Columbia clawed its way back in the second half to claim a hard fought 56-51 victory over the women’s basketball team Saturday in the second match-up between the Ivy League foes. The game followed the same back-and-forth pattern as the first meeting between the two teams. The teams were neck-and-neck up and down the court, nearly matching each other in rebounds, steals, and every other statistical category.
“The first [game] was sort of similar,” said freshman Lindsay Krasna. “We’d get up by a little, then they’d come back.”
With eight lead changes in the first 10 minutes of Saturday’s game, both the Red and the Lions showed they were not going to give any ground the second time around.
“We knew what we needed to shut down,” Krasna said. “And overall we did a pretty good job.”
The Red held off Columbia through the first half, heading into the break with a slim 29-26 lead. However, a slow start to the second half gave the Lions the chance to get momentum on their side.
“We came out slow and kind of flat,” Krasna said. “They capitalized on that and took advantage.”
Cornell didn’t score for the first six minutes of the half, losing its slight lead and allowing Columbia six unanswered points. Columbia also gained from 17 second-half turnovers by the Red.
“It’s hard to be a team [in that situation],” Krasna said. “It was a mental lapse, but we got back into it. [Junior tri-captain] Hillary [Seidel] hit a big shot and got us back in it, but we had some unnecessary turnovers and they capitalized on that.”
The Red got back on top with two free throws from Krasna with nine minutes left to play, but it would be the team’s final lead of the game. Columbia senior Nicole Lesko responded with a three-pointer to spark a 12-1 run by the Lions. With three minutes left to play, the Lions were ahead, 48-38.
Cornell refused to give up, scoring nine straight points before Columbia sophomore Megan Griffith hit a three-pointer to boost the Lions to a 51-47 lead. The Red then turned the ball over and fouled Griffith, who made both free throws to put the game out of reach. The Red got within three points twice more, but couldn’t complete the late rally.
“We knew it would be a tough game and we knew they would come out strong,” Krasna said. “We had trouble executing in general — we didn’t get the stops we needed and they hit big shots.”
Krasna led all players with 18 points and eight rebounds, and sophomore Claire Perry added 14 points, seven rebounds, and three steals for the Red. Seidel had a career-high 10 points. Senior Lisa Copeland was the high scorer for the Lions with 13 points. Griffith threw in 10 points, including five in the last minute of play, and a game-high four assists.
“We’re never satisfied when we lose,” Krasna said. “But we’re learning every game, so in that way it was positive.”
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer