Women's basketball drops Ivy League opener

by Ashley DuPuis | 1/10/16 8:29pm

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Job Orange/The Dartmouth Staff

The women’s basketball team fell to Harvard University 43-56 in its conference opener Saturday night at Leede Arena. Despite a late game surge, the Big Green could not regain early ground lost, dropping to 5-12 overall, while the Crimson improved to 6-8.The Big Green was out-scored every quarter by the Crimson, despite Lakin Roland ’16 reaching double figures for the team with 21 points and 12 rebounds, giving her her fourth double-double of the season.“You see us work really hard and compete at a high level in spurts,” head coach Belle Koclanes said. “You don’t see us do it for 40 minutes straight and it’s hard to compete at our level when you don’t compete the whole way through. We’re going to continue to change that and find solutions.”While Roland was the top scorer and rebounder for both sides, Harvard had four players score double figures compared to Dartmouth’s one.“Lakin needs help,” Koclanes said. “She has to bring it every single day and she knows that, but the bench and her fellow starters have to bring it more as well.”In less than a minute into the first quarter, Roland scored five points, putting Dartmouth over Harvard 5-0. Harvard quickly answered with a 12-0 run, ending the sole Big Green lead of the game.By the end of the second quarter, Harvard led 28-18 with Roland leading the team in points despite being stuck at the five points she made early in the game.The Big Green came out of the locker room with more fervor in their play, closing the margin to six points. The Big Green’s rally, however, soon lost steam as Harvard tallied up quick points, giving the Crimson a 41-29 heading into the last period.In the fourth quarter, Harvard went on a 7-0 run, creating a 19-point lead over the Big Green. Dartmouth still looked poised to strike back after back-to-back three pointers from Roland and another three from Andi Norman ’18.Dartmouth rallied further with tight defense leading to a Harvard shot clock violation with 2:42 left.Sticking true to a game of sporadic excellence, Dartmouth once again petered out when Roland received her fifth foul with 1:23 left to play, allowing Harvard to answer with three more points before the final buzzer.“We had good looks, but they just didn’t fall,” Roland said of the game.Dartmouth’s late game comebacks fell short for a combination of reasons. Harvard outrebounded the Big Green 45-36 and forced more turnovers. Dartmouth converted the same number of three pointers as its opponents, but could not match Harvard’s overall totals in shots made.“We didn’t play as hard as we could have in the beginning of the game,” Kate Letkewicz ’18 said. “We didn’t compete as much in the beginning which made a comeback difficult.”Letkewicz finished with eight rebounds, the team’s second highest, and four points.The loss to Harvard comes after Dartmouth went 3-1 in its last four games, with a recent 46-39 victory over the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Dec. 31.Roland said that despite the loss, she hopes to instill confidence in her teammates.“We all believe in each other and trust in each other, we just need to make that apparent on the court,” Roland said. “I want to show [the team] that we can make mistakes and be okay, but obviously we need to minimize them overall.”Minimizing mistakes, especially early in the game, will be key for the Big Green if they hope to improve upon last season’s 5-9 record in the Ivy League and sixth place league finish.“[For the rest of the season], we have to compete consistently,” Letkewicz said. “It starts with practice and that will translate into the games.”The team will take the court again on Saturday, Jan. 23 when they will take on Harvard again in Cambridge, Mass. Players say the keys in their next matchup with the Crimson will be defense and transitions.