This weekend, the women’s basketball team (9-16, 3-9 Ivy) will close out its season on the East Hill and bid a fond farewell to a pair of forwards while also looking to rebound from losses to Harvard and Dartmouth.
For seniors Ify Ossai and Lynell Davis, the Red’s games against Princeton (9-16, 4-7) and Penn (12-12, 6-5) will represent their last as members of the squad.
Tonight, Cornell faces Princeton and will be looking to avenge its three-point loss to the Tigers earlier in the season.
“Hopefully, we can continue to do a similar thing offensively that we did against Princeton in our last game against them,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “Defensively, we definitely had a lapse in the second half of the first game, so we really need to sustain our defensive effort for 40 minutes. That is going to be the key. Princeton is very talented. They shoot a lot of 3’s, they are versatile players, so we just have to play some smart basketball. We didn’t in the last 10 minutes of that first game.”
Ranked fifth in the league, Princeton is coming off a weekend which it began with a three-point victory over Yale, 74-71, but was on the losing end of a 68-50 score to Brown the following night.
In the win over Yale, freshman forward Rebecca Brown led the Tigers with 21 points on 8-for-19 shooting from the field. She also added 10 rebounds to the cause. Senior forward Maureen Lane contributed 20 points on 7-for-14 shooting, including a 6-for-9 effort from 3-point range.
In the loss Saturday, Brown and Lane again led the pack, with the freshman tallying 14 points and eight rebounds, and the senior adding 13 points of her own.
On the season, this duo leads the Tigers statistically. Brown is averaging a team-high 13.9 points per game on .560 shooting from the field with 6.2 rebounds per game. Lane is third on the team with 11.1 ppg and is second with 5.4 rpg.
“We are going to have to play team defense. It is hard to key in on one of their players because they all can shoot the 3-pointer, which makes it difficult,” Smith said of the team’s strategy. “Brown is a very good post player, so we do need to focus on trying to stop her. Lane is dangerous anytime. She has had a great career and can play on the perimeter. So those two, we are going to worry about them, but if you focus too much on just them, their guards can shoot the three and end up hurting you.”
For Penn, last weekend featured games against Brown and Yale, but yielded different outcomes. The Red is looking for revenge against a 10-point loss earlier this season to the Quakers.
“Penn is very talented. They have a very balanced team with a very good post game and good 3-point shooters in a few players. I think we played very poor transition defense the last time we played them. We know we can’t allow them any open shots and we need to keep them off the boards,” Smith said. “In the first game against them, we came out very flat offensively and started out the game 7-0 and we just can’t do that. We can’t put ourselves in a hole in the beginning of the game and expect to come back and compete evenly with a team like Penn.”
On Friday, fourth-place Penn ran away from the Bears to win 82-58, but the next night, it suffered a 75-63 loss against the Bulldogs. In the win, Penn had contributions from several players. Junior guard Jewel Clark tied sophomore forward Katie Kilker for a game-high 17 points.
Clark got there off by shooting 8-for-18 with five rebounds. Kilker had a game-high 11 rebounds with an outstanding effort from the field, shooting 7-for-11. Sophomore guards Karen Habrukowich and Cat Makarewich also contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively.
In the loss, Clark was the standout with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Makarewich added 11 points of her own.
On the season, Clark has continued her brilliance from past years. She is averaging team-highs in points (19.5 ppg) and rebounds (9.6 rpg), and is shooting .469 from the field. Kilker leads the team with a .557 field goal mark and averages 13.0 ppg and 7.3 rpg. Habrukowich is the only other Penn player to average in double-digits for points with 12.9. She also pulls down 3.2 rpg.
“Jewel Clark is probably one of the most athletic players in the league,” Smith commented. “We need to contain her.”
Princeton’s Brown and the Quakers’ Clark were both named to the Ivy honor roll this past week.
“We like what we have been doing lately the last couple weeks, so hopefully we come out with a lot of energy at the beginning of both games and don’t put ourselves in a hole,” Smith said. “Defensively, we are going to have to play two very good games.”
The Red will face Princeton tonight at 7 p.m. and will face Penn tomorrow night at the same time. Both contests will be held in Newman Arena.
Archived article by Katherine Granish