The Dartmouth women's basketball team won its first game of the season on Friday, beating the University of Delaware, 59-49.
Captain Koren Schram '09 led the way for Dartmouth with 17 points. Betsy Williams '10 and captain Darcy Rose '09 also scored in double digits, tallying 13 and 10 points, respectively.
The Big Green (1-4, 0-0 Ivy) shot 51 percent from the floor, including 46 percent from behind the arc. Dartmouth also played well defensively, holding Delaware (2-3, 0-0 Colonial) to just 38 percent shooting. It was an important win for the defending Ivy League champions as they avoided starting the season 0-5 for a third straight year.
Dartmouth did not come out of the gates well. The Blue Hens led, 25-12, midway through the first half after sloppy ball-handling by the Big Green allowed a series of easy baskets. A 3-pointer by Schram started an 8-0 run, which pulled Dartmouth within five with nine minutes remaining. Both teams traded baskets until the break, with Betsy Williams hitting a pair of 3-pointers to keep the game close at 32-27.
The Big Green committed 12 turnovers in the half, allowing 11 points to the Blue Hens. Dartmouth's deficit might have grown further had it not been for hot shooting from behind the arc. The Green shot 50 percent from 3-point range, led by Schram and Williams who both hit a pair.
"We started off really slowly," Rose said. "We were committing a lot of turnovers, which was not good. We just started to focus, and we got ourselves back into the game."
Dartmouth had a sluggish start to the second half as well, committing numerous turnovers and giving Delaware extra possessions. The teams traded baskets for the majority of the half, with the Blue Hens maintaining at least a five-point advantage. Dartmouth finally began to click offensively with 6:41 left in the game, trailing 45-40. A pair of free throws by Margaret Smith '10 started a 10-0 run, allowing the Big Green to pull ahead for its second lead of the game, one that would hold until the final buzzer. Williams completed a three-point play with 1:55 left in the game that put the Big Green ahead, 53-47. After forcing a shot clock violation on the other end of the court Schram hit a 3 that essentially clinched the win.
"We played a lot better in the second half," Rose said. "We stopped throwing the ball away and really tightened up our defense. We gave them less opportunities to score."
"Getting stops on defense allowed us to fight our way back into the game," Williams said. "Delaware is a very athletic team, and we focused on not allowing them to drive to the paint and get easy second-chance points."
Dartmouth played stifling defense in the second half, holding Delaware to 17 points and allowing just 32 percent shooting from the floor.
"We knew we had to stop them from driving because they were scoring a lot of points in the paint," Rose said. "We really focused on clogging the paint and boxing out."
Offensively, the Big Green improved from its first-half display, scoring 32 points and shooting nearly 60 percent from the field. The team also shot 40 percent from behind the arc.
"Toward the end of the game we started to get a rhythm offensively by moving the ball," Williams said. "It helped us break down the zone and get open looks."
A large part of Dartmouth's success was presence in the post. Though Dartmouth was outscored 22-26 in the paint, the Big Green outrebounded the Hens, 33-26, allowing only nine second-chance points.
"We did a better job setting each other up in this game," Rose said. "When everyone is looking to score it really opens things up."
Dartmouth also had six steals, including three by Schram. The pre-season All-Ivy League first-team selection had a good game after struggling against the University of Vermont.
"Koren's a great player," Rose said. "It definitely helps to have such a strong scorer on the floor."
The Big Green travels to Philadelphia this Wednesday, Dec. 3 to take on Temple University at 7 p.m.