NORFOLK, Va. - In a game that was much closer than the score indicated, the Dartmouth women's basketball team shot 40.0 percent (22-of-55) and had two players in double figures, but couldn't stop Old Dominion late in a 73-59 road loss on Sunday (Dec. 2).
Dartmouth, trailing 63-51 with 5:56 left in the game, got the score down to six points at the 3:55 mark with foul shots and crucial layups from Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.) and Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), but couldn't close the gap further.
"Our team played hard and I'm very proud of them," said head coach Chris Wielgus. "I'm very pleased with the strategies that my team was able to execute and more importantly with the heart that they showed today."
Co-captains Zimmer and Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) led the Big Green offense with 17 and 16 points, respectively while Abbey Schmitt (Winnetka, Ill.) picked up 11 rebounds for her fourth game with double-figure rebounds.
Coming out of the halftime break, Dartmouth scored the first six points and was able to get right back in the game, cutting the score to just one point as Schmitt posted four of the first seven Big Green points of the second frame. The Big Green cut the lead to three, 46-43, with a jumper from Schmitt, but Old Dominion responded with a bucket on the other end to stop any momentum.
The second half was characterized by runs from both teams and with Dartmouth trailing 57-51 with 7:47 left, Old Dominion used two quick layups to push their lead to 12 points at the 5:56 mark.
"We were able to take them out of what they normally do, said Wielgus. "They showed zone, they played three different presses and that was because our team did a great job of taking away what normally works for them."
The Big Green weren't discouraged and with crucial baskets from Lakin Roland (Jeffersonville, Ind.) and Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.), cutting the lead to 65-59 at the 2:52 mark. ODU responded and pushed their lead back to 10 points at the final media timeout, and that was as close as the Big Green would get for the remainder of the contest.
Dartmouth started the game on a tear, highlighted by a triple on their first possession from Zimmer. The Big Green kept it going and opened up an 11-4 lead while holding the Lady Monarchs without a field goal for the first five minutes of the game.
Old Dominion kept it going from the line and was able to cut into the Big Green lead, going 5-of-6 from the charity stripe early to cut the Big Green lead to just three points, 14-11, at the 13:29 mark. Old Dominion's Mari Buchan led the Lady Monarch offense, scoring 16 first-half points, as the only ODU player in double figures.
With the game tied at 14-14, the Big Green went on an 8-0 run sparked by a triple from Zimmer, one of five Dartmouth treys in the first half. That triple opened up an eight-point lead at 22-14 midway through the half, prompting Old Dominion to call a timeout.
The score went back and forth, but Old Dominion went on a 13-5 run over the final five minutes of the half to take a 39-33 lead into halftime.
The Big Green are next on the hardwood on Wednesday (Dec. 5) when they travel to Durham to take on in-state rival New Hampshire. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.
Big Green Sidelines
Old Dominion is the second team from the CAA that the Big Green have played this season; Dartmouth also took on Northeastern ... Today's game was Dartmouth's second trip to Norfolk. The Big Green also made the trip during the 1994-95 season ... Milica Toskovic started the second half, instead of Kamala Thompson, who had three fouls ... This was the third consecutive game Dartmouth allowed a player to score 20 or more points.