At halftime of Saturday’s Ivy League clash away at Columbia, the women’s basketball team entered the locker room holding on to a hard-fought 28-25 lead, looking very much like the team that had challenged for the league crown last year. However, a stunning 18-0 run by the Lions (9-6, 2-0 Ivy) early in the second half put the game out of reach for the Red (6-9, 0-2), who eventually succumbed 67-47.
“I really don’t know what it is exactly,” admitted junior guard Katie Romey. “We came into halftime feeling pretty good about everything, then they just kind of took off on us. It took us all by surprise.”
In a game of two vastly different halves, the Lions opened an early 18-12 lead before a mini-run by Cornell knotted the score at 19 with 8:22 left in the half. After exchanging baskets for the next few possessions, the Red produced a solid defensive stand at the end of the period to open up a three-point cushion at the intermission.
Quick scores at the beginning of the second half extended the lead to 32-27, before the Lions proceeded to go on an incredible 18-0 run over a span of almost nine minutes. Columbia then put the game away with a 12-2 streak starting at the 8:16 mark to run up its lead to 57-36. A last-gasp effort by the Red cut the lead to 14 with two minutes to play, but it proved to be too little too late, as Columbia swept the season series from Cornell for the first time since 1989-90.
“The first half, we came out focus and ready, the second half, we didn’t come out with the same focus,” observed senior forward Lynell Davis. “We have to put together two quality halves – we haven’t done that in a while.”
Davis finished the contest with 11 points and a team-high 8 rebounds, but the overall effort on the boards left much to be desired, as the Lions outrebounded the Red 42-19. Forwards Katie Day and Edytte Key led the Columbia onslaught on the boards, with each player picking up a double-double. In a losing effort, junior Karen Force led all scorers with 17.
Despite the 20-point margin of defeat in Saturday’s game, Davis felt that the score flattered Columbia and did not do justice to the quality of players available on the roster.
“I think both Buffalo and Columbia are very uncharacteristic performances of the talent we have in the team,” she said. “I don’t think they were 20 points better than us. We beat ourselves more than they beat us. We had the talent to beat Columbia either way.”
The sputtering offensive showings of the last two games will have left many observers mystified, but the root of the problem may not be particularly difficult to identify.
“One of our biggest problems right now is that we’re just not knocking down open shots,” said Romey.
“We were getting our shots, but we just weren’t getting any in the basket,” agreed Davis.
With Brown and Yale coming up next weekend, the Red will head for gym hoping to iron out the problems that have contributed to a dispiriting week.
Archived article by Soo Kim