February 6, 2004

W. Hoops Looks for Home Wins

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After a bittersweet split against Harvard and Dartmouth last weekend, the women’s basketball team (7-10, 2-2 Ivy) will continue its quest to reach the top of the Ivy League when it takes on Brown (9-8, 2-2) today and Yale (3-14, 0-4) tomorrow.

On paper, this should be a considerably easier weekend for the Red, after the team faced two of the best teams in the conference last weekend. Brown is currently on a downward skid after losing to Princeton and Penn last weekend, but the Bears will almost certainly be the tougher of Cornell’s opponents this weekend. Yale, a less imposing team, has yet to garner its first Ivy win.

Cornell has quite a few positives heading into this weekend. After a highly successful 66-64 overtime win last Friday, and a very close 81-76 loss to current Ivy leader Dartmouth on Saturday, the Red’s spirits are high to say the least.

Primarily known as a guard-heavy squad, Cornell has shown its versatility down low with senior forward Tanya Karcic averaging a squad-leading 16.3 points per game. On the defensive end, coach Dayna Smith has also called upon Karcic time and time again to contain the opposition’s top forwards. Additionally, quality play from seniors Karen Force, Katie Romey, and Lauren Kilduff has propelled this squad into serious contention with the best in the Ivy League.

Despite the Red’s recent success against tough teams, this weekend is still up for grabs. The Bears should be a tough squad with which to contend, as Brown currently has the best defense in the conference, allowing only 62.5 points per game. In addition, the Bears are fourth in scoring, ranked just above Cornell. Similar to the Red, the Bears have a balanced attack. Seniors Nyema Mitchell and Tanara Golston currently score 14.8 and 11.5 points per game, respectively. Mitchell is a rebounding machine, who was fourth in the league in rebounds last year. With her help, the Bears are first in the Ivy conference in offensive rebounds, a category in which the Red has struggled due to its lack of size.

Yale is the weakest team in the Ivy League, and has struggled all season. The Bulldogs do, however, have standout freshman center Erica Davis who currently leads Yale with 10.9 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game. Whether or not Davis can take advantage of the Red’s lack of size will have a major effect on tomorrow’s final result.

Tip-off against Brown is tonight at 7 p.m. in Newman Arena. The Red will play Yale tomorrow at the same time, same place.


Archived article by Michael Pandolfini