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Vermont Outguns Dartmouth Women in WNIT

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Courtesy of Dartmouth Sports Information

Burlington, Vt. - Four players in double-figures propelled Vermont to a 69-50 win over Dartmouth this evening in the first round of the postseason WNIT.

The Catamounts (24-8) advance to the second round to play Boston College on Monday night. Big Green, Ivy League Co-Champions, was making its fourth-straight postseason appearance and ends the season at 15-16.

Junior guard Koren Schram (Batesville, Ark.) recorded her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Brittney Smith (Fort Worth, Texas) had 12 points and five boards to pace the Green.

After a slow start to the half for both teams, Vermont held a modest 5-3 lead at 15:59 after Sydney Scott (Houston, Texas) made one of two free-throws. The Catamounts took it up a notch coming out of a media timeout, going on a quick 6-0 run to take an 11-3 lead at 14:38, forcing Dartmouth to call a 30-second timeout.

Coach Chris Wielgus fired up the troops in the break and her team came out to go on a 10-0 run capped by a Schram triple to go up 13-11 at 11:02. The good times would be short-lived for Dartmouth, however, as mounting turnovers allowed Vermont to pile on the points in transition. The Catamounts used their hurry-up offense to close the first half on a staggering 27-7 run to take a 38-20 lead at halftime.

The Cats shot a sizzling 51.5 percent from the floor in the first while the Big Green hit just 33.3 percent of its shots while being outrebounded, 20-11.

The second half would prove to be much closer, with Vermont holding just a 31-30 scoring advantage, but the deficit would be too much for the Green to overcome. Vermont scored early to build its largest lead of the game up 24, 48-24 at 15:31. The Catamounts kept the full court pressure on for most of the half and managed to get scores off several Big Green turnovers.

Vermont had an answer for every Dartmouth score, though senior Kristen Craft (Marshalltown, Iowa) got the lead down to 16, down 61-45 off a pair of free-throws at 3:49. Vermont's Courtnay Pilyapaitis hit two threes late in the game to put an exclamation point on things and make sure her team kept its comfortable advantage.

Schram scored the last bucket of the game with 29 seconds left, a three-ball to make it 69-50, final.

Dartmouth's improved second-half shooting put it at 37 percent for the game while Vermont cooled off in the second to finish at 45.5 percent. The Catamounts held a 36-34, rebounding advantage, while only turning the ball over nine times to Dartmouth's 21 miscues.

Craft and Scott played their final collegiate games and go out as the only players in Dartmouth and Ivy League history to make four-straight postseason appearances. Craft had eight points and six assists while Scott finished with five points, five rebounds.

- A.S.