Senior captain Maddie Campbell stated on Jan. 31 that the team aimed to have a sweeping victory the following weekend. The Red (13-7, 5-1 Ivy) fulfilled this mission this weekend when they conquered two Ivy League opponents — the Brown Bears (12 – 7, 1-5 Ivy) and the Yale Bulldogs (11 -12, 2-4 Ivy).
“We always go into a weekend with the mentality of getting two wins and our hard work during the week really ensured that outcome,” said junior forward Nicholle Aston.
Both wins were relatively close in scoring. Cornell won against Brown, 85-70, and Yale, 74-63.
“The game against Brown was close in the first half, then we pulled away in the second half,” Campbell said. “Yale was a close game the entire time, with four minutes left we were only up by six. But we started to pull away in the final four minutes.”
Aston agreed that the games were close.
“The games had their ups and downs but remained pretty close throughout,” Aston said. “We were able to pull away eventually in the second half and seal the game with our free throws.”
The third quarter of each game was when Cornell surged ahead and proved their strengths and capabilities to themselves and their opponents.
“I am not sure if there were any single plays that changed the outcome of the game, but more so what we did in the third quarter,” Campbell said. “Both games we won were because of the work we put in the third quarter.”
Aston, too, credits the third quarter for their success.
“We had a great third quarters in both games on both ends, which really allowed us to get the wins,” Aston said.
The Red had different strategies for both games because Brown and Yale have different styles of defense.
“The strategy for Brown was to keep their guards from penetrating because that’s what they love to do,” Campbell said. “With Yale, [our strategy] was taking care of the ball against their pressure defense and attacking the basket.”
Campbell discussed what she was zeroed in on against Brown and Yale.
“Both games I was really just focused on the position, and doing what needed to be done to win that play,” Campbell said. “Both games were big wins, and it took a lot of focus to get it done.”
Aston also commented on her mentality against the two Ivy League opponents over the weekend.
“As I was playing, I really was focused on helping my teammates to get the job done,” Aston said. “Whether it was on offense or defense, I just really wanted to help my teammates in any way I could and I am sure they would say the same.
The Red really came together this weekend, and head coach Dayna Smith definitely helped guide the squad to their two wins by motivating them at half time. The evidence of her help is in the team’s extremely successful third quarters.
“At halftime our coach really pushed us to make adjustments on defense on not give them as many open lanes which really helped us get two quality wins in the end,” Aston said.