Rough opening night for Shibles, Big Green women’s basketball

  • Adrienne Shibles

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/9/2021 8:58:04 PM
Modified: 11/9/2021 10:33:00 PM

HANOVER — Adrienne Shibles expected her first game as Dartmouth College women’s basketball coach would be a challenging one for her young Big Green squad.

Rhode Island, pegged to finish second in Atlantic 10 Conference preseason poll, made sure to do its part on Tuesday night to prove her right.

The Rams’ (1-0) stifling defense and a dismal shooting night by the Big Green contributed to an 83-37 win for the visitors at Leede Arena.

While the Dartmouth locker room wasn’t happy with the lopsided loss in the new coach’s debut, Shibles said the group wasn’t overly discouraged.

“That’s a phenomenal team. They’re big, they’re physical, they’re athletic, they’re well-coached. So I was really impressed with how our team battled,” Shibles said. “I was disappointed with our intensity in the fourth quarter. I want to always see us battle until the very, very end. But overall, I think I saw some really good things from this young team that I’m very happy about.”

As a group, the Big Green shot just 25.4% from the field, and they went 2-for-13 from 3-point range, missing all of their shots from beyond the arc in the first half.

Rhode Island used its size advantage to dominate the glass on all those misses. The Rams outrebounded Dartmouth, 46-30.

The visitors led, 22-7, at the end of the first quarter, and Shibles called a timeout early in the second quarter as the lead ballooned to 25. Rhode Island led 46-20 at halftime.

Shibles said her team is capable of better shooting than it displayed Tuesday.

“Our shooting percentage was really lousy tonight,” Shibles said. “We don’t shoot like that in practice. I don’t know if it was nerves, I don’t know if it’s fitness. Their length was pretty impressive. But we talked about (how) more people have to step up and contribute. It’s hard to be in games or win games when you’re shooting 25 percent from the floor.”

Sophomores Mia Curtis and Rosie Jennings led Dartmouth with 11 points each. Curtis, a guard, shot 5-of-14 from the field. Jennings went 5-for-10 overall, and the forward grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Three other Big Green players scored points — sophomore guard Mekkena Boyd with nine, freshman forward Doreen Ariik with four and freshman forward Isabella DiGiovanni with two.

Jennings credited her performance to the energy she had from excitement of playing in a real game again. The Ivy League canceled all athletic competition last school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

URI fifth-year guard Chanell Williams nearly matched the Big Green’s point total by herself in the first half. She racked up 17 points in the first two quarters, and her aggressive play set up opportunities for her teammates as well. The Big Green didn’t have an answers defensively.

“(Williams) just looked to push the ball every time she got it,” Jenning said. “She’s very fast, always wanted to attack, (and) is a great playmaker.”

Rhode Island stretched its lead to 30 early in the second half, forcing another timeout from Shibles. The Big Green showed some defensive improvement thereafter, but the offense mustered just 10 points in the quarter. URI led, 62-30, heading into the fourth period.

Dartmouth senior guard Katie Douglas, the team’s lone returning starter, missed the game with an injury. Shibles said she doesn’t know how much time Douglas will miss.

Her veteran presence was missed by teammates.

“We definitely felt it, her experience and just her being an offensive threat on the floor,” Jennings said. “But she still supported us from the bench, and we’re really excited to have her back soon.”

Dartmouth will travel on Saturday to take on New Hampshire.

Seth Tow can be reached at

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