February 11, 2013

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL | Red Forces Overtime But Comes Up Short

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After having its matchup postponed three times due to blizzard Nemo, the women’s basketball team got a little extra time in Cambridge — forcing Harvard (13-6, 4-1 Ivy) into overtime but ultimately falling to the Crimson 60-69.The Red (10-9, 2-3) arrived in Massachusetts on Thursday evening but spent the majority of the next three days in a hotel room.“Every day, we would wake up like we were playing the game and prepare like we were until we found out that we weren’t playing,” senior forward Clare Fitzpatrick said. “By the time Sunday came, we were just ready to get out there and play.”When the Red finally hit the gym on Sunday at 2 p.m, they held Harvard to just 17 percent shooting from three-point range.“That was one of our best defensive performances of the season,” head coach Dayna Smith said. “Our team did a tremendous job playing both man and zone.”For the Red, it was all about comebacks.After Harvard’s Ali Curtis gave the Crimson its largest lead, 29-16, the Red closed the first period on a seven-point run to make it a two-possession game at the half.The Crimson took another double-digit lead, 47-37, midway through the second half, but the Red went on a 9-2 run to close to within three.Cornell was led by junior guard Allyson Dimagno, who scored 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and senior forward Clare Fitzpatrick, who registered 17 points and took down seven boards.It was Fitzpatrick who grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a put-back to tie the game at 53-53 and force overtime.“I really knew we needed to score, and second chances to score were key, so when every shot went up, I just crashed the boards hard,” Fitzpatrick said.In spite of its effort, the Red’s success ended during overtime.Harvard scored the first five points of the extra period and effectively ended the contest. According to Smith, it was a few careless errors that took the Red out of the game.“We had three crucial turnovers,” Smith said. “When you turn the ball over in moments like that — good teams capitalize.”Although the team left Cambridge with a disappointing loss, the Red had a few important lessons to take from the game.  “I think [that] understanding the hard work we put in during the week on defense and rebounding [and seeing] how it just paid dividends [is important],” Smith said.Cornell will take on Harvard again on senior night in Newman Arena. The Red’s game against Dartmouth, which was postponed this weekend, will likely take place at the end of the season.The team will have a shortened week to prepare for Yale and Brown, but Smith isn’t worried.“We don’t believe in excuses,” she said. “[We’re going to] build on the improvements [that we made] this weekend and carry that into next weekend.”

Original Author: Skyler Dale

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