HANOVER, N.H. – Down by 10 points at halftime, the Dartmouth women’s basketball team scored 40 points in the second half to cruise past New Hampshire at home, 57-49. It was also a packed house as several area elementary school's brought classes to participate in Kid's Day, and learn about sportsmanship while watching the game.
This is the first time since January of 2010 that the Big Green have defeated the Wildcats, breaking a seven-year losing streak to their in-state rival. The win improves Dartmouth’s season record to 6-1 while UNH falls to 6-3. Junior Isalys Quiñones led the offense with 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Cy Lippold and Emily Slagle scored 11 points each.
“The first half was not the style of play that we are trying to play here,” said head coach Belle Koclanes. “We were out-worked, UNH came out with great effort and out-played us in the first half. We had a tough time scoring, it’s hard to get going when the ball’s not going in the basket, and they were having their way with us on the defensive end so it wasn’t the best half for us.
“The halftime conversation for us was that this wasn’t anything technical, it’s not about changing any type of game plan, it’s about our effort and the pace of play, that needs to change. The second half, that’s the way we want to play, we scored 40 points in that half, that’s the pace we want to play. Kealy Brown and Paula Lenart, those two coming off the bench were fantastic for us today.”
In the first quarter, neither team jumped out to an immediate lead, as both teams scored and played defensively ending with a score of 12-8 with New Hampshire leading, at the end of the period. The slow start was plagued by 16 missed shots between both teams, and a handful of turnovers, but play picked up in the second quarter.
UNH continued to hold and extend its lead throughout the second period, going up by as much as 13 points with 2:59 left in the half, the largest lead of the game. The Big Green missed a total of 11 shots in the second quarter alone, scoring only nine points, entering halftime with a 10-point gap to close.
Entering the third quarter, Dartmouth chipped away at the score, as Kate Letkewicz aided Quiñones and Lippold, the trio scored 14 of the 20 points put up by the home team. Lippold used her size as an advantage to grab four steals, three of which ended in scoring plays for the Big Green. In the third period alone, Dartmouth scored seven points off turnovers, much more aggressive than in the first half getting the ball back and in the hoop.
After finally taking the lead in the last 80 seconds of the third, and ending tied, the Big Green took the opportunity presented and went on two short runs in the fourth to extend the lead. With 1:43 left to play, the score was tied for the sixth time following a layup from UNH’s Brittni Lai.
Lippold found room for herself and drained a three with 1:27 on the clock, bumping the lead up to three points, before Carlie Pogue scored a layup for the Wildcats. With 64 seconds left to play, the Big Green went on an 11-0 run to end the game with Quiñones sinking her free throws in the last second of the game.
Dartmouth will remain home, hosting Maine on Saturday at 12 p.m., before getting back on the road to play Colorado on Monday, December 11 at 9 p.m. eastern time.