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Tigers Thwart Big Green

  • At left, Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon and his wife Gail Gentes watch and listen to head coach Belle Koclanes speak to the team before the opening tip-off of their game with Princeton in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 23, 2018. Princeton won, 79-67, clinching the regular season Ivy League title. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth's Isalys Quinones drives for the hoop against Princeton's Carlie Littlefield in the fourth quarter of their game in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 23, 2018. Quinones led the Big Green with 22 points in its 79-67 loss. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth's Kealy Brown, right, and Isalys Quinones strip the ball from Princeton's Abby Meyers in the third quarter of their game in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 23, 2018. Meyers and teammate Leslie Robinson each scored 15 points in the Tigers' 79-67 win. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart gives sophomore Bella Alarie a pep talk at halftime while the rest of the team warms up in their game with Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 23, 2018. Dartmouth held Alarie to a point but Princeton won, 79-67, in Banghart's return to her alma mater. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth's Kate Letkewicz drives past Princeton's Leslie Robinson for the hoop in their Ivy League game in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 23, 2018. Letkewicz, a senior, reached 1,000 career points the week before in an overtime win over Yale. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hanover — The Dartmouth College women’s basketball team suffered a setback in its postseason quest by losing to Princeton, 79-67, on Friday at Leede Arena.

Some hope remains, however, with three games left on the docket, including a key clash today with Pennsylvania.

Princeton (10-1 Ivy, 20-4 overall) and Penn (8-3, 17-7) have already claimed the top two spots in next month’s four-team Ivy League tournament at the Palestra in Philadelphia. Harvard and Yale are currently tied at 7-4, which leaves the Big Green alone in the fifth spot at 6-5 (14-10 overall).

Dartmouth, which trailed, 40-27 at halftime, fell behind by as many as 19 points early in the third quarter before launching a comeback bid in the fourth. The Big Green cut the Princeton lead to 59-66 with 4:52 remaining in the game after post player Isalys Quinones scored inside to force a timeout by the guests.

Quinones led Dartmouth with 22 points on 9-for-13 from the field, including a 3-poiner. The junior from California added six rebounds.

Big Green point guard Cy Lippold scored 17 points to go along with three assists and two steals. Lippold got to the hoop easily throughout the contest and once there, found numerous ways to get her shot up against a tall Tiger squad underneath.

“In the beginning, I think maybe I was trying to force it without any switches or without any closeouts,” Lippold said. “Just getting it later in the shot clock when there was movement I think helped out a little bit. … Princeton definitely beats us in the size factor, but as coach Belle (Koclanes) always says, ‘Speed negates size, so our goal was definitely to attack the basket.”

Princeton narrowly won the rebounding battle, 28-24.

Lippold indicated that defense could be an area for improvement moving forward.

“We did pretty well defending the first 25 seconds of the shot clock and then a lot of times they caught us at the last five or last two, one second on the shot clock,” she said. “So I think if we can just finish plays better, those baskets don’t go in.”

Lippold’s toughness was on display in the first half when the 5-foot-2 junior drew a charge against the 6-4 Bella Alarie, Princeton’s leading scorer (14 ppg). Alarie finished with a single point against the Big Green, but Leslie Robinson and Abby Meyers carried the load by each scoring 15 points. Sydney Jordan added 14 and Tia Weledji netted 12.

“We did a pretty nice job taking (Alarie) out of the game,” Koclanes said. “But they have how many others who can step up and that’s what great teams have. That’s what championship teams have.”

The Tigers got 37 points off the bench while the hosts mustered only 11.

“(Princeton’s) talent level and the players they have coming off the bench — they’re a different level than ours right now,” Koclanes said.

Kate Letkewicz, who became the 18th player to score 1,000 points in Dartmouth history while scoring a career-high 29 points last weekend at Yale, had nine points and six rebounds.

Friday marked the return to Hanover of Courtney Banghart, a class of 2000 Dartmouth graduate and Princeton’s current coach. Banghart, who resides on the Big Green’s 1,000-point scorers list along with Letkewicz, played her high school ball at Souhegan High in southern New Hampshire. Banghart, now in her 11th season leading the Tigers, owns the best winning percentage in program history (.714).

Notes: Alarie is the daughter of former Duke standout Mark Alarie, who scored more than 2,000 points in college and was chosen in the first round of the 1986 NBA draft. ... Quinones and Letkewicz both played the entire 40 minutes on Friday. … Friday’s theme was beach night and the matchup with Penn will fall on Senior Day. … The Big Green entered the game as the league leaders in 3-point shooting at 36.9 percent. … Lippold entered Friday leading the league in assists average with 5.6 per game. … Letkewicz and Alarie shared this week’s Ivy League Player of the Week honor.