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Buzzer-Beater Lifts Dartmouth Past Yale, 56-54

Robin Gallagher. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Robin Gallagher. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

HANOVER, N.H. – After picking up three thrilling Ivy League wins earlier this month in games that were decided in the final minute or overtime, the Yale women's basketball team has had to experience the opposite end of that spectrum twice in a row now. A 56-54 loss at Dartmouth Friday night was the Bulldogs' second straight two-point league loss. This one came on a buzzer-beater by Dartmouth guard Paula Lenart, and it overshadowed a breakout game from first-year guard Robin Gallagher. She hit all five of her three-point attempts en route to scoring a career-high 17 points.

Yale (15-9, 5-4 Ivy League) entered the night tied for third in the Ivy League standings after picking up close wins vs. Columbia, Harvard and Princeton -- along with a 15-point win against Dartmouth -- earlier this month. The Bulldogs jumped out to an 18-8 lead in the first as Gallagher capped a 7-0 run with a three-pointer.

Dartmouth (11-11, 4-5 Ivy League) fought back in the second quarter, limiting Yale to a 1-for-11 performance from the field. The Big Green chipped away at the lead and finally tied the game 20-20 45 seconds before halftime on a layup by guard Katie Douglas.

After a layup by sophomore forward Alex Cade on a fast break got Yale within 32-30 with 3:13 left in the third, the Big Green ended the quarter with a 6-0 run to take an eight-point lead into the fourth.

The Dartmouth lead grew to 10 early in the fourth before the Bulldogs answered. Back-to-back threes by Gallagher and junior forward Bronwyn Davies got Yale within 43-41, setting up a dramatic final six minutes of the game.

Gallagher's fifth three was one of her biggest, as she calmly swished one from downtown with 1:27 left to give Yale a 54-52 lead. After Lenart tied it with a jumper, though, the Bulldogs turned the ball over twice in the final 30 seconds.

After the last Yale turnover Dartmouth inbounded the ball with 4.2 seconds left. Forward Isalys Quinones missed a jumper, but Lenart grabbed the rebound and put the ball up and in just as the final buzzer sounded. The officials reviewed a replay of the final sequence for several seconds before finally confirming that the Big Green had won.

Gallagher's big game wound up being one of the bright spots for Yale. Her previous career high was 10 points, set in a win at Youngstown State the day after Thanksgiving. Hampered by an injury shortly after that, she had just three points in the eight games she played since then.

On Friday Gallagher's 17 points helped the Yale bench outscore the Dartmouth bench 31-13. Senior forward Alexandra Maund also helped in that regard -- she provided 24+ quality minutes, totaling six points and five rebounds.

With the loss, Yale drops to fourth place in the Ivy League standings -- one game ahead of the fifth-place Big Green. Yale visits third-place Harvard, who is a game ahead of the Bulldogs, Saturday night.

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Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity