<
>

Dartmouth beats Harvard to earn Ivy League's NCAA auto bid

HANOVER, N.H. -- Dartmouth wanted this Ivy League title all for itself -- and got it.

Brittany Smith scored 19 points and the Big Green beat Harvard 64-51 on Tuesday night to win the Ivy League title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Dartmouth (18-10, 13-1) had already clinched at least a share of its 17th Ivy crown but would have had to play a one-game playoff against second-place Harvard (19-9, 11-3) for the NCAA bid had the Crimson won.

Dartmouth had shared the title three times since 2000.

"We're not sharing it with anyone," said senior Koren Schram, who has played on two co-champions. "It's huge."

Senior Darcy Rose added, "It's really incredible having it all our own."

Dartmouth won 15 of its final 16 games to reach the NCAA tournament for the seventh time.

The Big Green started their season-ending hot streak against Harvard with a 59-55 in January. The Crimson won 11 of 12 between their losses to Dartmouth to set up the decisive league finale.

Brogan Berry scored 12 points and Emily Markley 11 for Harvard, which was troubled all night by the top defense in the Ivy and hit only 21-of-57 shots from the field.

Harvard had led the Ivy in scoring with 70 points a game.

Schram added 18 points and Rose 13 and 10 rebounds for Dartmouth.

"This is who we are," Dartmouth coach Chris Wielgus. "We're not the greatest offensive team."

Smith, who shot 8-of-12 from the field, had nine rebounds as Dartmouth dominated the boards 51-27.

"Everyone did a really good job helping out, and we were getting the rebounds," Schram said. "It's always our main focus. We're really proud of our defense."

Harvard's Emily Tay, who had 34 points in her last game, managed only seven against Dartmouth.

"We weren't going to let that happen again," Schram said.

Dartmouth took control early as Rose and Schram hit baskets and Smith two free throws for six straight points that put the Big Green ahead 8-5.

It was 28-21 at the half, and after Berry hit the first basket of the second half to cut the lead to five, Smith hit a basket and two free throws and Schram made a 3-pointer for a 36-25 lead.