Date: Jan. 18, 2014 | Time: 2 PM | Venue: Fleisher Athletic Center (1,000) | Location: Newark, N.J.
The Dartmouth women’s basketball team will say goodbye to the non-conference season after Saturday's contest in Newark, N.J. The Big Green are looking for their first road win of the season, while the Highlanders look to take their second game against Ancient 8 foes. To date, the Big Green are 2-11 in non-league play, having spent a majority of the exhibition season with key members on injured reserve. NJIT on the other hand, has not lost any key players to injuries this season.
• This is the first all-time meeting between the Dartmouth Big Green and the New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders. Since its reclassification in 2006 from NCAA division 2 to division 1, NJIT has not found a permanent home for its athletic department. The Highlanders competed in the Great West Conference from 2009-13. After the 2012-13 season, the GWC folded and five of the seven schools joined the newly refurbished Western Athletic Conference, but did not invite NJIT for membership. NJIT is the only full-independent school in division 1 athletics.
• Dartmouth is looking for its first win of the 2014 calendar, after falling to New England foes Hartford and Harvard in the Ivy League opener. In both defeats, the Big Green played their opponents tight, but a defensive struggle inside determined the outcome.
• Senior Nicola Zimmer led the pack with a season-best 16 points against Harvard, as the Big Green are still looking for secondary offense when freshman Fanni Szabo is contested heavily. Szabo, the Ivy League points leader has been held to 9.5 points per game in the new year, while sophomore Lakin Roland is also at the 9.5 point per game plateau in 2014.
• NJIT, like Dartmouth, recently fell to Harvard. The Highlanders hosted the Crimson as part of a Field Trip Day dedicated to local Newark youth. NJIT is in the middle of a four-game set against Ivy League foes.
THE LONGEST POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT BEGINS
The 14-game tournament known simply as The Ivy League has begun. 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.
IVY LEAGUE WEEK 1 RECAP
Two games have been completed in the Ivy Schedule with Princeton and Harvard sitting in the drivers seat with a 1-0 mark. Dartmouth and Penn are 0-1, with Cornell, Brown, Yale and Columbia yet to play.
ALL-TIME SERIES (NJIT)
This will be the first meeting between Dartmouth and NJIT.
At 5-16 and no place to call home, the Highlanders will play a 29-game schedule comprised of various division 1 teams playing out of league games throughout the year. NJIT will face teams from 13 different conferences as well as one local division 3 team. The America East Conference is the most populated league on the schedule. The NEC and Ivy League will send four teams to face the Highlanders and the Patriot and MEAC with three foes. Of the five wins this season, three have come against the NEC (FDU, LIU and Wagner). The other wins are against Brown (Ivy) and Bucknell (Patriot). After today’s contest, the Highlanders will meet Penn as the Ivy opponent. Shakia Robinson leads NJIT in points at 11.2 per game. Uju Nwankwo is averaging 9.0 rebounds per contest. Alyssa Albanese runs the floor for her squad and leads them with 3.9 assists per game.
THE MATCH UP: ROLAND VS. ROBINSON
Today’s battle will come inside, as Dartmouth’s Lakin Roland will be opposed by Robinson. Robinson, a former member of the UMass Minutewomen is playing her graduate season with former UMass assistant and current Highlanders bench boss Steve Lanpher. Robinson did not play last season, as she would be the only player to ever match up against the Big Green. On the offensive side, Robinson is out scoring Roland 11.2 to 9.5 points per game. The Highlanders power forward is also out rebounding Dartmouth’s top glass cleaner, 6.2 to 6.1. The 6’1 Robinson, is shooting 61 percent from the field this season and is connecting on 47 percent from the line. On the defensive side, Robinson has turned the ball over at a 2:1 ratio to Roland, who is the Big Green’s best interior defender.
SZABO CLAIMS HER SECOND IVY LEAGUE WEEKLY HONOR
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.
IVY ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
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 14 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.
INJURY BUG HURTING GREEN
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.
OH CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
SECOND CITY GAL
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 6.4 points and 5.3 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.
IT’S THE LAKE SHOW WITH LAKIN ROLAND
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 6.1 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.
TIA’S BLOCK PARTY CANCELLED UNTIL NEXT SEASON
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.
TOUGH SCHEDULE = GOOD RPI
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).
WELCOME TO HANOVER
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.
IVY LEAGUE DIGITAL NETWORK
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.
FREE LIVE AUDIO
This season 24 of the 28 games will be streamed with free live audio on Dartmouthsports.com 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.
THE BRETT FRANKLIN SHOW W/ BELLE KOCLANES
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 Dartmouthsports.com the following day.
FOLLOW THE BIG GREEN
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 www.facebook.com/DartmouthWomensbasketball.