NEW YORK – First-year Tori Oliver became the first Columbia player since January 2010 to go over the 30-point plateau, racking up a career-best 33 points, but Dartmouth shot 61 percent from the field to capture an 82-75 road victory Friday at Levien Gym.
Oliver went 11-of-18 from the field and 11-of-15 from the free throw line in 36 minutes of action. Her 11 made field goals is most of any Lion season. Judie Lomax was the last player to reach 30, hitting that mark against Cornell on Jan. 23, 2010.
Columbia, as a team, shot a season-best 56 percent from the field.
Senior Courtney Bradford grabbed five boards to push her career total to 602. She is the eighth player in program history to bring down more than 600 rebounds in a career.
Dartmouth took control of the game early, sprinting out to an 8-1 lead in the first three minutes. The Big Green maintained its advantage through the initial stages of the half, building a nine-point lead, 18-9, at the 11:03 mark.
Coming out of that media break, the Lions offense began to find its stride, putting together an 8-2 spurt that closed the gap to just three points, 20-17. Sophomore Sara Mead recorded buckets around a Tori Oliver lay-in during that stretch to give Columbia something to build on at its offensive end of the floor.
Oliver became the go-to player for Columbia over the remainder of the first period, racking up 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, but the Big Green was able to extend its lead up to double figures and took a 45-31 advantage at halftime.
Columbia opened the second half with Oliver knocking down a jumper just nine seconds in and Mead following with a layup before the first minute expired. The Lions continued to chip away at the lead with senior Taylor Ward hitting from downtown and Amara Mbionwu converting from close range, cutting the deficit to 49-40 with 16:57 left to play.
The Big Green was able to fend off the Columbia charge, keeping the Lions at bay with at least a nine-point cushion over the next 10 minutes. Oliver continued to carry much of the offensive load for Lions and at the 6:42 mark completed an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the Dartmouth lead down to seven, 64-57. The rookie from Manassas, Va. kept on scoring, hitting two freebies and then adding a layup the next two possessions to keep the Lions at pace with the Big Green.
The seven-point lead remained intact until the final minute when Oliver finished off another and-one play to cut the gap to five points, 78-73. Dartmouth, though, made all four of its free throw attempts down the stretch to seal the win.
Mead and Bradford joined Oliver in doubles figures with 12 and 10, respectively. Columbia outrebounded Dartmouth, 30-22, but the Big Green went 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, while the Lions were just 1-of-6.
Columbia will host Senior Night in its final home game of the season Saturday evening against Harvard at 7 p.m.