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Dawson's Big Second Half Earns Dartmouth win at Columbia

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Tia Dawson     By Mark Washburn

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Freshman center Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) scored 13 of her career-high 15 points in the second half and added a game-high 11 rebounds to power the Dartmouth women's basketball team to a 59-44 win at Columbia in New York on Friday (Feb. 3).

The win was Dartmouth's first Ivy League win this season and snapped a 13-game losing streak for the Big Green. The victory was also the first Ivy League road win for the Big Green since a 51-57 win over Brown in 2009-10.

Dawson, who scored picked up her third double-double with her 15 points and 11 rebounds, led the Dartmouth (3-15, 1-3 Ivy League) offense and was joined in double figures by junior guard Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) and Sasha Dosenko (Kiev, Ukraine) who had 14 points.

The Big Green, who entered the second half with its fourth straight lead in Ivy League action, struggled a little bit out of the break and found the Lions clawing back in the game behind the play of Tyler Simpson. Simpson, who had a game-high 21 points, had Columbia's first seven points and forced the first tie of the game at the 14:53 mark.

With the game tied at 30-30, the Big Green went on an 11-3 run sparked by six straight points from Dawson as Dartmouth began to pull away from the Lions. Columbia (2-16, 0-4 Ivy League) wasn't quite done and with a old fashioned three-point play from Simpson cut the lead to four points but that was as close as they would get for the remainder of the contest.

Dartmouth sealed the game from the line, led by the Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.) and Steen who were perfect from the line down the stretch. Steen's 4-of-4 effort from the line extended her free throw shooting streak to 10 consecutive in Dartmouth' last two games.

The Big Green was impressive on the glass, pulling down a season-high 52 rebound and outrebounding the Lions by a 52-36 margin.  Dartmouth's 52 rebounds also led to 17 second-chance points. Additionally, Dartmouth scored 22 points off of Columbia turnovers. 

The Big Green jumped out to a nine point lead at 11-2, just five minutes into the contest behind the stellar play of Dosenko, who had six of Dartmouth's first 15 points. Dartmouth was on fire from the floor early and through the first media timeout was shooting 71.5 percent (5-of-7).   

Dartmouth's defense was an important piece of the first half puzzle forcing the Lions into eight first half turnovers and scoring 16 points off of turnovers. The Big Green also had a sizeable advantage in the paint, holding a 14-4 advantage on points in the paint. With Dartmouth owning a 15-8 lead, triples from Steen and sophomore Nicole Zimmer extended the lead to 21-11 with just under nine minutes remaining.

Both teams closed the first half sluggish, with neither team playing with much rhythm. Columbia's Melissa Shafer hit a triple at the 7:14 mark and that was the last field goal for either team until the 2:49 mark when Dosenko ended Dartmouth's nearly six minute scoring drought. 

Columbia was able to capitalize on the free throw line whittling the once 10-point lead to just four points, forcing the Big Green to call a timeout. The teams traded buckets late and in the half and took a three-point lead into halftime, courtesy of a long jumper from Steen as time expired.

The Big Green will continue its road swing on Saturday when they travel to Cornell on Saturday. The Cornell game tips off at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena.

Big Green Sidelines

- Entering today's game the Big Green and Lions were both sitting at 2-15, 0-3 Ivy League. The win today snapped Dartmouth's 13-game losing streak.

-Kamala Thompson had a host of friends and family in the stands today. Thompson hails from nearby Long Island.

-WNBA player, Noelle Quinn, was in the stands cheering for Dartmouth's assistant coach Yolanda Griffith.

-Faziah Steen has made 10 consecutive free throws.