Women's hoops exhibition: a last second thriller

by Mark Sweeney | 11/6/01 6:00am

In an exhibition precursor to the 2001-2002 campaign, the Dartmouth women's basketball team dropped a thriller, 63-62, to the Galatasaray SK All-Star team from Turkey at Leede Arena last night.

After trailing for nearly all of the second half, the Big Green stormed back behind a three-pointer from Keri Downs '03 and eight consecutive free throws from Downs and Katharine Hanks '03 to take the lead late in the game.

While trying to preserve a one-point lead, Dartmouth committed a costly turnover with 25 seconds remaining and Galatasaray SK converted the opportunity and made the winning bucket with five ticks left on the clock. A hurried last-second effort by the Big Green came up empty.

"Tonight's loss was a tough one," said Jamie Librizzi '04, "but we now know what we need to work on to prepare for our upcoming games. We have a really talented team and should have a successful season."

Hanks led all players with 30 points, ten rebounds, and two blocks. Galatasaray SK was paced by Celen Kilinc, who tallied 22 points and collected six steals.

The Big Green came out to a blistering start, led by Hanks who dropped in eight of the team's first ten points. A great basket in the low post from Jennifer Johnston '03 pushed the lead to six, and Dartmouth would assume a 21-11 advantage early in the contest behind tenacious defense that would force a total of 24 turnovers over the course of the game.

Galatasaray SK stormed back with a 12-0 run to seize the lead at 23-21, an advantage that would remain intact until the closing minutes. At the half, Dartmouth was well within striking distance at 29-26.

The start of the second half hurt Dartmouth greatly, as Galatasaray SK continued to build its lead behind accurate jump shots and was helped by a string of turnovers from the Big Green. Dartmouth also experienced a woeful start on the offensive end coming out of halftime, not scoring its second field goal until nearly five minutes into the half.

Dartmouth did not waver, however, as in the waning minutes of the second half the women clawed back into the game with scrappy defense from Courtney Lewis '04 and continued dominating inside play from Hanks. Behind the frenzied and rejuvenated home faithful, the Big Green rallied to capture to lead, only to see it slip away in the final seconds.

The most telling statistic from the contest is the staggering 16-2 advantage Galatasaray SK attained in steals, many of them coming at critical times in the second half.

Katie Skelly '03 added eight points and three boards for Dartmouth, while Samantha Burnham '04 corralled six rebounds and contributed five points. Lewis recorded a team-high five assists to go along with four rebounds.

Dartmouth begins regular season play on Saturday, November 17 at Colgate.