With its two senior leaders — Breean Wallace and Do Stevens — sidelined with injuries, the women’s basketball team traveled to Lafayette on Jan. 7. The lady cagers discovered that its fate may have been a blessing in disguise as sophomore tri-captain Karen Force posted a stunning game, legitimizing the preseason hype concerning the team’s depth. Force logged 21 points along with 10 rebounds as the Red outbattled its host, 71-60.
Since that fateful engagement Cornell has played solid basketball, opening its Ivy League season with a pair of victories against Yale and Brown.
“We did really well last weekend. We’re happy to be coming out 2-0 [in Ivy play],” Force assessed.
The sophomore guard recognized the momentous nature of the win at Lafayette.
“It was a great game for everyone. Bree and Do are the core of our team and with out them we all had that opportunity to step up. That gives us confidence,” she said.
“We had faith in one another. It proved to the kids who had a chance to play that they could do it,” added head coach Marnie Dacko.
This marks the first time the women’s basketball team has opened up the Ivy campaign with consecutive wins since the 1994-95 season. The Red hope its fortunes will be brighter this time around — it finished with a 5-9 mark in league play in 1994-95.
The future is definitely appears brighter this season, as the lady cagers have earned victories in eight of their last 10 Ivy League games.
The Red will travel tomorrow to New York City to take on Columbia. Cornell — which split a pair with the Lions last year — will have its hands full with a scrappy Columbia team that boosts a formidable size advantage.
The Lions grabbed 62 rebounds against Yale last weekend — 32 of them offensive, so Dacko and company will place a premium on controlling second chance opportunities.
“Columbia is a scrappy, aggressive team. They like to crash the boards,” Force noted.
Added Dacko: “They are a blue collar team. They work extremely hard.”
The Lions pose a potent dual threat with a strong post game that is complemented by a proficient perimeter attack.
The contest is slated to begin at 4 p.m. tomorrow.
Archived article by Gary Schueller