Women’s basketball goes 1-1 on New York road trip over weekend

by Gayne Kalustian | 3/2/14 6:31pm

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The women’s basketball team recorded its second Ivy League win of the season against Columbia University and fell to Cornell University in this weekend’s matchups. The team (5-21, 2-10 Ivy) bested seventh place Columbia (6-20, 3-9 Ivy) 82-75 on Friday night before losing to fourth place Cornell (14-12, 6-6 Ivy) 63-50.

The Big Green opened the weekend with a victory at Columbia University, putting up some of the highest percentages the team has seen all season. The Big Green women shot 60 percent from outside the arc, crushing the Lions’ weak 16.7 percent.

Overall, the team shot 61.2 percent, 5.4 percent better than Columbia. Nicola Zimmer ’14 was on fire, draining two-thirds of her shots and all of her attempted threes and free throws for 23 points.

“She’s really a reliable point guard,” center Daisy Jordan ’16 said. “She kind of rallies when we’re down and need a quick two or a momentum play.”

The team turned it on right as the game started, putting up 10 to the Lions’ three in the first four minutes. Typically a strong starter, Dartmouth held a lead through the entirety of the first half, which Zimmer said is a testament to the team’s growing defensive strength.

The Big Green allowed Columbia to come only as close as three when a foul by Kamala Thompson ’15 allowed the Lions to capitalize on one of its two free throws, bringing the score to 20-17 with 8:47 left in the half.

Jordan went nine for 11 in the game, contributing two of the team’s 22 rebounds. Columbia, though safely behind the Big Green for the entire game, posted 30 rebounds.

“I think we’re really starting to click,” Jordan said. “I know it’s late in the season, but I think if we keep this up, ending strong will translate into a great start next season.”

The team lost its momentum the next night in Ithaca, N.Y., falling to the Big Red by 13 on Saturday evening.

“We knew Cornell was going to come out and play hard,” coach Addie Micir said. “They came out storming and playing for each other and their seniors.”

Cornell senior Allyson DiMagno sunk 9-12 for 20 points, well above the team’s 48.1 percent shooting. The Big Green struggled to score, shooting only 42.2 percent as a team.

Good defense, Zimmer said, cannot entirely pull out a win when the team cannot convert on its chances.

“I think both teams came out with some pretty solid defense,” she said. “I think our offense had some trouble clicking. We just didn’t execute like we normally do. No matter how good your defense is, if you’re not scoring, then you can’t win.”

Lakin Roland ’16 posted the best numbers for Dartmouth, sinking all of her free throws and five of seven shots for 14 points. Her 11 rebounds contributed to the Big Green’s defense, but could not stop Cornell’s runs, which kept the Big Green from striking distance for much of the game.

“I think we had a tough game tonight,” Jordan said. “But after winning against Penn and Columbia, I think we know what it feels like to win and work hard and play at the highest level we can. We know what we need to bring every day to practice during this one week we have to prepare for our next games.”

Dartmouth will wrap up its season next weekend by playing Brown University and Yale University at home in night games.