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Women's Basketball Suffers Heartbreaking Defeat to Brown, 46-43

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By Mark Washburn

HANOVER, N.H. – In a true tale of two halves, the Dartmouth women battled through first-half offensive struggles and then missed a pair of late free throws that included a lane violation, as they fell, 46-43, to Brown at Leede Arena on Friday night.

After scoring a season-low eight points in the opening 20 minutes, the Big Green bounced back and outscored the Bears, 35-27, in the final stanza. Freshman Fanni Szabo scored all 11 points in the second and had an opportunity to tie the game on a buzzer-beater, but the ball rimmed out.

As a team, Dartmouth (5-22, 2-11 Ivy) shot 55.6 percent in the second compared to the 15.8 percent in the opening half for a total of 39.1 percent. Brown was also stymied offensively for the most part, connecting on 32.6 percent overall. Brown’s key to the victory was getting to the free throw line. The Bears made 10-of-13 while Dartmouth went 2-of-4.

The opening period was an offensive struggle on both ends, as neither side shot better than 30 percent from the floor. A total of 22 combined turnovers were committed, and neither team found a home inside the paint with 12 of the 27 combined points in the key. Brown (10-18, 4-9 Ivy) held a 17-15 edge in rebounds with Sophie Beutel grabbing six.

Dartmouth’s frontcourt faced foul troubles throughout the half, but Abbey Schmitt had four caroms and two points. The team was held scoreless for over 10 minutes and broke a, 12-4, deficit on a jumper by Zimmer with five minutes left. Zimmer’s jumper was the last two-point basket made from either side until Sophie Bikofsky hit a three with 15 seconds remaining to give the Bears an 11-point lead at the break, 19-8.

Offense returned to normalcy in the second, as Zimmer, sophomore Lakin Roland and junior Abbey Schmitt scored three of the first four baskets to resume play. Zimmer’s basket was the first from the outside for the Big Green, who missed all six in the opening period. Dartmouth eliminated Brown’s momentum with nine of the first 11 points in a span of 2:36. After Brown baskets by Rebecca Musgrove and Carly Wellington, Dartmouth tied the game 23-all on a jumper by Schmitt to complete a 6-0 spurt.

Brown scored its next 12 points from the outside, but Dartmouth held the game within two possessions the rest of the way. Dartmouth trailed 39-33 with 5:54 remaining and eventually took a 41-39 lead on a 6-0 run with 2:56 left of a Szabo triple. On the next possessions, KJ Veldman hit the eventual game-winning three for the Bears.

With 58 seconds remaining, Dartmouth had an opportunity to tie or take a lead, but a missed free throw by junior Milica Toskovic and then a lane violation by classmate Daisy Jordan kept the Bears ahead, 42-41.  Lauren Clarke made two pairs from the line to preserve the win for the squad. With 12 seconds to go, Zimmer hit a running layup to cut the deficit at, 44-43, but then Clarke made her final pair to secure the win.

Dartmouth finished with a 31-30 edge in rebounds as Schmitt led the squad with eight caroms and had eight points. Zimmer finished with nine points and three assists.  Roland added eight points for the Green and White in 21 minutes.

Sophie Bikofsky led the Bears with 15 points, and Clarke added 11.

Dartmouth will conclude the season tomorrow at Leede Arena against Yale at 7 p.m.  Brown travels to Harvard for a 6 p.m. tip.