The cagers were a busy bunch over the winter recess, kicking off their Ivy League campaign after visiting Georgia Tech for a rare chance to battle an ACC team.
The Red captured its first win of the season back on Dec. 22, topping Patriot League foe Lehigh, 69-61.
Any hope of a winning streak was quickly dashed as Cornell suffered back-to-back setbacks at the Spider Invitational, dropping a 52-41 decision to Richmond in the consolation game following a 56-40 loss to James Madison — despite a 12-point effort from freshman guard Cody Toppert.
Despite a valiant effort later that week, Cornell was simply outclassed by host Georgia Tech. Freshman Grant Harell and Jacques Vigneault both posted career highs, tallying 11 points each. Senior guard Tony Akins turned in a triple-double with 22 points along with 10 assists to lead the Yellow Jackets’ cause.
Cornell returned to the friendly confines of Newman Arena Jan. 5, when it dismantled Army by a 90-65 count. The Red was on fire all night, shooting a blistering 54% from the field. The home side, paced by five double-digit scoring performances, also controlled the boards, holding a 44-25 advantage on the glass at the conclusion of the game.
Once again, the Red failed to put together a winning streak following the Army contest. Senior point guard Wallace Prather led Cornell with 16 points in the Ivy opener against Brown Jan 11. However, his efforts were to no avail, as the Red dropped a 72-59 decision. A late run the following night at Yale was too little too late as the Red came up on the short end of a 79-74 score. But Prather netted his 1,000th point in the effort.
The Red women had a strong showing over the winter break and find themselves atop the Ivy League after posting consecutive wins to open the conference campaign.
Led by senior tri-captain Do Stevens’s 21-point effort, the Red upended host Stetson 73-63 on Dec. 29.
Two days later on New Year’s Eve, the team had its four-game win streak snapped by Bethune-Cookman. The difference came down low as the Lady Wildcats controlled the glass , with a 46-34 advantage.
The Red followed the losing effort with a loss to San Francisco on Jan. 4. Junior forward Ify Ossai posted a career high 14 points, but despite her efforts, Cornell could not match the Lady Dons who were led by a stellar effort by Lindsey Huff’s 6 for 6 shooting from the floor, including 3 for 3 from behind the arc.
Cornell snapped the skid with a stunning 71-60 win at Lafayette. Sans senior tri-captains Breean Wallace and Do Stevens, sophomore tri-captain Karen Force had an eyebrow-raising performance, netting 22 points with nine assists to boot.
The team returned to action on Jan. 11 to open its Ivy schedule. The Red posted a second half comeback against the visiting Brown Bears en route to a 58-56 win. Cornell followed up the victory with a thrilling win against Yale the following night. Junior Lynell Davis was a defensive stalwart for the Red, blocking seven shots. Walas hit a layup in the closing seconds of the game to lead the Red to victory. Thanks to a Dartmouth win over Princeton, Cornell is the only undefeated team in the Ivy League.
Track and Field
Both the men’s and women’s track teams earned third-place finishes at the Penn State Meet on Jan. 12.
In the women’s bracket, the Red finished behind Penn State and Seton Hall. Freshman Kate Boyles had a stunning showing in the 3000-meter run, winning the event with a time of 10:00.8. She finished 22 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Senior Sarah Herskee also found herself in the wing on92s circle — taking the top spot in the shot put, throwing 13.3 meters.
The men — who also finished behind Penn State and Seton Hall — were led by sophomore Travis Offner — the only Cornellian to win an event. Junior Pete Combe split the shot put title, throwing 16.31 meters.
The grapplers concluded 2001 by placing 11th in the Midland Championships in Chicago on Dec. 20. Junior co-captain Clint Wattenberg had the Red’s top performance, taking fifth at the meet. Wattenberg has enjoyed success since moving to the 184 pound weight class.
Classmate Scott Roth and senior co-captain Jim Stanec also turned in fine performances. Roth, competing in the 165 pound class, made it to the quarterfinals of the winner’s bracket before eventually falling to Iowa State’s Joe Haskett — the eventual champion. Stanec was dropped from contention early on, but pieced together solid showings in the consolation brackets.
The Red concluded the winter break portion of its schedule with a trip to the Lone Star Duals.
Cornell opened the get together with a 21-15 win over Cal-Poly before bowing to Nebraska and Oklahoma 24-18 and 23-9, respectively.
The Red returned to action on Jan. 12, defeating Ivy foe Pennsylvania. Freshman Shellen Goltz captured the All-Around, leading a strong performance for Cornell.
The tumblers broke the school record on the uneven bars, posting a score of 47.75.
The Red took the top spot in three of the four events. The team will hit the road to participate in the George Washington Invitational on Jan. 19.
Junior Jeff Porter went undefeated on Jan. 12. That day, despite a loss to Dartmouth, the men’s team steamrolled Amherst 9-0 at the Belkin International Courts. Porter did not lose a game that day with back to back 3-0 wins. Porter could not repeat the performance the following day, as Cornell dropped its match against Williams, 6-3. Senior Darryl Chow, junior Kenny Greer and Brad Mosier all won their matches 3-1.
The women’s team competed in one match over the break on Jan. 12 also on East Hill. The Red lost to Dartmouth 7-2. Senior Olga Puigdemont-Sola swept the Green’s Sarah West, 3-0 in the first seed. Senior Melinda Lee had the other victory on the day in the third slot.
Swimming & Diving
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were back in action last weekend as both squads went on the road. The men visited Navy with Yale to compete in two dual meets. Saturday, the Red edged out the Midshipmen 128-115 but couldn’t repeat against the Elis, falling 137-106. Sophomore John Dyste, who was competing in the 200 breaststroke and the 400 freestyle relay garnered the Red’s only first places.
The following day, the women’s team had its chance against Yale in New Haven, Conn., winning only one-fourth of the 16 events. Backstroker Whitney Yates won the 200, Deanne Moyer the 100-breaststroke, Alyson Melin the 200-individual medley and the 400 freestyle relay. Kara Neal finished in third- and fourth-place in the 1-m and 3-m dives, respectively.
The women’s hockey team (3-10) got down to business after the holidays, playing six games in a two week span and going 2-3-1. The women started off at the Purple Eagle Invite with a 2-2 overtime tie against Toronto in the Dec. 29 exhibition game. The following evening, the team fell to host Niagara 3-0.
The following weekend the Red participated in another tournament, the Humes Invitational, where it met Toronto again. Cornell did not settle for a tie as it won 3-2 to advance to the championship game against Concordia. But in the title contest, a late goal gave the Stingers a 4-3 victory.
On Jan. 11, the squad returned to ECAC play, traveling up north to Vermont and Dartmouth. Against the Catamounts, Cornell recorded its most lopsided win of the season, 5-0. However
the No. 6 Green defeated the Red on Saturday, 6-1.
Archived article by Gary Schueller