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Second-Half Woes Haunt Women's Basketball Against Albany, 81-59

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By Mark Washburn

HANOVER, N.H. – Despite a double-double by junior Abbey Schmitt, the Dartmouth women’s basketball team fell to Albany, 81-59, on Wednesday evening at Leede Arena.

Schmitt led the Big Green with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the loss and freshman Fanni Szabo added a team-high 22 points.

Shereesha Richards led Albany (7-0) with 32 points and 12 boards. Megan Craig aided in the victory with 14 points. The Great Danes shot 54 percent (35-of-64) from the field with 58 points in the paint. The visitors also scored 29 points off Dartmouth’s 20 turnovers and out muscled the Green on the glass, 37-29 with 12 offensive boards. 

Dartmouth (1-5) finished the game shooting 42 percent from the field and for the second time this season made ten treys. Juniors Kaitana Martinez and Lakin Roland each finished with four assists, as the Big Green held an 18-16 advantage. 

After holding a small lead at the half, Albany raced out to a double-digit lead en route to its largest lead of 27 with 3:05 left in play. The Great Danes shot 60 percent in the final stanza, as the Big Green struggled to contain Richards and Craig. 

Although Albany shot 50 percent from the field in the opening half, Szabo’s 14 and Schmitt’s eight points kept the Big Green within five at the break, 34-29. Richards paced all scorers with 21 points at the break.

Trailing 5-2 early in the contest, Szabo nailed a three-pointer to tie the contest at five and then took an 8-7 lead after another long-distance shot was sunk by freshman Katie Vareika. Following Vareika's trey, Albany took the lead and then went on a 6-0 run to increase its lead to seven, 15-8, on a jumper by Tammy Phillip with 13:07 left.

Down two possessions midway through the half, the Big Green cut the deficit to one-point, 27-26, on a jumper from the wing by junior Milica Toskovic. Albany finished the half on a converted three-point play by Richards, as the visitors scored 28 of their 34 points in the paint.

Dartmouth will remain at home for two more games before heading to Chicago for a pair before the holiday break. The Big Green welcome Granite State rival,  University of New Hampshire to Leede Arena for the “State Championship Game” on Saturday at 2 pm. The Green and White will conclude the homestand against Bryant next Tuesday evening.