NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Seemingly in control of Friday night's game at Lee Amphitheater vs. Dartmouth for three quarters, the Yale women's basketball team instead got a reminder of just how intense the Ivy League's regular season can get. Buoyed by a 20-7 fourth quarter, the Big Green overcame an 18-point deficit and forced the Bulldogs to overtime. Dartmouth then held on for a 64-62 win that dropped the Bulldogs into a tie with the Big Green for the league's fourth and final playoff spot with five games left in the regular season.
Yale (12-10, 5-4 Ivy League) had put on one of its best defensive performances of the year in beating the Big Green 57-39 in Hanover, N.H., last month. And Friday's game at first seemed like a repeat of that performance, as the Bulldogs held Dartmouth to 18 points in the first half. But after the Bulldogs built their lead up to 18 points on a layup by senior forward Jen Berkowitz with 5:50 left in the third, Dartmouth slowly began its comeback.
The Big Green trimmed the Yale lead to 13 on a three-pointer by guard Emily Slagle heading into the fourth quarter. Dartmouth (13-9, 5-4 Ivy League) then opened the fourth with a 14-1 run that tied the game, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.
A pair of free throws by first-year forward Ellen Margaret Andrews with 3:54 to play gave Yale a 51-49 lead, but Dartmouth would eventually take a 52-51 lead on a layup by forward Isalys Quinones with 2:16 left. After a layup by senior guard Tamara Simpson, Dartmouth went back ahead on a three-pointer by guard Kate Letkewicz with 1:04 to play.
Yale called time with 18 seconds left in regulation, then got a jumper from sophomore forward Megan Gorman to tie the score with 13 seconds left. The teams headed into overtime knotted at 55.
Neither team could get any separation in the extra session, which saw Dartmouth take a 61-60 lead on a Letkewicz layup with 1:12 left. After a steal by sophomore guard Roxy Barahman helped set up a layup by Berkowitz for a 62-61 lead with :30 left, Dartmouth forward Andi Norman hit a three -- just her second basket of the night -- that proved decisive with five seconds to play. Barahman's last-second three-pointer came up short.
Berkowitz finished with 15 rebounds and 11 points, while Simpson had a team-high 16 points. She and Barahman had four steals each.
Letkewicz finished with 29 points, reaching the 1,000-point mark for her career in the process.
"I'm really disappointed in our defensive effort," said Allison Guth, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse. "We lost our attention to detail. I give a ton of credit to [Dartmouth head coach] Belle [Koclanes] and her staff … I don't think, offensively, we got into a flow tonight."
Yale hosts Harvard Saturday night.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity