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Women's Basketball Opens Ivy League Slate at Harvard

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The women's basketball team opens the 2012-13 Ivy League slate at Harvard on Saturday....     By Doug Austin

The Dartmouth women's basketball team opens the 2012-13 Ivy League slate against rival, Harvard, on Saturday Jan. 12. The Big Green and Crimson hit the hardwood at Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion at 2 p.m.

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Game 15: Dartmouth (2-12, 0-0 Ivy League) at Harvard (9-5, 0-0 Ivy League)
Saturday, January 12 (2:00 p.m.)
Cambridge, Mass. (Lavietes Pavilion)
Harvard leads, 40-30
Harvard has won five

Starting Five
1. Dartmouth opens its 37th season of Ivy League action on Saturday. Dartmouth has a 308-151 Ivy League record and has claimed 17 Ivy League titles, 12 coming under the watch of head coach Chris Wielgus.  The Big Green's last title came during the 2008-09 season.

2. The Big Green are looking to keep momentum from its win over UMass in its last outing. Dartmouth is looking for its first Ivy League-opening win since defeating Harvard to open the 2009-10 Ivy slate.  

3. Dartmouth is looking to snap Harvard's current five-game win streak in the series. The Big Green are looking for their first win at Harvard since defeating the Crimson on their home court during the 2008-09 season.

4. Sophomore Tia Dawson is looking to continue her dominance on the glass as of late. She posted her first double-double of the season against UMass with 12 points and 13 rebounds. The 13 rebounds ties her career-high and marked her second consecutive game with double-figure rebounds.  

5. Dartmouth, who snapped a 12-game winless streak in its last outing, is looking for a win in its Ivy League opener for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The Big Green are 16-20 all-time in Ivy League openers and own an 8-12 record in road openers.

Dartmouth vs. Harvard Notables
-This will be the 71st meeting between the Big Green and Crimson and is a battle of the two longest-tenured coaches in the Ivy League. Dartmouth skipper Chris Wielgus is in her 28th season roaming the Dartmouth sidelines and Harvard's Delaney-Smith is in her 31st season at Harvard. Between the two coaches there are 23 Ivy League championships. Chris Wielgus owns 12 and Delaney-Smith owns 11.

-The Big Green and Crimson have four non-conference opponents in common as both teams have played BYU, Holy Cross, New Hampshire and UMass. The Crimson defeated BYU, Holy Cross and New Hampshire and both teams defeated UMass. 

-The Harvard game is a battle between high school teammates for Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) and Harvard's Emma Golen, both played at Detroit Country Day along with Cornell's Spencer Lane.  Additionally, Dartmouth's Nicola Zimmer (Chevy Chase, Md.) played high school basketball with Harvard's Marissa Brock.

A Win Would ...
1. Give Dartmouth head coach Chris Wielgus her 390th win at Dartmouth. She entered the 2012-13 season needing 13 wins to claim her 400th victory as head coach of the Big Green.

2. Give the Big Green back-to-back wins for the first time this season and snap Harvard's five-game winning streak. It would also give Dartmouth its first Ivy League opening win since 2009-10.

3. Give the Dartmouth its second win in the month of January. Dartmouth went winless in the month of December for the second consecutive season.  

Scouting Harvard
The Crimson enter Saturday's Ivy League opener with a 9-5, 0-0 Ivy League record after defeating Rhode Island 63-56 on Sunday (Jan.6). The win was the first for Harvard in its last four outings. The Crimson dropped non-conference contests to Boston University, Oklahoma State and SMU.  Christine Clark leads the offense with a team-best 16.6 points per game. She is joined in double-figures by teammates Victoria Lippert and Temi Fagbenle who are averaging 12.6 and 11.8 points, respectively. Fagbenle, a member of the Great Britain Olympic squad, is leading the rebounding efforts with 7.1 boards per game. Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith is in her 31st season.

Wielgus Picks Up Dartmouth Win No. 389 at UMass
Dartmouth head coach Chris Wielgus picked up her 389th win as Dartmouth head coach in the Big Green's win over UMass on Sunday. Wielgus entered the season needing 13 wins to pick up her 400th win at Dartmouth.

Dawson Doubles Up
Tia Dawson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) posted her seventh career double-double and her first of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds in the win over UMass. The 13 rebounds ties her career-high, a mark she has reached three times in her career. Dawson has reached double-figure rebounds in each of Dartmouth's last two contests and in four games this season. The Big Green have success when they have a double-double and are 2-0 when a Dartmouth player doubles up. For her efforts, Dawson was named to the Ivy League honor roll.

Speaking of Defense
Dawson isn't the only one getting in on the rebounding action. Kamala Thompson (Selden, N.Y.) has also been cleaning the glass as of late. For the second consecutive game, Thompson posted 11 rebounds. The 11 rebounds also tie her career high, a mark she has reached four times in her career. In each of Dartmouth's last two games, both Thompson and Tia Dawson have posted double-figure rebounds.

UMass Win Ends Losing Streak
The Big Green's 57-55 win over UMass ended Dartmouth's 12-game losing streak and kept the Big Green from tying the program record for consecutive losses. Last season, Dartmouth dropped 13 straight contests, which was a new program record. Prior to last season, the longest losing streak was seven games. The UMass win also bookended the non-conference slate with victories as Dartmouth opened the season with a win at Bryant and closed with a win over UMass. Both wins were on the road.