HANOVER, N.H. - The Dartmouth women's basketball team spotted the visiting Hartford Hawks a 23-point lead, but battled back to cut the lead to nine points in the second half, but couldn't complete the comeback in a loss on Sunday (Dec. 9) afternoon.
Sophomore center Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and senior guard Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) led the Dartmouth (1-7) offense, both registering a game-high 14 points, while Dawson was one rebound shy of her seventh career double-double with a game-best nine rebounds.
"In the second half we cut the lead from 23 points to nine and it was a great comeback, but they had some runs late and that was the game," said Dartmouth head coach Chris Wielgus. "I was pleased with the effort in the second half, but we need to work on putting two good halves together."
Dartmouth shot 36.2 percent (21-of-58) from the field while the Hawks shot a blistering 55.6 (30-of-54) percent. Hartford was able to capitalize on Big Green turnovers, scoring 28 of its 67 points on Big Green giveaways. Dartmouth did win the battle of the boards, outrebounding Hartford, 33-31.
"We were disappointed with the turnovers in the first half. You can't give an experienced team like Hartford the ball in the first half and let them score easy buckets."
Trailing 40-23 out of the intermission, the Big Green used a 19-4 run, sparked by nine points from Steen, to cut the Hartford lead to single digits for the first time since the 3:15 mark of the first half. A triple from Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.) as time expired spearheaded the run which was as close as Dartmouth would get for the remainder of the contest.
Hartford (7-2) would respond with a 15-2 run of its own over the next five minutes to push the Hawks lead back into double-figures, 67-45, with 2:09 left in the contest. The Big Green would score the final seven points of the contest, but it wasn't enough as Dartmouth dropped its seventh straight game.
Dartmouth and Hartford battled in the first half and went back-and-forth through the first 11 minutes. The Big Green were able to take a 19-18 lead at the 9:00 mark with a pair from Kamala Thompson (Selden, N.Y.) at the charity stripe. The lead was the second for the Big Green after taking an early 2-0 advantage.
In a half that featured five ties and five lead changes, the Big Green were able to capitalize on the defensive side of the ball giving the Hawks just one look at the basket through the early goings, but Hartford capitalized on a Dartmouth miscue giving them the ball in the backcourt and with five straight baskets from Alex Hall, took a 25-19 lead, the largest lead for either team.
Sophomore Abbey Schmitt (Winnetka, Ill.) kept Dartmouth close with a pair from the free throw line and classmate Milica Toskovic (Santa Monica, Calif.) followed with a long jumper from the left elbow to make it 25-23 at the 5:22 mark.
Hartford began to heat up from long range in the final five minutes of the half and used a 15-0 run, sparked by two triples from Amber Bepko to take a 23-40 lead into halftime.
Dartmouth hits the road for its next two games, first traveling to Florida to take on Florida International on Saturday (Dec. 15) and then traveling to Marquette (Dec. 20). Tipoff between the Big Green and Panthers is at 6 p.m. while Dartmouth will hit the hardwood with the Golden Eagles at 8 p.m. (ET).
Big Green Sidelines
Hartford is the second consecutive and third America East foe for the Big Green this season. Dartmouth has a 0-3 record against teams from America East this season ... Dawson's 14 points is a season-high, her previous high was five ... Dawson's four steals is a career-high ... Dartmouth was 7-of-7 from the free throw line, the first time they have been 100 percent this season.