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Dartmouth Closes Home Schedule with Cornell and Columbia

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By David Silverman(

The Dartmouth women's basketball team closes out the 2011-12 home slate when it welcomes Cornell and Columbia to Leede Arena on Friday and Saturday. The Big Green will take on Cornell on Friday at 7 p.m. and will close the weekend against Columbia on Saturday. Dartmouth will honor senior Sasha Dosenko prior to the Columbia game.

Game 25: Dartmouth (4-21, 2-9 Ivy League) vs. Cornell (11-14, 5-6 Ivy League)
Friday, March 2 (7 p.m.)
Hanover, N.H. (Leede Arena)
Dartmouth leads, 53-12
Cornell has won one

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Game 26: Dartmouth (4-21, 2-9 Ivy League) vs. Columbia (3-22, 1-10 Ivy League)
Saturday, March 3 (7 p.m.)
Hanover, N.H. (Leede Arena)
Dartmouth leads, 46-10
Dartmouth has won two

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Starting Five
1. Junior guard Faziah Steen is 19 points away from becoming Dartmouth's 16th 1,000-point scorer. Steen is Dartmouth's leading scorer averaging 15.5 points per game. This season, Steen has scored 19 or more points on six occasions including a career-high 32 against Vermont (Nov. 22).

2. This weekend marks the final home weekend for senior Sasha Dosenko. Dosenko has led the Big Green to 40 wins in her four years and is the lone member of this year's team to win an Ivy League Championship, winning a ring during the 2008-09 season as a freshman.

3. Sasha Dosenko tallied a career-high 21 points against Princeton last weekend. She joins Faziah Steen as Dartmouth's two players to score 20 or more points in a game this season.    

4. Dartmouth's freshmen had a good night at Penn last weekend. Milica Toskovic posted a career-high 17 points while Tia Dawson recorded her team-leading fourth double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. 

5. The Big Green is looking for their first win at Leede Arena. Dartmouth has a 0-10 record at home this season and hasn't gone winless at home since the 1975-76 season and has only had seven losing home records in 39 seasons.    

Dartmouth vs. Cornell Notables
-Dartmouth and Cornell are meeting for the 67th time in Friday's contest. The Big Green own a 53-13 series advantage and are looking to avenge a close 49-45 loss to the Big Red in Ithaca, N.Y., in the first meeting this season. Dartmouth has won the last nine meetings with the Big Red at Leede Arena.

-Cornell and Dartmouth each have a Detroit Country Day connection. High school teammates Faziah Steen and Cornell's Spencer Lane will be going against each other on Friday. The pair teamed to win the Yellowjackets a Class B State Championship as seniors.  

Dartmouth vs. Columbia Notables
-Columbia and Dartmouth are meeting for the 57th time in Saturday's contest. The Big Green lead the series 46-10 and have won the last two meetings between the teams including the first meeting this season in New York.  The Big Green is looking to sweep the Lions for the third time in the last five seasons.

-Dartmouth is looking to run its home record against Columbia to 7-1 over the last eight seasons with a win on Saturday. The Big Green last swept Columbia in 2008-09 and with a win on Saturday could sweep the season series.   

A Win Would ...
1. Give Dartmouth its first home win of the season and avoid the Big Green going winless at home. Dartmouth hasn't been winless at Leede Arena since the 1975-76 season, which was prior to head coach Chris Wielgus' arrival in Hanover.

2. Improve the Big Green to three wins in Ivy League action, which would equal its Ivy League win total from last season. The Big Green will end the season with three consecutive losing seasons, the first three-season skid for the Big Green since 1974-77. Dartmouth has posted 24 winning seasons in program history.   

3. Should the win come against Columbia, it would give the Big Green its first season sweep of an opponent this season and should the Big Green win two games this weekend, it will mark the first Ivy weekend sweep of the season.

Scouting Cornell
Cornell enters this weekend's games with an 11-14, 5-6 Ivy League record after splitting games with Brown and Yale last weekend. The Big Red used a buzzer-beater on Friday night to sink Brown, 51-50, while they dropped a 69-58 game to Yale on Saturday. Allyson DiMagno and Clare Fitzpatrick are leading the Cornell offense with 10.2 points per game each, while DiMagno is also leading the Big Red on the glass with 7.3 rebounds per game. In Ivy League action, Fitzpatrick is leading the group with 9.6 points per game. Cornell got the best of the Big Green in the first meeting this season with a 49-45 win at the Newman Center but the Big Green, who were down 20 points at one point, came back late and had a shot to tie the game in the last seconds. Cornell is one of three teams that Dartmouth defeated last season. The Big Green and Big Red are looking for their second regular season split in the last two seasons. Dartmouth last swept Cornell in the 2009-10 season. Cornell will conclude its season against Columbia on March 6th at the Newman Center. Cornell head coach Dayna Smith is in her 10th season at Cornell.

Scouting Columbia
Columbia enters Saturday's contest with a 3-22, 1-10 Ivy League record after a loss to Brown on Saturday. The Lions, who entered last weekend winless in Ivy League action, captured their first Ivy League win on Friday with a 56-52 win over Yale on Friday. Tyler Simpson and Melissa Shafer lead the way for the Lions. Simpson is Columbia's leading scorer with 12.6 points per game while Shafer is also in double figures with 10.0 points per game. Simpson has stepped her game up in Ivy League action with 16.3 points per game, as the lone Lion in double figures in Ivy League contests. Courtney Bradford and Amara Mbionwu lead the Columbia defense. Bradford is pulling down 6.8 rebounds per game while Mbionwu is averaging 5.3 rebounds per game. The Big Green is looking for its first season sweep of an Ivy League opponent when it takes on the Lions on Saturday. Dartmouth took the first meeting between these teams, 59-44, on Feb. 3 in New York City. The Big Green can also run its win streak against Columbia to three straight with a win on Saturday. Head coach Paul Nixon is in his seventh season*Columbia will take on Harvard before playing Dartmouth on Saturday. All statistics are from prior to the Harvard game.