COLUMBUS, Ohio – Friday night posed the most challenging opponent the Dartmouth women’s basketball team has faced so far this season, No. 13 Ohio State, and ended with a hard-fought loss for the road team, 103-70.
“We talked to the team about competing with pride on every possession,” said head coach Belle Koclanes. “Some positives on the day were meeting our 70-point goal scoring wise and shooting 16-37 from three. We want to play fast we want to score early in the shot clock, we’re thinking about Ivy League play, we want as many possessions as possible. We had a really hard night breaking Ohio State’s pressure, and giving up 100 points that’s 40 more than we are used to, on the defensive end we had a hard time matching up and slowing them down.
“We gave up 38 points off of our own turnovers which was really the name of the game. If we take better care of the ball we could have competed for a longer time with them. Excellent learning experience for us to come out here and take on the No. 13 team of the country and feel that pace, we will take those lessons home with us.”
Senior, and Upper Arlington, Ohio native, Andi Norman, led the Big Green in scoring with 23 points, fellow senior Kate Letkewicz dropped 22 and sophomore Paula Lenart had a team-high 13 rebounds. Dartmouth drops to 7-3 on the season while Ohio State improves to 10-2.
Dartmouth also broke the program record for most three-point field goals scored in a single game, with 16, breaking the previous record of 13 scored against Iona in 2003.
The Big Green got off to a hot start in the first quarter, taking a 5-0 lead early, before the Buckeyes tied it up 11-11 with 4:55 left in the period. As Ohio State tried to take the advantage, Letkewicz drained a three with an assist from Norman, before Norman scored made her own three assisted by Lippold and the team took a six-point lead with 3:26 in the first. Late free throws and two buckets from Kelsey Mitchell put the Buckeyes in the lead as time ran out, up 22-19.
Opening the second quarter, Norman drained a three to tie it up 22-22, and Dartmouth kept up with the Buckeyes until the last three minutes of the second, before OSU went on a 13-0 run. Ohio State’s Makayla Waterman missed a free throw in the last 26 seconds of the second quarter, giving the Big Green an opportunity to get some more points on the board before halftime, but the Buckeyes regained possession of the ball and held a 43-31 advantage at the half.
Entering the second half down by 12, Dartmouth faced a challenge against not only a nationally ranked team but the national leading scorer, Kelsey Mitchell. In the third quarter, the Buckeyes went on a 20-0 run and scored 35 points in the period alone. Ohio State took the biggest lead with 5:22 left to play, up by 42, but the Big Green did not let up, as Lenart and Letkewicz were joined by Annie McKenna and Kealy Brown to score a combined 14 points to decrease the deficit, as the Buckeyes took their 10th win of the season.
Next up for Dartmouth is a road game at Holy Cross, next Wednesday, December 20 at 11 a.m. in Worcester, Massachusetts.