HANOVER, N.H. – A pair of senior players paired with good defense led the Dartmouth women’s basketball team to victory over Cornell on Friday night, 55-40.
Senior Andi Norman was on fire from three-point range, shooting 6-of-7 for 18 points, while fellow senior Kate Letkewicz scored 11 points and grabbed three rebounds to aid the Big Green’s effort. With the win, Dartmouth improves to 11-7 and 3-2 in Ivy League play, while Cornell falls to 5-13 with a 1-4 conference mark.
The Big Green defense held the Big Red to a field goal shooting percentage of 30.8, 16-of-52, and a three-point shooting percentage of 14.3. While the home team was shutting Cornell down shot wise, the road team’s defense was making it fairly difficult for Dartmouth to score as early in the shot clock as it usually does, with a handful of shot clock violations on the Big Green.
“Credit to Cornell, Dayna (Smith) has a young group, we all know what that’s like,” said the Gail Koziara Boudreaux ’82 and Family Head Coach Belle Koclanes. “We have a veteran group, so we need to come out against a younger team and set the tone early. Cornell did a fantastic job on the rebounds tonight they had 15 offensive boards to our three, and that’s a stat we pay close attention to. We have to be able to come out and play consistently.”
Turnovers have been a growth opportunity for Dartmouth this season, with 16 against Cornell, which the Big Red scored 18 points from. As the road team’s defense was able to grab eight steals and create these turnovers, it made for a slower start in the first period. The Big Green took a quick 5-0 start, but Cornell came right back and the entire first quarter was a back and forth between the two teams of scoring baskets and lead changes.
Dartmouth’s defense and two longer possessions led to a second period in which the Big Red only scored three points, one point the result of a free throw from Danielle Jorgenson and two points from a layup by Samantha Widmann.
With an 11-point lead at the half, the Big Green still needed to defend well and make baskets to keep the win in sight. Letkewicz drained two 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the third period to continue the momentum, but the two three-point buckets from Norman in the last three minutes of the quarter brought Dartmouth to a 17-point advantage and set the tone for the rest of the game.
Cornell continued to battle through the fourth quarter, but the Big Green stayed and even pulled ahead, reaching an 18-point lead, the largest of the game, with only 3:54 to go. This was the second game in seven days that Dartmouth shot 50 percent from three, and continued solid shooting from the field with a 46.7 percentage, and 66.7 from the free throw line.
Letkewicz inched closer to the 1,000-point mark Friday, her 11 points put her career total at 959, and she is now fourth all-time in three-point baskets made with 165.
Dartmouth returns to action tomorrow, hosting Columbia at 5 p.m. in Leede Arena.