November 30, 2001

W. Basketball Visits Colgate

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Tomorrow the women’s basketball team will travel to Colgate for its sole weekend contest. After a 66-61 loss to Binghamton (4-1, 0-0 America East) on Tuesday, the Red (1-4, 0-0 Ivy) is looking to rebound from a two-game losing streak.

Against the Bearcats, the Red came on strong in the first half claiming a 30-25 lead at the buzzer. Although Cornell was in front, a 2-for-12 failure at the free-throw line compromised the Red’s chances at widening its advantage. The second half saw Binghamton improve its shooting from all areas of the court. A 15-for-27 mark in field goals, as well as a 10-for-14 thrashing from the charity stripe, helped the Bearcats regain the lead midway through the half. Despite coming within two-points on five ensuing instances, the Red was unable to regain the lead for the rest of the game.

Cornell’s 5-for-17 free-throw ration ultimately cost it the game along with a 24-for-73 outing from the field. Comparatively, the Bearcats had a 14-for-20 mark from the foul line and went 25-for-56 effort from the field.

“We are playing a little tense, and I don’t understand the reason for that,” head coach Marnie Dacko said. “How we can only make five free throws out of 17 in one game, and the next game make 23 — I am at a loss for words.”

Colgate (1-4, 0-0 Patriot League) notched its first win of the season last Sunday by a score of 84-37 in the San Juan Shootout. Last season, the Raiders finished with a 7-22 overall mark, including a 3-9 record in conference action. Cornell dealt Colgate a 77-65 loss early last year, but since its first meeting in 1978, the two teams are an even 11-11 against the other.

“Going into Colgate is always a struggle for us just because they are an hour away, and they are always looking to get us,” Dacko mentioned.

As a team, Colgate is averaging 40.5-percent from the field and 34.2-percent from the three-point line. Cornell, on the other hand, is averaging 35.8-percent from the field and 28.6-percent from beyond the arc. The Red clearly holds the advantage on the boards averaging 43.4 rebounds per game to the Raiders’ 36.8.

“They are not necessarily a big team, but they are good shooters, and they are scrappy,” freshman guard Lauren Kilduff reflected.

Under the guidance of first year coach Beth Spycher, the Raiders are led by freshman Allison Lipinski. The rookie guard has racked up the most points on the team in four of its five games. She is first on the team in field goal percentage (50.8-percent), three-point shots (47.1-percent), and points per game (16.6).

“Lipinski is the big one right now,” Dacko acknowledged.

Sophomore guard Malissa Burke leads the team in rebounds per game (4.6), is second on the team from the field (41.7-percent) and is second in points per game (14.6).

“They are under a new coach, so they are young and energetic. They move well without the ball,” the head coach continued.

The goals for the weekend, beyond winning, center on consistency.

“We are tired of having these close games and playing 10 minutes, 15 minutes of basketball, and then we have that little lapse that kills us. So we really want to go out and put together two, full 20 minute halves,” sophomore tri-captain guard Karen Force expressed.

Dacko echoed the sentiment: “The goals are to play 40 minutes of basketball, and the goal has been to play 40 minutes of basketball since the Eastern Michigan tournament,” she said. “[We have] to be consistent, play hard, give a complete effort all the time, and I think the effort is going to pay off.”

Despite an inauspicious start to its season, the team remains confident that it will end more of its games with a notch in the win column.

“If we can win this game, and the one Monday against St. Francis, it will really help boost our confidence, and we will be right back where we wanted to be,” Kilduff ended.

“We know what our goals are, and we know what we want to accomplish, so these are just steps to get there,” Force commented. “It may be frustrating at times, it may be great at times, but we’ll get there.”

“I’m not saying we are in a rut, because how can you be in a rut five games into the season?” Dacko pondered. “We are going to work through this — we just have to stay with it, stay together, and believe in each other. And they do.” Cornell will travel to Hamilton, N.Y., where it will meet the Raiders on Cotterell Court at 2 p.m.

Archived article by Katherine Granish