The women’s basketball team (6-8, 1-0 Ivy) enjoyed great success over this past winter break, including a 61-50 win over Columbia in the Ivy opener and the team’s first win against Syracuse since 1974. Overall, the team compiled a 5-4 record in nine games over break.
The winter break began with the annual Cornell Classic, in which the Red won the opener against Bucknell, 68-62, and the championship match against James Madison, 66-55.
“We’ve been a different team since the Classic,” explained head coach Dayna Smith. “We’ve finally learned to play together a little bit.”
A highlight for the Red was its win over Ivy rival Columbia on Jan. 15. The Lions have a major size advantage over the Red, and boast standout guard Sue Altman, who scored 13 points. However, on the strength of double-doubles from senior forwards Tanya Karcic and Dani Aretino, Cornell came out on top, 61-50. Karcic scored a game-high 22 points, while Aretino tied a career high with 11. Each had 10 rebounds on the game. In addition, senior Lauren Kilduff scored 16 points while classmate Karen Force added 11.
“Playing some teams [early on] like Indiana, Indiana State, St. Francis, Syracuse, and St. John’s prepared us for that game,” said Smith. “We’ve faced some 6-8 girls, 6-5 girls, and we’ve learned how to play some team defense against post players and contain athletic guards.”
Another notable win for the Red was its victory over Syracuse on Dec. 20, Cornell’s first since 1974. The Red scored a season-high 82 points with four players scoring in double figures, while holding the Orange to just 62. Tri-captain Katie Romey went 10-for-14 from the floor and had 23 points on the night.
“Looking across the court and seeing what names are on the other team’s jerseys has hurt us,” said Smith. “I think beating Syracuse is a huge hurdle that our program had to get over.”
Despite several successes over the break, the Red has suffered losses in three out of its last four games. On Tuesday, Cornell fell 77-62 to Duquesne. Romey led the team with 17 points, while Aretino picked up her second consecutive double-double; however, this was not enough for Cornell. The Dukes’s Candace Futrell gave the Red fits all night long, scoring 30 points, including six 3-pointers.
“We played a hard-fought game,” said Smith. “They have just a fantastic point guard in Futrell.”
Overall for the break, Cornell outscored its opponents by an average margin of 4.1 points per game, and was able to establish itself on both ends of the court, something the team did not to in the first four games of the season.
“We’ve had some people really start to fill in some roles for us,” Smith said.
Archived article by Michael Pandolfini