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Dartmouth Loses to Maryland in NCAA First Round

Sunday, March 22, 2009


2008-09 Ivy Women's Basketball Final Release [.pdf]

2009 NCAA Tournament Bracket [.pdf]

Courtesy of Dartmouth Athletic Communications

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Dartmouth women's basketball team saw its season come to an end with an 82-53 loss to top-seeded Maryland in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.

Ivy League Champion Dartmouth (18-11) got a team-high 13 points and eight rebounds from sophomore Brittney Smith (Fort Worth, Texas) and classmate Meghan McFee (Manchester, Conn.) poured in 10 points in the first postseason appearance for both. Senior Koren Schram (Batesville, Ark.) posted nine points and seven rebounds and Darcy Rose (Fort Collins, Colo.) added eight points and seven boards both in their final game in a Big Green uniform.

The Big Green, who won its 17th Ivy crown this year, was making its seventh foray into the NCAA Tournament.

Maryland (29-4) was led by senior Kristi Toliver, who collected a game-high 27 points, including 23 in the opening half. Toliver connected on 11-of-14 shooting with three shots from beyond the arc. Marah Strickland finished with 10 points, while Marissa Coleman grabbed a game-high 13 boards.

Dartmouth weathered the early storm, holding the top-seeded Terrapins to just six points in the first four minutes. However, the Big Green couldn't find the basket on its first five shot attempts as Maryland had a 6-0 lead with 15:49 remaining in the opening half. The Terrapins opened the game by taking a 2-0 lead on the first possession with Toliver sinking an elbow jumper.

McFee got the Big Green on the board with 15:30 left to cut the deficit to 8-3 following two free throws from Toliver. A Dartmouth inbounds play got her open in the corner and she drained a big three-pointer. Toliver answered with a three of her own, but McFee scored again on a nice drive to the hoop, hitting the left-handed layup.

After sophomore Cassie Cooper (Chelsea, Maine) put Dartmouth to within six at 13-7, Maryland went on an 11-2 run to push the lead up to 24-9 with 8:30 left in the half. Brittney Smith ended the six-plus minute scoring drought for the Big Green with two of her four first-half points to make it 24-11 with less than eight minutes to go.

The Big Green held Maryland scoreless over a stretch of three minutes and was able to climb back into the contest with a pair of opportunities at the line for Margaret and Brittany Smith. After the two sank both of their free throws the score was 29-14 with 4:54 remaining.

The Terrapins turned it on with six-straight points after another free throw from Margaret Smith to make it 35-15 with 2:50 left. Cooper gave Dartmouth momentum on its next possession with a three-point play and following a Brittney Smith free throw, the Big Green had cut the lead to 35-20.

From there, Toliver and Maryland took over the final two minutes. She tallied the last nine points and finished the half with a game-high 23 points.

Dartmouth struggled from the field in the opening half, shooting 25 percent. Maryland shot an amazing 51.4 percent, including Toliver hitting 9-of-11 shots. Brittney Smith led all Big Green scorers with eight points at the half. McFee and Cooper ended the half with five points apiece.

Both teams opened the half with a pair of runs. Dartmouth hit back-to-back hoops by Brittney Smith and Darcy Rose to cut into the lead at 42-26. Maryland answered with a quick 8-0 run after 3-pointers from Coleman and Stickland and a Toliver layup. Dartmouth, however, didn't go away as Schram nailed an NBA-range three-pointer to jump start an 8-0 run for the Big Green. Rose and McFee added a pair of buckets in the run as well to make it 50-34 Maryland.

Out of a timeout, junior Betsy Williams (Norwich, Vt.) poured in her first points of the game with a three to cut it to 15 points, giving the Green a shot in the arm. But Maryland answered with six-consecutive points as the score was 58-37 with 12:09 remaining in the game.

Dartmouth held Maryland to 11 points over the next seven minutes and climbed to within 20 points on five points from Schram, including another deep tray. McFee also drained a trey and Cooper added to her point total with a layup to make it 69-47 with 5:10 remaining after Schram's shot from beyond the arc.

Maryland closed out the game on a 13-6 run to take the 82-53 win in front of 10,847 at the Comcast Center and will face #9 Utah in the second round.

Every Dartmouth player saw time in the contest and the Big Green benefitted from a balanced attack.

The Big Green had trouble in the paint, getting outscored 44-22 and Maryland also had a 20-0 advantage on fast break points.

Dartmouth hung tough on the boards for most of the game but Maryland took advantage of the Green's smaller lineup down the stretch and ended up with a 52-34 rebounding edge.

Rose and Schram closed out their careers as just the third and fourth players in Dartmouth and Ivy League history to make four-straight postseason appearances.