Big Green Drops Ivy Opener
Dartmouth College guard Katie Vareika watches Harvard's Jasmine Evans blow past during the teams' Ivy League game Saturday at Leede Arena. The Crimson won, 73-63, holding a 52-22 scoring edge in the paint. The Big Green is 2-12 overall and 0-1 in league play. Valley News - Tris Wykes Purchase photo reprints »
Dartmouth College guard Fanni Szabo runs with Harvard counterpart Christine Clark on Saturday during the Crimson's 73-63 victory at Leede Arena. Szabo entered averaging 18 points per game but had only 10, all during the second half. Valley News- Tris Wykes Purchase photo reprints »
Hanover — The Dartmouth College women’s basketball team lost its Ivy League opener to visiting Harvard on Saturday, 73-63, the victim of an inside job and a defensive collapse.
The Crimson outscored the hosts 52-22 in the paint, exploiting a sizeable advantage against a foe with no active player taller than 6-foot-2. Junior center Tia Dawson is out for the season with an ankle injury suffered during warmups at DePaul last month.
Harvard center Temi Fagbenle, who is 6-4, had 21 points and made 10 of 14 field-goal attempts as one of four visitors scoring in double figures. The Crimson forced 19 turnovers and scored 20 points off them, while holding a 16-4 edge in fast break points and getting 23 points from its bench players. Dartmouth’s reserves could muster only 12.
“This team is looking to find its defensive identity,” said first-year coach Belle Koclanes, whose team allowed Harvard to snag 17 offensive rebounds.
Fanni Szabo, leading scorer for the Big Green and the Ivies as a whole, entered averaging 18 points per game but finished with only 10 after being held scoreless during the first half. Point guard Nicola Zimmer had 16 points and five assists, but also committed five turnovers. Lakin Roland had nine points and seven rebounds but fouled out late in the game. Abbey Schmitt and Milica Toskovic each had eight points.
Harvard used an 8-0 run to go up 18-11 midway through the first half and led 35-26 at intermission. Fagbenle had 10 points at the break for the Crimson, which had a 21-12 rebounding edge at that point and finished with a 38-28 advantage for the game.
The visitors put up another 8-0 run for a 52-38 lead with 12 minutes remaining. Dartmouth pulled within 66-59 with three minutes to play, but Harvard then made 5 of 6 free throws to close out the victory.
Dartmouth is 2-12 overall and visits New Jersey Institute of Technology on Jan. 18 for its next game. The Big Green was 2-13 after losing last year’s Ivy League opener, also to Harvard, and finished 6-22 for a second consecutive season, leading the resignation of longtime coach Chris Wielgus.
The Crimson is 10-4 and 1-0 and hosts the Big Green on Jan. 25 for the teams’ second league game. On the line that day will be Harvard’s 18-game home winning streak
Notes: Sophomore Jordyn Turner is no longer on the team and has been removed not only from this season’s online roster, but from last season’s as well. She appeared in 13 games as a freshman. ... Fourteen of Dartmouth’s remaining players have seen action this season. The only healthy competitor yet to see game time is former Lebanon High star Moriah Morton. ... Szabo made just 3 of 10 field-goal attempts and missed all three of her tries from beyond the arc. ... Attendance was generously announced at 717. ... This is the 14th consecutive season Harvard and Dartmouth have opened the Ivy season against each other. The Crimson has won nine of those matchups. ... Harvard leads the teams’ series, 42-32 and has won seven of the last 11 meetings... Dartmouth is 17-18 in league openers.
Tris Wykes can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3227.