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Women's Basketball Set For Harvard Rematch Saturday Night

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By Gil Talbot


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Date: Jan. 25, 2014 |  Time: 6 PM |  Venue: Lavietes Pavilion (2,500) |  Location: Cambridge, Mass.

Live Stats: | Live Video: Ivy League Digital Network ($$$) Live Audio: Ivy League Digital Network (FREE) | Koclanes Weekly Radio Interview WTSL-WTSV 

With the monkey off the back of first-year head coach Belle Koclanes, the Dartmouth women’s basketball team can breathe easier once they depart from Hanover, en route to any of the eight Ivy League faciliites they will venture to over the next month. After Saturday’s victory in Newark, the Big Green are now in the win column on the road. Heading to their most local Ancient 8 foe Harvard, the Big Green are in search of their first league win February 9, 2013.


• The second and final Ivy battle between Dartmouth and Harvard will commence on Saturday evening in Cambridge. In the first meeting, the Crimson scored 52 points in the paint and took a nine-point lead into the break to secure the win. 

• Harvard has played the role of the ‘Road Warriors’ this season, playing 11 of the 15 games thus far away from Lavietes Pavilion. In traditional road games, the Crimson are 4-3, but hold a 3-1 record on neutral site courts after playing in three in-season tournaments. 

• Harvard has not hosted a home game in over a month, as their last home viewing was on December 21 against Hofstra. The Crimson are a perfect 4-0 at home this season with seven Ivy slates remaining. 

• Junior Lakin Roland had a tremendous showing in New Jersey last Saturday, scoring a game high 17 points, as the Big Green defeated NJIT 48-45 for their first road win of the season. Freshman Fanni Szabo nailed the game-winning triple with 54 seconds remaining. 

• The Big Green will spend another two weeks away from home, travelling to Penn/Princeton during Super Bowl XLVIII weekend and then Yale/Brown during the Sochi Olympics Opening weekend. 


Traditionalist will not defy the Ivy League as a 14-game playoff or even as a tournament within a season. Simply put, 14 games to determine who will represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament. There will be no fanfare of neutral site tailgates or any host hotels or establishments, if a ‘playoff’ is needed, it will be played at an in-league neutral site court. 


After the first full week of Ivy League play, four teams sit 1-0, while the other four are 0-1 Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia lead the pack, while Penn, Cornell, Brown and the Big Green are looking for their first wins. All eight teams will meet up again in the second week of play, as the local rivalries will now spread out across the Northeast. 


The 75th meeting between the Big Green and Crimson is set for Saturday evening. The Crimson hold a 42-34 edge over the team from the Upper Valley, but it was Dartmouth who took the last decision, a 58-45 victory at home on Jan. 26, 2013. The prior meeting in Cambridge went the way of the home team, as Harvard handed Dartmouth an 88-66 setback. In this historic rivalry, it was the Crimson taking the first five meetings, which included a playoff contest won by the hosts in 1978.  Dartmouth took control of the early 1980’s, winning the next seven meetings. It wasn’t until 1982 that saw the home-and-home series, begin between Ivy foes.  Both sides traded wins through the mid-80’s, but it was Harvard winning six of seven appearances in the early-90’s that allowed the Boston-based institution to thrive.  Over the past decade, the series has been a virtual deadlock, with Harvard taking just two extra wins away from the Big Green, 12-10, with two playoff games to determine an outright league winner – both in favor of the Green. Since turning over into the new millennium, Dartmouth and Harvard have met to begin the Ivy League season 14 consecutive times with Harvard holding an 9-6 margin. 


Senior Nicola Zimmer scored a team-high 16 points, but the Big Green allowed 52 points in the paint and fell to Harvard 73-63 at Leede Arena. Freshman Fanni Szabo was the second top finisher for the team, scoring all 10 points in the second half, after being held scoreless on five misses in the first. Sophomore Lakin Roland continues to improve on both ends of the court, as the power forward scored nine points with seven rebounds and took a pair of charges, but was limited in time and fouled out late in the contest. Harvard’s attack came from six different threats, with four scoring in double figures. Temi Fagbenle led all with 21 points and Elise Gordon scored 13 off the bench with eight boards.


Last time, the shooting guards were featured, but were not the main attraction from either squad. Power forwards have always been looked at as the second/third options for a team in scoring. Sophomore Lakin Roland has joined freshman Fanni Szabo in the double figures scoring club after notching double digits in seven of her last eight games. Roland’s season-best 17 points aided the Green against the Highlanders, but her style of play has turned her into a must-see player under Koclanes’ tutelage. On the Harvard side, the reigning Rookie of the Year and Olympian, Fagbenle has been a threat on the glass and inside the paint. The 6-2 forward has scored 20 or more points three times this season, with her last coming against the Green when she totaled 21. 


Fanni Szabo added her second Ivy League Rookie of the Week after scoring a career-high 33 points in a home loss to Providence. Szabo started out slow, scoring seven points in the opening frame, but exploded out of the gate in the second half with 26 points on 11-of-15 from the field and 4-of-6 from the outside. Szabo also added six steals, three rebounds and two assists to her game accolades.


Fanni Szabo was named the first Ivy League Rookie of the Week this season after scoring 21 points in her collegiate debut against Holy Cross. 


Szabo has led the team offensively in eight of the 15 games so far this season and continues to push her team. Her career-high of 34 points capped a 76-72 victory for the team against UMass in the Blue Sky Classic. In the squad’s other win this season, Szabo netted 31 in her home debut against Vermont. Through 12 games this season, Szabo has scored 227 points, while averaging 18.9 points per game. She has eclipsed the 20+-point plateau on six occasions this season with three games in the 30+ region. Only twice has she come up short scoring less than 10 points, both losses. 


The Big Green have yet to have a game this season, where all 17 members have been healthy enough to dress. The team has gone through stretches where at least one member of the opening night starting lineup has been scratched due to an injury or illness. The team  went through a three-game stretch in December where three of the five were inactive. Senior Nicola Zimmer missed seven games due to Mono, as did junior Milica Toskovic who needed four games rest from the same illness. Junior Tia Dawson sat four games with a concussion and will now miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury she sustained after returning from her initial injury. The team has yet to see sophomores Kasey Crockett and Lauren Taiclet return from injuries sustained from last season. Sophomore Daisy Jordan also began the season on IR and missed the first eight games with a knee issue, but returned to full active duty against DePaul. Classmate Sofia Roman has also returned from an in-season injury sustained during practice at Syracuse which inactivated her for three games. 


Seniors Nicola Zimmer and Eve Zelinger were named co-captains for the season. Zimmer, returns for her second season as team leader, with Zelinger being voted on by her teammates. 


Junior Abbey Schmitt had a great first season with the big Green in 12-13 after sitting out her freshman campaign with a knee injury, as the Winnetka, Ill. native was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week three times. As a junior, Schmitt transitioned into a center and is averaging 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest. In the Green’s home defeat against Albany, Schmitt registered her third career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Schmitt and the Big Green will make a special appearance in her hometown for a pair of games before the holiday break, against DePaul and Loyola Chicago.  Against DePaul, Schmitt scored 10 points and had four rebounds. Against Loyola, she had six points, five rebound and one steal. 


Sophomore Lakin Roland impressed the new coaching staff during training camp and has jumped in to the starting power forward spot. Roland is second in scoring, averaging 10.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. At 6-0, Roland will need to use her size and ability on the glass to help her team on both ends of the court. Roland has also been a tremendous help on the defensive side and has taken five defensive charges so far.  During the Chicago trip, Roland nearly averaged a double-double with 11.5 points and nine rebounds. She notched her first double-double against Loyola with 10 points and 12 rebounds. In the next game at home against La Salle, she claimed her second with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Roland finished the Blue Sky Classic with 11 points and six rebounds and was one of two Big Green members on the All-Classic squad. Over the past five games, she has scored in double figures in each game with two double-doubles in consecutive appearances. In total, she has notched double figures in seven games and tallied nine points twice.  


Junior Tia Dawson was set to have a breakout season with the Big Green after setting a new high of six blocks in the home-opener against Vermont.  Since then she has played in three more games with a four-game absence sandwiched in between.  After returning for just one game against DePaul, where she scored four points but grabbed eight rebounds and helped the Big Green break the full court trap of the Blue Demons, Dawson went down with a season-ending ankle injury in warm-ups against Loyola. Her presence will be missed on the floor, as the team will now once again look for size inside. 


Szabo has made quite a name for herself in her native Hungary.  Szabo has been named to multiple All-Tournament teams and has taken the stage in many important games for her country, including an exhibition against Team USA in 2011. Szabo scored four points in the game that featured current WNBA stars Cappie Pondexter, Brittney Griner and Tina Charles. 


The Big Green were chosen fifth in the 2013-14 Ivy League preseason poll, that was conducted by various media outlets within the eight institutions and one national media member. 


After being hired by Dartmouth, Koclanes searched for a staff that would complement her coaching style. Former Navy assistant Maria Noucas was tabbed as the top-assistant, after battling Koclanes the past few seasons in the Patriot League.  Koclanes’ next option was to find someone who understands the ins and outs of the Ivy League. Enter the 2011 Ivy Player of the Year Addie Micir, a Princeton graduate. Micir is a smart, energetic fresh mind that just finished two seasons overseas in Europe. Her most recent team was Challenge Sports Binnenland in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The final position on the staff went to Koclanes’ former student-manager at ODU Michael Motta.  The youngest member on staff, Motta spent last season with Providence as a graduate assistant coach. 


The schedule will feature six teams that played in the post-season last year, including three from the Ivy League. Dartmouth will square off against four teams from the America East Conference (Albany, Hartford, New Hampshire and Vermont) and two teams from the Big East (DePaul and Providence), Atlantic-10 (La Salle and UMass) and Patriot League (American and Holy Cross).  The Big Green will also face single foes from the Atlantic Coast Conference (Syracuse), Northeast Conference (Bryant) and Independent (NJIT). 


Dartmouth will play the most home non-conference games at Leede Arena since the 1992-93 season, when they hosted eight teams.  In total this season, the Big Green will welcome 15 different schools to Hanover, but only 14 will face the Green. Binghamton is the only team to not face Dartmouth, as they are the third team in the Blue Sky Classic. 


Dartmouth Athletics, in partnership with NeuLion, announced the launch of the brand new Ivy League Digital Network, featuring enhanced live video streaming of all home games and extensive coverage of Big Green road contests against Ivy League foes.

Starting with the 2013-14 season, the completely redesigned Dartmouth channel — known as Big Green Insider — will include an easy-to-navigate interface with a league-wide network schedule and new interactive features that showcase the expanded content offerings available on computer, mobile and tablet devices, all without the use of an app.


This season 24 of the 28 games will be streamed with free live audio on and the Ivy League Digital Network. Brett Franklin will have the call beginning with a live 15-minute pre-game show where he will be joined by an assistant coach and player and then an extensive postgame show with head coach Belle Koclanes.  During select road games this season, assistant SID Nick Guerriero will join Franklin to help breakdown the game and give the inside scoop on Dartmouth women’s basketball.  


Inspired by former Old Dominion head coach Wendy Larry; Belle Koclanes is following in her footsteps with her own radio talk show segments. Koclanes joins WTSL 94.3FM/1400-AM and WTSV 1230-AM host Brett Franklin every Tuesday evening from 5:30-5:45 p.m.  An archive of the weekly segment can be heard on the following day. 


Interested in the Big Green on social media or looking for in-game updates? Then follow the official twitter account @Dartmouth_WBB. Head coach Belle Koclanes is also on twitter @coachbelleko. Assistant coaches Maria Noucas and Addie Micir can be followed at @mnoucas and @amicker23. Director of Basketball Operations Michael Motta can be searched under @michael_motta. The official FB page is