The Red had its first chance to prove itself this weekend, and the team stepped up to the challenge.
The women’s basketball team went 1-1 this weekend at the UMBC Retriever Tip-Off Tournament. Powered by several career performances, the Red won its opening game against Mount St. Mary’s, 70-60, before falling to Coppin State in the championship game yesterday, 60-50.
“We’re really happy with the effort,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “We have to learn who we are and learn to play 40 minutes of good basketball.”
On Saturday, sophomore Amy Lyon scored a career-high 19 points to lead the way for the Red against Mount St. Mary’s. Classmate Claire Perry added 15 points and senior Sarah Brown chipped in with 13 — career bests for both players. Lyon and Perry made their first career starts, as did sophomore Katherine Stritzl and freshman Morgan Dickens. Stritzl handed out eight assists to go along with six points, and Dickens had six points and two blocks for the Red.
“We had some very good individual performances,” Smith said. “They’ve never been given the opportunity to get out there and try to do it. As the opportunity presents itself, they’ll prove it.”
The inexperience that was supposed to be a serious weakness for the Red didn’t slow the team down. After a back and forth first half, the Red was down, 30-29, at the half.
“We showed them where the weaknesses were in Mount St. Mary’s press,” Smith said. “Then we took care of the ball and were more aggressive.”
The Red gave up only three turnovers in the second half, controlling the ball and the game. Cornell pulled ahead for good with six minutes left on the strength of 57 percent three-point shooting in the second half and a 19-for-24 performance at the foul line over the course of the game. The Red held the opposition to 35 percent shooting from the field en route to the victory.
The Red could not find another come-from-behind performance on Sunday against Coppin State.
“Coppin State was much more physical,” Smith said. “They had a stronger presence inside and two guards who were just hot and hit a lot of open threes.”
The battle down low gave the Lady Eagles the edge. Coppin out-rebounded Cornell, 39-23. Sophomore Talia Sutton pulled down a game-high 12 boards for the Red, including 10 offensive rebounds.
The Red took an early lead, but the Lady Eagles answered with 10 straight points to go up, 12-4. Brown answered with a three-pointer to get the Red back in the action, but Coppin State held Cornell without a field goal in the last five minutes of the first half to take the lead at halftime, 30-23.
“They played a full-court man-to-man press and were more aggressive,” Smith said. “We shot the ball well, but didn’t get enough possessions.”
The Red shot over 46 percent from the floor on the night, but got off only 14 shot attempts in each half. Cornell couldn’t cut down its turnovers in the second half as it did against Mount St. Mary’s the night before, and finished the game with 25. Coppin State broke the game open with an 11-0 run in the middle of the second half to push its lead to 55-35 with nine minutes left in the game.
“Coppin State had six seniors on the team,” she said. “We’re learning who we are and learning to play 40 minutes of basketball.”
Archived article by Olivia Dwyer
Sun Staff Writer