PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – In spite of a second half rally, the Brown women's basketball team (7-10, 1-2 Ivy League) fell, 49-41, to the Dartmouth Big Green (4-13, 2-1 Ivy League) in tonight's Ivy League contest at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The Bears, down 22-19 at the half, built a commanding lead in the second 20 minutes of action, but couldn't overcome the visitors' combination of staunch defense and dependability on the free throw line.
Junior guard Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, NJ) led all scorers in the game, tallying 20 points for the fourth time this season, including a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Clarke also contributed four rebounds and two assists in her 40 minutes on the hardwood. Guards Nicola Zimmer and Faziah Steen each contributed 11 points to Dartmouth's win.
The Big Green went on a nine point run to open the game, gathering momentum that wasn't halted until a foul with 13:24 left in the half sent Clarke to the line for two. The junior guard made both shots and senior captain Sheila Dixon (Schenectady, NY) followed that up with two of her own to bring the Bears within five.
The teams exchanged points for the next several minutes, with Dartmouth extending its lead to 11 with 5:56 left in the first half, but the Bears fought back on the heels of five points by freshman guard Ellise Sharpe (Tipp City, OH). A lay-up and three successful free throws by Clarke within the last two minutes narrowed the visitors' advantage to three, 22-19, at the end of the first half.
Dartmouth shot 42.9 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes of action, while the Bears were held to just 24 percent by the Big Green. Senior forward Caroline King (Valencia, PA) tallied four offensive rebounds in the first half alone, creating valuable chances for Brown.
The Bears used two consecutive lay-ups by Dixon to grab their first lead of the game, 23-22, just 1:33 into the second, and then worked to build a seven point lead, their largest of the game, on two consecutive treys by Clarke and freshman forward Natalie Ball (Orlando, FL).
As Dartmouth clawed its way back into the game, a jumper by Clarke preserved the seven point advantage with 9:14 left to play. However, the Big Green went on a 14 point run as the clock wound down, building a 45-38 lead over the Bears with just 29 seconds left in the game.
Clarke's third three-pointer of the game brought Brown within four, but Dartmouth's Lakin Roland and Zimmer each nailed two free throws to seal the team's 49-41 win.
The Big Green's precision carried them through the increased pressure from the Bears, as they shot 84.6 percent from the free throw line and 42.1 percent from the field in the second half. Brown improved its marksmanship in the final 20 minutes as well, netting 32.1 percent of the shots the team took.
For the game, the Bears were held to 28.3 percent while the Big Green connected on 42.5 percent of their opportunities. Dartmouth's Tia Dawson had a game-high 11 rebounds, while teammate Kaitana Martinez added highs of five assists and five steals.
Brown returns to the Pizzitola tomorrow evening, as the team concludes its weekend of Ivy League action with a 6:00pm game against the Harvard Crimson.