Big Green women's basketball mauled by Brown Bears

by Taylor Malmsheimer | 1/29/12 11:00pm

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Guard Nicola Zimmer '14 went 0-for-5 with three rebounds in Friday night's 74-50 loss to Brown University at Leede Arena.
by Yomalis Rosario and Yomalis Rosario / The Dartmouth

Both teams started the game shooting cold from the field, but Brown raced out to a 12-5 lead by the sixth minute. In the next three minutes, Dartmouth battled back to within two points with a great inside move by Sasha Dosenko '12 and a three-pointer by captain Faziah Steen '13.

The Big Green was unable to take the lead, however, and continued to trail throughout the first half. Brown's lead fluctuated between two and eight points as each team made its respective runs. Dartmouth coach Chris Wielgus pointed out that it was a game of "alternating currents."

Dartmouth struggled offensively in the first half. Although it had a better shooting percentage from the floor than Brown, the Big Green often settled for outside shots, missed easy layups and made careless turnovers.

"We were not getting the ball inside and we missed shots early on easy shots," Wielgus said. "We were forcing too much and just didn't share the ball enough."

Steen agreed that the team took too many difficult shots.

"We relied on the three when we should've gone inside, and we definitely turned the ball over at key moments," Steen said.

Dosenko was the one bright spot for the Big Green's offense. Entering the game in the sixth minute, she shot 4-for-6 from the floor to finish with nine points in the first half, controlling the paint on the offensive end.

"Sasha had a really good game," Wielgus said.

Even with the sloppy first half play, Dartmouth entered the locker room at halftime only down 32-27. Brown came out strong, however, and pushed the lead out to 38-30 in the first three minutes.

As the second half progressed, Brown slowly increased the lead to double digits, where it would remain for the rest of the game.

The Bears had an extremely deep bench, with ten substitutes compared to Dartmouth's three bench players. Dartmouth, with only ten girls on the roster total, also has two injured players.

"In the second half, they spread us out," Wielgus said.

The Big Green continued to battle but ultimately lost the game by a score of 74-50. It struggled defensively throughout the game, giving Brown many open looks as well as numerous second chances.

"You can't control your offensive game sometimes you have off days," Steen said. "But defensively, we should never have two halves like today. We need to be better in the help and we need to stop penetration."

Wielgus agreed that the Big Green's defensive challenges lost the team the game.

"I was very disappointed in the defense tonight," Wielgus said.

The difference in the game proved to be turnovers and free throws. Dartmouth gave the ball away 15 times as opposed to the Bears' eight turnovers.

In terms of free throws, the Big Green did not get to the line enough. Dartmouth shot four of five from the charity stripe, but Brown converted on 23 of 31 attempts. In a 25-point game, those 23 uncontested points turned out to be crucial.

One bright spot for Dartmouth was the play of its bench. While Brown only received nine points from its reserves, the Big Green substitutes stepped up to contribute 20 points, a promising sign for the future of the program.

Dartmouth is a young team, but Wielgus refused to use that as an excuse.

"I'm not blaming anything on them being young," she said. "I don't care how old they are. [Tonight] was not a good effort, and we need to get effort. We have got to play with more intensity."

Steen said the team struggled to maintain momentum.

"We were not playing smart," she said. "We just couldn't get a rhythm going."

Dartmouth fell to Yale University, 89-65, on Sunday, the squad's 13th loss in a row. Dartmouth led, 43-41, at the half, but the Bulldogs (11-7, 3-1 Ivy) erupted for 48 points after the break, led by junior guard Megan Vasquez's 23.

Steen said that the Big Green needs to improve on both sides of the ball if the team is to turn things around.

"On offense, we need to run our sets and get the ball into the post more," Steen said. "We relied on our jump shot tonight and we need to set each other up more. That needs to be our mindset."

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