Women's Basketball Downed in Final Minute by Dartmouth, 68-65

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HANOVER, N.H. - A team effort for the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball team was spoiled by Faziah Steen and Dartmouth's three-point frenzy as the Quakers fell 68-65 Friday night at Leede Arena despite 19 points from freshman Alyssa Baron.

Penn's first six baskets were scored by five different players as nine Quakers got into the scoring column. However, it was oddly Penn's top-ranked Ivy League defense that didn't have the answers, most notably for Steen. She was an astounding 7-for-11 (64%) from three-point range and finished with 28 points.

Dartmouth (5-13, 1-3 Ivy) finished the game with 10 threes at 41.7-percent accuracy. But it was a conventional three-point play with 1:49 left in the game that gave them the lead for good, 64-63.

On Penn's ensuing possession, Baron missed a jumper and the Big Green hit two free throws to go up three. Baron hit a lay-up with eight seconds remaining to make it 66-65, but Dartmouth once again hit two free throws.

With 1.9 seconds to go, Penn (7-11, 1-3 Ivy) heaved the inbounds pass to half court where junior Jess Knapp caught it and then attempted to toss it to Baron, who was streaking toward the three-point line, but it was knocked harmlessly away and the clock expired.

Dartmouth started the scoring with a three - it would become a trend - but the Quakers scored the next 11 with Baron, Knapp, Erin Power and Jourdan Banks all scoring during the 11-0 spurt.

The first four baskets from the Big Green were all threes, including two that were banked in. The first of three straight broke a five-minute drought and the last capped a 9-2 run to cut Penn's lead to 13-12 at the 10:52 mark. The Big Green started 6-for-11 (54.5%) from three-point range.

Meghan McCullough's three gave Penn a four-point lead, but Dartmouth scored seven straight and stretched its lead to 26-20 with 4:34 to play in the opening half.

Over the next three minutes, the Red and Blue regained the lead with a 9-2 run. Sophomore Katie Davis swished a three and senior Jerin Smith - the seventh different Quaker to contribute to the scoring in the first half - manuevered her way for a lay-up and a 29-28 edge.

But two Big Green free throws gave the home team a one-point lead heading into the half. At intermission, the Big Green had nearly as many points (30) as they managed in the entire game during the last meeting between these teams (a 44-31 Penn victory).

Steen took over the start of the second half. She couldn't miss and hit three straight threes. Though the Quakers continued to score, they couldn't keep up. Behind Steen, Dartmouth built a 43-35 lead three minutes into the second stanza.

Penn went on a 9-1 run and tied the game, 44-44, but Steen made a conventional three-point play and then, of course, hit another three - her seventh of the game - for a 50-46 Big Green advantage at the 11:14 mark.

Penn chipped away and when Baron hit a three with 8:16 remaining, the Quakers were up one, 55-54. The Red and Blue maintained that lead for the next six minutes before the Big Green's three-point play equaled the final lead change of the game.

Baron also tied a career-high with eight rebounds and five assists. Power added nine points and tied a season high with a game-high 10 rebounds. McCullough set a career-best with a game-high six assists in addition to four rebounds and five points. Banks was the second Quaker in double-digits with 10 points, Knapp added six points, senior Caroline Nicholson and Smith each had five, while Davis and sophomore Brianna Bradford finished with three apiece. Smith also tied her season-high with seven rebounds.

The Quakers, who had a season-high 18 assists on 25 baskets, outrebounded Dartmouth, 38-33. Penn also had its second-best night from the field, shooting 46.3 percent (25-of-54). Dartmouth was 22-of-57 (38.6%) from the floor. Each team had 13 turnovers. Dartmouth shot 82 percent from the free throw line, while Penn was just 63 percent from the charity stripe. Penn's bench outscored the Big Green reserves, 21-5. Three Dartmouth players combined for 60 of its 68 points.

Following the overnight drive to Boston, the Quakers will take on second-place Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday night. Tip off is at 6 p.m.

Download: 18-Dartmouth.pdf