Women in Southern N.E.

by Morgan Cain | 2/1/02 6:00am

The Dartmouth women's basketball team (5-11, 1-2 Ivy) is a road team if there ever was one.

All five of the Dartmouth's wins have come in the unfriendly confines of other gymnasiums, and this weekend it hopes to add two more as the Big Green women continue their Ivy League campaign at Yale and at Brown.

January was not a kind month to the women, who have been 1-5 since the New Year. They have also played without their go-to player Kat Hanks '03 for two games and dropped a 26-point decision to the University of Vermont last Saturday at home. In that game, Hanks' frontcourt mate Katie Skelly '03 took a UVM punch to the face and suffered a broken nose. She will play this weekend with a Bill-Laimbeer-esque clear face mask to prevent any further damage to her nose.

What the Dartmouth team hopes to prevent is its fourth straight loss and a 1-3 Ivy League record. The team travels to New Haven, Conn. Friday night to take on the 9-8 Bulldogs, who also boast a 2-2 Ivy mark. That .500 league record places them first on the list of teams Dartmouth needs to overcome to win the Ancient Eight title.

Led by sixth-man sensation Lindsay Page, who averages just under 10 points a game, the Bulldogs boast a deep lineup that sees 10 players get double-digit minutes each game.

This depth, combined with a good mix of size and speed (six players over six-feet tall and seven guards of varying heights), could give Dartmouth trouble should Hanks or Skelly not be able to perform at 100 percent.

While the game against Yale is one that the girls can pull out, the road gets no easier when they travel east to Providence to tackle the Brown Bears Saturday night. Brown and Yale have already played their home-and-home and split those games; the home team won handily in both games. Dartmouth and its two weekend opponents share only one other opponent, that being Hartford, a team Yale squeaked by 48-47.

The Bears stand at 4-1 (1-3 Ivy) and should not be taken at their record's face value.

They defeated Yale by 16 when they played last weekend and show signs over improvement through every game.

Led by senior Rada Pavichevich, who averages about 14 points per game, the Bears weren't expected to do much this Ivy League season. However, given their youth, they play with heart and know they have nothing to gain but experience and nothing to lose, period.

In order for Dartmouth to win this one, they will have to pull away early in hopes that the Bears' lack of collegiate experience will afford them no chance to make a comeback.

The road has been kind to the Big Green this season, and it hopes to add to that this weekend.

Again, however, Dartmouth needs to make the shots and grab the rebounds off the misses.

If the Big Green women can do that, they can come away from this crucial weekend in a solid position to make a title run in February.