Despite coming within seven points in the last two minutes of Tuesday’s game, the women’s basketball team (0-4, 0-0 Ivy) was unable to finish as the Red dropped its fourth straight to Colgate (4-1, 0-0 Patriot), 77-63. The Red trailed the entire game, but was for the most part able to keep pace with the Raiders.
“As a whole, we were in the game throughout the course of the game,” explained head coach Dayna Smith. “It was the first time of the season we came out ready to play.”
Despite being down 5-0 after Colgate senior tri-captain Malissa Burke nailed a three-pointer, the Red battled back hard and was only losing 36-31 at the half. However, Colgate would streak again at the start of the second half and was soon enough up 42-31.
The Red came within nine points three separate times, but by the fourth quarter was down significantly, 66-48. At this point, Cornell went on a 13-2 run, but would never get any closer than this seven-point margin. The game would end 77-63.
“The most disappointing thing was the amount of layups and easy shots that we missed,” said Smith, “although we did feel like we were in the game the whole time.”
Cornell was able to get several players going who had struggled in the first few games of the season. Senior Tanya Karcic produced 19 points, which was the most of any Cornell player. In addition, senior Karen Force — who has been struggling with an injury — battled back to score 16 points and sink both of her three point attempts.
“I thought it was huge for Karen,” said Smith happily. “She hasn’t been putting up the offensive numbers, but last night she played like she did last year. She was aggressive, she had some power in her shot, and she got to the hole.”
However, the Red struggled to control several of the Raiders’ stars. Freshman phenomenon Molly Patterson tied her career high in points with 17. All five of the Raiders starters were in double digits, as the Red continues to struggle on defense this season.
“We were expecting her to be their go-to scorer on the perimeter,” said Smith, referring to Patterson. “She kind of got hot in the second half. She’s a very good player.”
This game marked the first game this season where the Red was truly competitive. Cornell needed this kind of turnaround, especially returning to the East Hill this weekend to play in the Cornell Classic.
“I think last night’s game was just a huge step for us,” said Smith. “I think we gained some confidence. We are seeing the benefits of playing such a tough early schedule.”
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini