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Women's Basketball Closes Non-Conference Slate at UMass

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Dartmouth closese the non-conference slate on Sunday at UMass.      By Doug Austin

The Dartmouth women's basketball team hits the road for its final non-conference game of the season when it travels to Amherst, Mass., to take on regional foe, UMass. Tipoff between the Minutewomen and Big Green is at 2 p.m. at the Mullins Center

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Game 14: Dartmouth (1-12, 0-0 Ivy League) at UMass (2-12, 0-0 A-10)
Sunday, January 6 (2:00 p.m.)
Hanover, N.H. (Mullins Center)
UMass leads, 9-8
UMass has won one

Starting Five
1. Dartmouth and UMass will meet for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Big Green also traveled to Amherst, Mass., for that contest and dropped a close 54-46 contest to the Minutewomen. 

2. Sunday's meeting marks the first time the Big Green have faced off with a Sharon Dawley led UMass team. Dawley spent 10 years as an assistant and associate head coach with the Big Green and also served as head coach at Vermont prior to taking the UMass job in 2010.

3. Dartmouth is looking for its second road win of the season in Sunday's contest. The Big Green defeated Bryant in Smithfield, R.I. in their season opener on Nov. 10 in its only win of the season.

4. The Big Green are looking to close the non-conference slate with a victory. Dartmouth is 1-12 in non-conference games and should they only earn one non-conference win it will be the first time in program history. Last season, Dartmouth posted two non-conference wins.

5. Dartmouth is looking to snap its current 12-game losing streak since winning its season-opener at Bryant (Nov. 10). Last season, Dartmouth had a 13-game losing streak, the longest in program history.

Dartmouth vs. UMass Notables
-This is the 18th meeting between Dartmouth and UMass and the first meeting since the 2000-01 season. UMass holds a slim 9-8 series advantage and won the last meeting between the two teams. The Big Green did win three consecutive games in the series from 1988-1991.  

-Dartmouth is the second consecutive Ivy League foe for the Minutewomen. UMass played Harvard in its last outing on Jan. 2 and dropped an 85-59 contest to the Crimson.

-UMass is the second team from the A-10 the Big Green have faced this season. Dartmouth played Duquesne in the opening round of the Blue Sky Classic, falling 54-39. The Big Green are 13-31 against teams from the A-10.

A Win Would ...
1. Give Dartmouth head coach Chris Wielgus her 389th win at Dartmouth. She entered the 2012-13 season needing 13 wins to claim her 400th victory as head coach of the Big Green.

2. Snap the Big Green's 12-game skid and give Dartmouth its first win since its season-opening win at Bryant on Nov. 10. It would also give the Big Green two road wins.

3. Even the all-time series with UMass at 9-9 and give the Big Green its first win over the regional foe since the 1998-99 season, also a road win.

Scouting UMass
The Minutewomen enter Sunday's game with a 2-12, 0-0 A-10 record and on a seven-game losing streak after falling to Harvard on Jan. 2. UMass, similar to Dartmouth, won its season-opener against Kent State on Nov. 10 before dropping its next five before defeating Ohio on Nov. 29. Jasmine Watson leads the UMass offense with 13.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Emily Mital joins Watson in double figures with 10.5 points per game while Rashida Timbilla is nearing at 9.9 points per game. Timbilla leads the defensive efforts with a team-best 8.5 rebounds per game. Head coach Sharon Dawley is in her third season at the helm of the UMass program. 

Gettin' Defensive
The Big Green had an excellent defensive game against Holy Cross registering a season-best 52 rebounds. The 52 rebounds were the most since the Big Green registered 52 in a win against Columbia last season. Additionally, Dartmouth also had two players with double-figure rebounds. Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Kamala Thompson (Selden, N.Y.) each grabbed 11 rebounds. It was the first time the Big Green had two players with double-digit rebounds since Dawson and Milica Toskovic (Santa Monica, Calif.) managed the feat against Columbia last season.

Dawson Back in the Rebounding Game
Sophomore Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) has gotten back on her defensive game as of late. After struggling on the glass to open the season, Dawson, who led the team in rebounding last season with 7.0 rebounds per game, has posted double-figure rebounds in three of Dartmouth's last five games including a season-best 13 rebounds at FIU.

I'll Take That ...
In keeping with its excellent defense against Holy Cross, the Big Green also registered a team-best 13 steals for just its second game with double-figure steals this season. Freshman Kaitana Martinez (Hailey, Idaho) and Lakin Roland (Jeffersonville, Ind.) were instrumental in that area, each registering a career-best four steals in the contest.

Martinez Cracks the Starting Lineup
Freshman guard Kaitana Martinez (Hailey, Idaho) has had quite the last month. After being cleared to play just the week before the Big Green's trip to Florida, Martinez made her collegiate debut in Dartmouth's game at FIU and prior to the Villanova game had been averaging just 6.5 minutes per game. Flash-forward to the Holy Cross game, Martinez made her first career start and played 35 minutes. In her first start she posted career-bests in points (8), rebounds (50) and steals (4). Talk about one heck of a month!