HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth women’s basketball team did not lead for the majority of the night, but pulled off a 69-61 win over Albany in overtime on Thursday night in Leede Arena.
With the win, the Big Green improve to 5-7, while the Great Danes drop to 6-7.
Dartmouth led early in the first and did not lead again until the overtime period in the team’s first overtime game of the 2016-17 campaign. Junior Kate Letkewicz led the Big Green with 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the double-double. Sophomore Islays Quinones had an excellent day on the boards with 13 in addition to her 10 points. Senior Fanni Szabo also had a solid outing in the final non-conference game of the season at home with 18 points.
“The name of the game for us today was rebounding and outworking Albany,” said Belle Koclanes, the Gail Boudreaux '82 and Family Head Coach of Dartmouth Women's Basketball. “They are an excellent team and program that plays hard on the boards. We knew we had to play physically and tough on the defensive end tonight.”
The Great Danes were in control on the scoreboard for most of the contest, but the Big Green remained close with their opponent and did not fall behind by more than 11 points. Albany took a six-point lead into the locker room at the half, and unleashed an 8-2 run in the opening minutes of the third quarter. By the start of the fourth, Dartmouth battled back to cut the Great Danes’ lead to just five points.
The Big Green picked up the pace in the fourth thanks to a pair of Letkewicz three-pointers and a trey by Annie McKenna. In the final minute of regulation, with Dartmouth trailing by a point, Albany’s Khepera Stokes was fouled and was sent to the line. Stokes missed both free throws, giving the Big Green a chance to win the game. On the next possession, Szabo’s jump shot was no good, forcing Dartmouth to foul Imani Tate.
With 19 seconds to play, Tate missed both shots from the charity stripe and then picked up her fifth foul of the game. The foul sent Amber Mixon to the line where she hit one of two shots, sending the game into overtime tied at 54.
“Imani is the heart of their team and the ball is in her hands the majority of the time,” Koclanes said. “That was a big change for them, but for us it was the same game plan. There was a different fluidity without Imani on the floor, but for us it was about defending whatever Albany throws at us collectively as a team.”
On Dartmouth’s first possession over the overtime period, Letkewicz got things started by draining her fourth three-pointer of the night. A jumper by Andi Norman gave the Big Green the spark they needed to close out the game before Olivia Smith’s put back clinched Dartmouth’s fifth victory of the season.
The Big Green conclude nonconference play with Granite State rival, New Hampshire on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Durham. That game can be seen live on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN for cable subscribers.