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Syracuse Pulls Away From Dartmouth in Second Half For 91-64 Win

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Abbey Schmitt posted a career-high 18 points against Syracuse on Thursday night.      By Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H. - Syracuse used a 20-4 run to open the second half, blowing open a four-point halftime lead, en route to a 91-64 win over the Dartmouth women's basketball team on Thursday (Nov. 29).  

Dartmouth (1-4) was able to get as close as 16 points in the second half, but couldn't overcome a game-high 27 points from the Orange's Kayla Alexander. Alexander also tallied six rebounds and six blocks in the victory.

Abbey Schmitt (Winnetka, Ill.) led the Big Green offense with a career-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor. Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.) and Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) were also in double figures with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) led the rebounding efforts grabbing eight boards. 

The Big Green gave the Big East foe all they could handle in the first half.  Syracuse (7-0) scored the first basket of the contest, but Dartmouth was bolstered by the play of Schmitt, who posted six of Dartmouth's first nine points, as the Big Green trailed by just a point, 10-9, at the 16:06 mark.

"I was very encouraged by the way the team was in attack mode the entire game," said head coach Chris Wielgus. "They were going at the big kids and were really up-faking and driving, something that we worked a very short time on after our Northeastern game. Overall, I was pleased with the effort from the team tonight."

The Orange rattled off six consecutive points and forced Wielgus to call a timeout. Out of the break, a layup from Schmitt stopped the run and coupled with two Syracuse turnovers allowed Dartmouth to shift the momentum. Buckets from Zimmer and Steen kept the game within two possessions midway through the half.  

Syracuse took a 28-17 lead, its largest of the half, on treys from Rachel Coffey and Briana Butler, but Dartmouth used an 11-4 burst, highlighted by two triples from Zimmer, to cut the lead to one point, 32-31, at the 3:14 mark.

"Nicola Zimmer came of age tonight," said Wielgus. "She attacked, she passed and really just had a great game for us."

The Orange closed the half with a 5-2 burst to take a 37-34 lead into halftime.

With Syracuse holding a 57-37 advantage at the 14:02 mark of the second half, the Big Green tried to again shift the momentum and used back-to-back buckets from Zimmer and Dawson to cut the lead to 16 points, but that was as close as Dartmouth would get the remainder of the contest.

Dartmouth shot 41.8 percent (23-of-55) and drilled a season-high eight three-pointers in the contest while going 10-of-11 from the charity stripe.

The Big Green will hit the road for their next contest, traveling to Norfolk, Va., to take on Old Dominion. Tipoff between the Lady Monarchs and the Big Green is set for 2 p.m. at ODU's Ted Constant Convocation Center

Big Green Sidelines
Syracuse is the first of two Big East teams the Big Green will face this season. Dartmouth will also take on Marquette and could possibly face Villanova in the Blue Sky Classic ... The Big Green's eight triples equaled the most three-pointers this season ... Sofia Roman scored her first collegiate points in tonight's game, a three-pointer ... The Big Green's 64 points are the most points a "mid major" school has scored on Syracuse this season ... After failing to reach double figures against Northeastern, Steen was back in double-digits with 13 points. ... Schmitt has been in double figures in three of Dartmouth's five games.