Coming off a tough 2-2 road stretch in which it showed some serious improvement, the womens basketball team (6-19 , 3-8 Ivy) took its act back home against Dartmouth (5-20, 2-9 Ivy) on Friday night. Although the Lions fought hard to stay in the game late, they couldnt overcome Dartmouths hot-shooting first half, dropping the contest, 82-75.
The only time the game was tied was at tipoff. The Big Green immediately took the lead for good, courtesy of a three-point play from forward Abbey Schmitt. By the end of the first half, the Big Green led 45-31 thanks to strong 17-for-27 shooting, including 5-for-7 from downtown. Guard Nicola Zimmer led the Big Green in the first half with 13 points, including three three-pointers. She went on to finish the game with 23 points, as well as five assists and five boards.
Shes their catalyst, Lion head coach Stephanie Glance said. They have a ball-screen offense, and she is really good off those screens. I thought she shot it exceptionally well. Shes great off the dribble and shes great off the pull-up.
The Lions began closing the gap early in the second half, but couldnt muster the defense to hold Dartmouth within striking distance.
I was disappointed with how we started the first half. We went into the locker room down 14 and we ended up outplaying them the second half. But you cant let a team shoot 63 percent all night, Glance said.
Having the best game of her young career for Columbia was first-year forward Tori Oliver, who finished the contest with 33 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field and 11-for-15 from the free-throw line.
Its senior weekend, so I wanted to go out and play my hardest for the seniors. They have put a lot of work in for us, so I wanted to give my best for them, Oliver said.
Glance said that although she was disappointed with the teams first-half effort, she was proud of Oliver for stepping up and taking control on the offensive side of things.
What I liked about Tori tonight is two things. She is learning how to get a better angle when she goes to the basket, Glance said. The other thing is finishing strong through contact, and there couldnt have been a better display of that tonight.
The Lions are back at it tomorrow when they host Harvard for Senior Night. The action starts at 7 p.m. in Levien, with a ceremony honoring the teams seniors preceding the game.
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