Virginia Tech knocks off women's basketball in overtime
Dartmouth (4-11, 0-1 Ivy) hopes that a tough non-conference schedule will pay dividends in Ancient Eight play. The Hokies (13-7) hope to use the momentum as they enter their Atlantic Coast Conference season.
The Big Green appeared to have clinched the game when Koren Schram '09 hit two free throws, putting the Big Green up 60-58 with 28 seconds left in the game.
But Hokies' freshman guard Andrea Barbour had the final say in regulation play. Barbour cut through the lane, and after receiving a pass from junior Brittany Cook, slipped by multiple Big Green defenders to tie the game at 60 with 15.9 seconds left.
Dartmouth had the final posession in regulation play but could not get a shot off, forcing the game into an overtime period. It was the first overtime game for Dartmouth team this season.
Despite a high-scoring overtime period, Dartmouth allowed Virginia Tech to go on a 8-0 run giving the Hokies a 70-64 lead with less than a minute left. The Big Green was able to slice the lead to four points, but the Hokies hit 11 of 15 free throws to close out the game in the final two minutes.
Dartmouth scored a season-high 73 points, with four players racking up double-digits. Schram totaled a team-high 16 points behind four three-pointers. Betsy Williams '10 contributed 13 points, Brittney Smith '11 added 12 points and six rebounds, and co-captain Kristen Craft '08 chipped in 11 points.
Craft was disappointed with the final result, especially since the Big Green had been ahead for much of the game.
"We worked hard at the end of the game but things just didn't go our way," Craft said. "Virginia Tech is a tough ACC team, and we fought hard, but it just didn't turn out in our favor."
Dartmouth began the game with consecutive turnovers on its first two possessions, allowing Virginia Tech to grab an early 5-0 lead.
The Big Green settled down after that and increased its intensity, going on a 7-0 run to seize a 17-14 lead halfway through the opening period.
Dartmouth maintained a 22-19 lead by tightening up its defense, holding the Hokies scoreless for four minutes.
After tying the game with a three-point play, Virginia Tech held the Big Green without a bucket for nearly four minutes, taking a 26-22 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. Dartmouth promptly responded with an 8-2 run, highlighted by back-to-back threes from Schram and Williams that allowed the Big Green to grab a 30-28 edge going into the break.
The Big Green shot a superb 52 percent from the floor in the first, holding the Hokies to just 33 percent shooting.
Dartmouth struggled to retain control of the basketball, however, and committed a critical 17 turnovers on the half. Virginia Tech took advantage of the Big Green's miscues by gaining 17 points off of turnovers in the first half alone.
"We could have had a larger lead going into half time as we were shooting 50 percent, but we just had too many turnovers to get a decent lead," Craft said.
Coming out of the lockers, Dartmouth held the lead for much of the second half. The Big Green came out strong and extended the lead to 42-36 five minutes into the period. Both teams traded buckets early in the second half, and Dartmouth led 53-48 with less than nine minutes left in the half.
Virginia Tech then began to chip away at Dartmouth's lead. The Hokies finally evened the game at 56-56 with a layup by freshman Eleanor Brentnall with two minutes and 55 seconds on the game clock.
Craft came through for the Big Green, hitting a jumper that put Dartmouth back up by two and setting the stage for a wild finish to what had been an evenly-matched game.
With a minute remaining, Barbour stripped Dartmouth's Williams near mid-court and dashed back the other way to tie the game at 58-58.
After Williams missed a jumper at the other end, Schram grabbed a key offensive board and was fouled on her way back up. She converted a pair of free throws, and the Hokies called time to set up Barbour's heroics with 22.2 seconds left.
"We were not able to hold off our lead as regulation was winding down," Craft said. "They got a couple of fast-breaks that got them going, and they stepped up their defense which got them a couple of easy baskets."
Virginia Tech iced the game with a near-flawless performance from the field in the closing minutes.
Both teams shot 44.8 percent in the game, but as Barbour's last-minute steal made evident, it was Dartmouth's 26 turnovers that made the difference.
The Big Green will return to Hanover to host five conference games in a row. Dartmouth will face off against rival Harvard on Jan. 26.