WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Dartmouth women’s basketball team dropped its third straight contest, 77-54, to American University on Sunday afternoon at Bender Arena.
Three Big Green members scored in double figures, led by freshman Katie Vareika, who scored all of her 13 points in the second half. Classmate Fanni Szabo struggled from the floor, shooting 5-of-14 with one three-pointer for 11 points.
Junior Milica Toskovic added 10 points in the defeat, connecting on a pair from the outside in the opening half. The Big Green (1-4) finished the contest shooting 36 percent from the field, 35 percent from the outside and connected on all eight free throws.
Four Eagles finished in double figures, led by Alexis Dobbs with 15 points. Jen Dumiak scored 13 points and Sarah Kiely and Ti’Asia McGeorge each added 10 points for the Eagles.
American (4-2) shot 47 percent from the field, 28 percent from the outside and 73 percent from the line.
The Eagles opened up the second half on a 14-2 run and took a 54-29 lead with 13:29 left in the contest. A three-pointer by Lauren Crisler with 4:30 remaining gave American its largest lead of the day, 71-44. Vareika, then scored eight of her team-high 11 points in the final three minutes of the game.
Toskovic lead the Big Green with eight points in the opening half, but 11 points by Dumiak and an 11-point cushion for the Eagles, 38-27, gave them the halftime edge. Dartmouth shot 38 percent from the field, but American’s 47 percent shooting bested the Big Green after 20 minutes.
For first-year head coach Belle Koclanes, the happy return to American was short lived, as her team took an early 4-0 lead, before American went on a 21-7 run to take a 10-point lead with 12:43 on a trey from Dumiak. Dartmouth erased the double-digit lead with back-to-back long-distance shots by Toskovic.
American then regained the double-digit advantage on a 13-2 run and took a 15-point lead with 2:52 left after a pair of offensive rebounds resulted in a layup in the paint by Kiely. Szabo ended the half with four more points, as the Big Green defense forced American to miss its final five shots before the break.
Junior Kamala Thompson finished with a team-high eight rebounds, but the Eagles out battled Dartmouth on the glass, 40-34. Kiely led the Eagles with eight boards, grabbing three on the offensive side. Thompson also added five assists for the Big Green, who continue to play shorthanded without senior point guard Nicola Zimmer.
American scored 44 of their 77 points in the paint and 14 off Dartmouth turnovers. The American bench also contributed with 33 points, compared to 13 from the Big Green reserves.
Dartmouth will return to Hanover and prepare for a three-game homestand against Albany, New Hampshire and Bryant, before embarking on a mid-west trip to Chicago. The homestand begins on Wednesday, when the Big Green welcomes Albany to Leede Arena for a 7 p.m. tip.