The women’s basketball team faced its first Big 10 opponent in program history this weekend, dropping a tough contest to Indiana, 75-41, in the opening game of the Indiana Classic on Saturday. The Red (0-2) then fell in the consolation game yesterday to Indiana State, 89-58. Senior Tanya Karcic put forth two solid efforts on the weekend and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
On Saturday, Indiana exploded after scoring only seven points in the first six minutes, going on a 29-2 run. The Red put up only nine points in the first half, with Karcic putting up five.
“[Indiana was] pretty much over aggressive with their defense and pretty much brought us out of our offense. On the offensive end, they went on a scoring spurt where they couldn’t miss a basket,” said Cornell head coach Dayna Smith.
The Red changed its offensive strategy in the second half and went on a run of its own late in the game after the Hoosiers stretched their lead to 41.
“We changed up our offense a little bit, we went to more of a motion offense. We tried to create some different things because their screen defense was so good,” remarked Smith. “We got some things going in the offensive end, got some emotion and energy generated, and really started playing better defense.”
With the cagers’ 21-12 run over the last eight minutes of the game, Indiana only outscored the Red by three in the second half. Karcic put up a double-double, with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and was 2-for-3 from behind the arc.
“On the stat sheet, you could tell she scored some points, but I was more impressed and happy with her defensive effort. She did a great job against their tall forwards. She moved her feet well, and got some good rebounds for us,” said Smith.
Senior tri-captain Karen Force chipped in seven points and four rebounds. After shooting only 13.3 percent in the first, the Red shot nearly 50 percent from the floor in the second half.
The Red jumped out to a 5-0 lead against Indiana State yesterday, but the Sycamores responded with a 15-1 tear midway through the half. Senior tri-captain Lauren Kilduff led all players in scoring at the break with 10 points, but the Red found itself down by 15 going into the intermission.
“We were playing well for the first eight, nine minutes, battling right with them. We had the lead a little bit and we were breaking their press pretty well. Indiana State just turned it up a notch, and we just didn’t respond,” said Smith.
Indiana State extended its lead to 30 eight minutes into the half and shot 50 percent from the field. Senior tri-captain Katie Romey was a bright spot for the Red, as she scored 11 of her 18 points in the second half. She was one of three Cornell players who reached double-digit scoring.
“I thought Katie and Lauren had much better games [against Indiana State]. They looked for things, they penetrated to the hoop. Indiana State played a zone the entire game, so they took a lot of nice, open shots. They set it up before they caught the pass, and they knocked them down, and anytime they do that, they’re going to be good shooters,” lauded Smith.
Karcic racked up another double-double, with 10 points and 16 rebounds, along with seven assists. Force had a tough night, as she was 0-for-6 from the field, but connected on both of her free throw attempts. She only played 22 minutes, despite feeling the affects of her injury in the offseason.
“She’s a tough kid, and she played through a lot of pain, and that’s something we’re going to have to learn to manage,” said Smith. “She’s still our leader on the court. The offense just wasn’t there for her, but hopefully it will change down the road.”
The Red will travel to Loretto, Penn. tomorrow to face St. Francis, and will open its home season against Bucknell on Dec. 5.
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach