It was a disappointing weekend for the women’s basketball team, as Cornell fell to both Yale and Brown, adding two more losses to the current season total of 14. On Friday night, the Red lost to the Bulldogs, 74-50, and on Saturday, the Bears defeated the Red, 61-54.
The weekend was not without success, however. On Friday night, after four years of dedication, senior guard Lauren Benson etched her name definitively into Cornell’s history books. With 5:40 left to play against Yale, Benson dished out her 459th career assist, tying the Cornell record set by Karen Force ’04. The next night, Benson handed out two more assists, thereby solidifying her place at the top of Cornell’s charts.
“I’m really happy for her, and I’m proud of her,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “It’s just unfortunate that it had to happen in such a bad game.”
Benson admitted that it was hard to acknowledge personal accomplishments at this time.
“It was great [to get the assist record] … but obviously I would have rather had a team win than the individual record,” she said.
Against the Bulldogs (9-11, 4-2), Cornell struggled both offensively and defensively. Though the Red hit 38.7 percent of its shots in the first half, the team faltered in the second half, bringing the shooting to a low of 29.3 percent. Both Cornell and Yale had 19 turnovers, but the Bulldogs had the significant advantage in shooting, causing the Red to continuously trail behind in points. Defensively, Cornell was not able to compete with the physicality of the Yale squad.
“We lost our sense of urgency,” Smith said. “The Yale game is always physical and I don’t think we were able to match that this time.”
However, Smith did mention that despite the loss she was pleased with the efforts of senior Allie Fedorowicz and freshman Clare Fitzpatrick.
“I thought we had a couple of good performances in Allie and Clare,” she said. “Allie was hitting her shots and being aggressive … and Clare did an impressive job too. She was scrappy and put up a fight.”
Indeed, Fedorowicz and Fitzpatrick — with 20 and 10 points, respectively — were the only two Cornell players to score in double digits. Fedorowicz also tallied three steals, and Fitzpatrick had a team-high five rebounds.
The next night, the Red put up a strong fight against the Bears (6-14, 3-3) but was again unable to prevail. Though Cornell had the advantage on the boards, Brown was allowed 32 trips to the free throw line, which culminated in a total of 17 points for the Bears. Compared to the Red’s 10 points at the free throw line, this gave the Bears a significant edge.
In addition, the Red struggled in rebounding, especially on the offensive end.
“We got outrebounded quite a bit [at Brown],” Benson said. “We need to refocus on those little things and make sure we get those loose balls.”
Perhaps the future has better things in store for the team. After nearly a month’s worth of away games, the Red will return home to Newman Arena, playing its next four games on familiar turf. Although winning will require much more hard work, the return to a welcoming atmosphere can hardly be ignored.
Original Author: Hannah Fillas