Women’s basketball earns overtime victory over Cornell, falls to Columbia
The women’s basketball team won its third game of the season on Friday with a 67-64 overtime win over Cornell University.
Mekkena Boyd ’24 made a game-winning layup in the Big Green's 67-64 overtime win over Cornell University on Friday.
This past weekend, the Dartmouth women's basketball team came out victorious on Friday against Cornell University, but fell short the next day to Columbia University. The win against Cornell marked the Big Green’s third win of the season, with Dartmouth pulling ahead in overtime to secure a 67-64 win. Allie Harland ’23 scored a career-high 15 points and also contributed two free throws in overtime. Mekkena Boyd ’24 made the game-winning layup.
“[Boyd] showed a lot of resilience… coming back in overtime, continuing to go hard at the rim [got us the win],” head coach Adrienne Shibles said.
Dartmouth ended the first quarter with a four-point lead, highlighted by an 8-0 run that lasted two minutes. The second quarter saw a comeback from Cornell, moving ahead by five in the first five minutes. Carrington Washburn ’24 answered the Big Red to score five points of her own for the Big Green in that quarter. In the third quarter, Katie Douglas ’22 made a three-pointer and Harland added two more, cutting the Big Red’s lead to one point. It was Mia Curtis ’24 who put Dartmouth back into the lead with a layup. Tied going into the fourth quarter, the fourth quarter began with five lead changes and three ties.
The Big Green lost to Cornell 45-36 earlier this season. To get the win now, Shibles said, shows progress and marks a shift in momentum going into the last few games of the 2022 season.
“I think the Cornell game was definitely a defining moment for us,” Shibles said. “Earlier in the season, when people made a run at us, our mental toughness was lacking. You know, we're young, and we hadn't figured out how to win games yet.”
COVID-19 has played a big role for the women’s basketball team this season — not only did the Big Green have two years off from competition and watch veteran players graduate without a chance to finish out their careers, but the team faced additional difficulties this season due to having numerous players out because of COVID-19 exposure or infection.
“We’ve had four or five games where we had eight or nine girls out,” Doreen Ariik ’25 said.
Shibles said that the team has not been at full strength since before Christmas.
“A lot of our players have had to go through that, and then we’ve had to suffer roster gaps because of it,” she said. “I give our women a lot of credit for dealing with adversity this season, and through it all, they’ve really grown and stuck together.”
While both Harland and Ariik noted that it can be tough to have a young team still building team culture and relationships, there are strengths too. Only two seniors will be graduating from the team this year, leaving the program's future bright.
“We’re such a young team that we can play 15 people. Not a lot of other Division I teams play 15 people,” Harland said. “Going up against a team [that plays fewer players], we already have a step up in that regard. I think that showed against Cornell — we outlasted them in overtime.”
With the Cornell win under its belt, Dartmouth went into the game against Columbia Saturday night with confidence. The Big Green started off strong with a quick lead thanks to points scored by Ariik and Douglas. Columbia closed the gap before the end of the first quarter, however, and took a 14-11 lead. In the second quarter, Columbia held its ground and increased the lead to 10 points by the end of the quarter.
The Big Green put work in to close in on Columbia in the third quarter, with scoring from Page and Harland. Columbia started the final quarter with an 11-2 run in the first five minutes, followed by points for Dartmouth from Jimena Abejon ’22, Kaiyah Corona ’23 and Washburn. The final score was 66-42.
“I think our first quarter was excellent but we underperformed the following three quarters,” Shibles said.
The Big Green will next play on Saturday against the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
“Even though Columbia didn’t go exactly how we wanted, we definitely learned a lot going into Penn,” Harland said. “Penn is a very winnable game for us.”