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Big First Half Leads Yale to win over Dartmouth

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Milica Toskovic     By Doug Austin

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Dartmouth women's basketball team owned the second half, but couldn't' overcome a big first half from Yale, dropping a 66-48, contest to the Bulldogs on Friday night at Lee Amphitheatre.

Despite trailing by 22 points to open the second half, Dartmouth (3-19, 1-7 Ivy League) battled in the second half and outscored the Ivy League's second-place team 32-28 behind 12 second-half points from leading scorer Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.). Steen led Dartmouth with 18 points, her 15th consecutive game in double figures while freshman Milica Toskovic (Santa Monica, Calif.) posted her first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead Dartmouth on the glass.

Yale (15-8, 7-2 Ivy League) spotted the Big Green a 22-point halftime lead behind the play of Megan Vasquez. Yale's leading scorer had a game-high 22 points with 14 of those coming in the first half.

The Big Green opened the second half much as it opened the game, with a strong defensive showing the fueled the offense. Post players sophomore forward Arianne Hunter (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and senior forward Sasha Dosenko (Kiev, Ukraine) were being aggressive to the ball and Hunter nearly ran into the bench after a loose ball early in the half.

Yale took a 29-point lead, its large of the game at the 7:42 mark of the second half but Steen again put the team on her back to keep the game from getting out of hand. The junior captain completed an old-fashioned three-point play and added three more baskets, including her first triple of the afternoon to cut the lead to 63-46 at the 2:56 mark.

 Sophomore point guard Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase Md.) also got in on the action in the second half. After going scoreless in the first half, Zimmer added seven points in the second frame to help spark the Big Green late.

Dartmouth was helped by its reserves.  Sophomore guard Eve Zelinger (Palo Alto, Calif.) made the most of her minutes off of the bench providing the Big Green a lift on the defensive end while also picking up a few baskets in transition. She finished with four points.

Toskovic hit a pair of free throws late, but it wasn't enough as Dartmouth dropped its fourth straight and sixth consecutive to Yale.

Yale used a 17-0 run midway through the half to extend its lead to double figures and held a 34-12 lead at the 3:23 mark of the first half. Reserve Hayden Latham was a big part of Yale's run accounting for 10 consecutive points off of three Big Green turnovers as the Bulldogs took a 38-16 halftime lead.

With the score at 8-6 for nearly four minutes, Yale put some distance between themselves and Dartmouth by forcing several Big Green turnovers and scoring four baskets to jump ahead, 19-10 behind five points from Vasquez and a pair from Alexandra Osborn Jones.  The Big Green was impressive on the defensive end forcing the Bulldogs into nine turnovers and deflecting numerous balls in the first half.

It was a close game to start, with Yale owing an 8-6 lead at the first media timeout.  Big Green were very aggressive on the defensive end, despite only dressing seven players for tonight's contest. Steen got things started for the Big Green and went toe-to-toe with Yale's leading scorer Megan Vasquez to open the game.

Dartmouth is back in action tomorrow night at Brown. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Brown's Pizzitola Sports Center. Brown opened the weekend with a 58-55 win over Harvard.

Big Green Sidelines
-Tonight's game was televised on the YES Network. It was Dartmouth's second time appearing on television, they also played on local television when they traveled to Holy Cross.  The Dartmouth men's hockey team, who also played Yale tonight, also played on TV.

-Dartmouth's 16 first half points was a second fewest points for the Big Green at halftime. Dartmouth also had 16 against Princeton. The season-low at halftime is 10 points at Kansas State.

-Faziah Steen is now 61 points away from reaching the 1,000-point mark.