January 22, 2002

Player of the Week Walas Is Double Trouble

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Double figures are nothing new for senior Breean Walas. After an impressive performance of 24 points and 13 rebounds in a 70-56 win against Columbia Saturday, Walas became the second women’s basketball player this season to be named the Ivy League Player of the Week. She joins fellow tri-captain and sophomore teammate Karen Force, who was named Ivy Player of the Week earlier this season.

One point short of a career high, Walas’s 24 points at Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium are an individual high for any Cornell player this season. Shining in the second half, she netted the Red’s first eight points of the half, six of which resulted from a pair of 3-pointers. The 2001 All-Ivy player is averaging a team high 13.7 points a game and is perfect at the charity stripe this season (14 for 14). She has led the team to an impressive 9-7 overall record and first place in the Ivy League (3-0) with wins against Brown, Yale and most recently Columbia.

“Breean works extremely hard and never fails to give 100 percent at practice,” said head coach Marnie Dacko. “She is consistent with assists and rebounds and moves the ball well. She has matured a great deal as a player and a leader and has gained confidence since her freshman year. She has earned the respect of her teammates and her drive and determination are visible both in practice and on the court [in games].”

The Red finished third in the Ivy League last year and now is in the midst of its best season ever. Walas credits both last season’s lessons in tight games and the team’s increased focus as the major sources of the team’s success.

“Our experience in close games last year and the fact that the entire team came back this year in good shape ready to play hard has helped us get to where we are,” said Walas.

Force agrees that Walas’s experience is helping lead the team.

“I love playing with Breean. Her game sense and our ability to read each other well makes playing with her that much more fun.”

Quick to compliment her teammates, Walas would rather discuss the team’s achievements and goals this season than her personal accolades. Among those team goals are an Ivy League title, something that seems more attainable than ever before. With a “one game at a time” mentality, the Red is looking no further than its re-match against Columbia when the Lions visit Newman Arena this Saturday at 5 p.m. Relying on its depth, the Red looks to outscore Columbia — with five players recording double digits this weekend.

While Walas is well-accustomed to seeing double digits in her personal stats, the team, which has earned nine wins so far this season, is looking to post one more double digit stat. In the win record, that is.

Archived article by Amy Sharenko