The women’s basketball team headed into this weekend’s Eagle Classic at Eastern Michigan University with optimism in the face of three tough competitors. While it could not muster a win, Cornell (0-2, 0-0 Ivy) found strength in a multitude of places.
On Friday night, the Red faced the host team and eventual tournament champion Eastern Michigan. On paper, the teams looked relatively even when comparing last season’s stats, but the Hawks consistent shooting throughout the entire game ultimately gave it the victory.
The first half saw Cornell keep pace with EMU’s solid corps of seasoned bucket makers as the Red was 31.3% from field goal range, 37.5% from three-point land, and a strong 81.8% (9-for-11) from the free throw line.
Comparatively, the Hawks shot 40.7%, 40.0%, and 66.7%, respectively, in the same three categories. When the half-time buzzer sounded, Cornell trailed its opponent by only two points, 32-34.
The second half revealed the Red’s loss of focus and the strength of the EMU team on offense. While Cornell improved from the field to shoot 39.3%, its success at the three-point line and charity stripe dramatically decreased as it shot 18.2% and 50.0%, respectively. The homeside, on the other hand, improved in all three categories from its first half effort as it shot 51.9% from the field, 66.7% (6-for-9) for three pointers, and 73.7% in free throws.
The game ended by a final score of 82-67 in favor of the Hawks.
Both Cornell and EMU attempted 19 three-point shots throughout the game, but the Red only made five (26.3%) while the Hawks sank 10 (52.6%) of them.
The five-basket margin contributed to the outcome, as it was the 15-point difference in the game. EMU’s feat was not uncharacteristic, however, as the Hawks ranked third in the nation last year averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game.
Senior tri-captain Breean Walas racked up a team high 21 points on the night, while junior forward Lynell Davis tallied 14 points, including a 6-for-8 effort in free throws, and nine of the team’s 37 total rebounds.
Sophomore tri-captain Karen Force also tossed in 14 points along with five assists. Senior tri-captain Do Stevens pulled down seven rebounds and dished out three assists.
The following afternoon, the Red faced Austin Peay, who lost 73-65 to Howard the previous night, in the tournament’s consolation game.
The Lady Govs, who had appeared in last year’s NCAA tournament, did not bring the same offensive punch as EMU, but yet again, Austin Peay’s consistent shooting ultimately was the difference in the game.
After the first half, Cornell again found itself with the lower score of the two teams, 37-30. The Red shot an impressive 50.0% from the field (12-24), 50.0% (3-for-6) from the three-point line, and 50.0% (3-for-6) from the foul line. Its opponent shot 39.4% (13-for-33) in field goals, 25.0% (3-for-12) in three-pointers, but was a solid 80.0% (8-for-10) at the charity stripe.
The teams were relatively even in the second half from the field (36.7% for Cornell versus 38.5% for Austin Peay) and from the arc (38.5% versus 27.3%, respectively), but the Red suffered from a lack of success at the foul line.
Cornell was triumphant from the charity stripe only 43.8% (7-for-16), while the Lady Govs shot a respectable 85.7% (6-for-7) in the second half.
Although the Red outscored its opponent 31-29 in the final 20 minutes of play, it was not enough as Austin Peay took the victory by a final score of 66-61.
For the Red, Stevens had four assists, four rebounds and a game-high 19 points. Sophomore forward Dani Aretino tied classmate and guard Lauren Kilduff for a game-high nine rebounds. Kilduff also added a career-high 17 points in the match and for her outstanding effort was named to the All-Tournament team.
Archived article by Katherine Granish