailey Morgan and Keilani Unga to cut the Dartmouth lead to just one point.

The Big Green wouldn't be deterred and went to leading scorer, Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.), who was fouled while nailing a runner in the lane. She completed the old-fashioned three-point play and kept Dartmouth ahead with less than two minutes remaining.

Not to be outdone, BYU's Lexi Eaton brought the ball up and completed a three-point play of her own on the other end resulting in the seventh tie of the contest and leading to the late game heroics from the Cougars.

Dartmouth (1-1) used an 8-5 burst, sparked by layups from sophomore center Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), guard Milica Toskovic (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Steen, to tie the game at 36-36 with just five minutes off the second-half game clock.

Senior co-captain, Steen, elevated her play in the second half and after scoring just two points in the first half, poured in 16 second-half points to lead the Big Green offense. Schmitt joined Steen in double-figures with 15 points and six rebounds.

The first half was just as hard fought as the second half and although Dartmouth led the majority of the half, BYU (2-0) took a 31-27 lead into the halftime break after an 8-2 run in the final 3:29.

The Big Green jumped out to a 7-3 lead early on the strength of a triple from Ivy League Rookie of the Week, Schmitt, but the Cougars clawed their way back in and with a 5-0 burst tied the game at 7-7 at the 16:47 mark.

Despite Dartmouth's early lead, the Cougars battled back and tied the game at 11-11 at the 14:57 mark and from that point on the score see-sawed between the teams with neither squad gaining more than a five-point advantage for the remainder of the half. 

Defense was important for the Big Green in the first half and a block from Dawson at the 7:07 mark sparked several crucial Big Green stops leading to offense on the other end. Namely, transition baskets from Schmitt and freshman Jordyn Turner (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) keeping the game within reach.

Neither team could get much going as both teams shot just a shade over 36 percent. Dartmouth shot 36.5 percent (19-of-52) while BYU shot 36.8 percent (21-of-57). The Big Green fared much better than in their season-opener from the free throw line, shooting 85 percent (17-of-20) compared to 56 percent  at Bryant on Saturday (Nov. 10). Dartmouth also out-rebounded the Cougars, 37-35.

Dartmouth will take some time off for exams before hitting the road for back-to-back contests. The Big Green will travel to Albany on Nov. 24 and will take on Northeastern in Boston on Nov. 27.

Big Green Sidelines
Senior guard Faziah Steen was honored for scoring her 1,000th career point last season with a commemorative ball in a pregame presentation ... Steen, who missed her first game in 56 tries in the opener against Bryant, was back in the starting lineup ... Abbey Schmitt took home co-Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors after posting a double-double (11 pts, 14 rebs) in her collegiate debut at Bryant ...  Schmitt and Thompson with their second consecutive starts in tonight's contest ... Faziah Steen extended her double-figure streak to five straight and 21 of her last 22 appearances.