November 21, 2005

W. Basketball Splits at Tourney

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After barely slipping into the overtime period yesterday against Niagara at the St Bonaventure Shootout, the women’s basketball team made the most of its second chance, defeating the Purple Eagles 75-63 to earn a split for the weekend after losing to St. Bonaventure, 62-52, on Saturday.

“We played fantastic,” said sophomore Claire Perry. “We definitely have a different team than last year. We were really excited to get started.”

Niagara guard Shaunna Abrose had a chance to clinch the win for her team in regulation when, with the Red leading 61-60, the junior was awarded a pair of free throws with 1.8 seconds to play. After making the first, Ambrose missed the second, and, after her desperation shot off the rebound also missed, the game headed to the extra frame.

Taking advantage of its second life, Cornell exploded for 14 points in overtime, finishing the game on a 7-0 run.

In just her second collegiate game, freshman Jeomi Maduka emerged as dominant force for the Red, collecting 22 points, nine boards and five steals. For her efforts over the weekend, Maduka earned All-Tournament team honors.

“Jeomi really stepped up,” Perry said. “A lot of the freshmen really played big for us.”

Meanwhile, sophomore Meghan Hughes and Perry also had impressive performances for Cornell in the win over Niagara. Hughes, with 12 points and 11 rebounds, posted the first double-double of her collegiate career, while Perry dropped in 14 points for the Red.

Though the game began as a back-and-forth affair, Niagara put together a 13-2 run midway through first half to jump out to a 33-20 lead. The Red, however, battled back with a 16-4 run of its own to close out the period, culminating with senior guard Sarah Brown’s buzzer-beating trey to make it just a 37-36 advantage at halftime.

In the second half, the teams battled neck and neck once more, with neither side gaining more than a four-point advantage on its counterpart.

Niagara built a three-point lead with just 2:43 remaining. However, Maduka brought the Red back to the front, scoring four straight to grant Cornell a 61-60 edge with 1:41 left.

The teams then went scoreless over the next 1:40 before Ambrose was fouled while driving for winning bucket.

Abrose led the Purple Eagles with 24 points – 18 of them coming in the first half.

“We did a great job with defense on her in the second half,” Perry said.

On the night, the Red’s major advantage came from the foul line. Cornell connected on 23-of-28 attempts (82.1 percent) from the stripe, while Niagara made just 11-of-17 foul shots (64.7 percent).

In the Red’s season-opener on Saturday, Cornell repeatedly battled back from behind, but could never overcome St. Bonaventure, which held on for the 62-52 victory.

Falling behind 8-0, 21-14 and 43-27 at different points throughout the game, each time the Red used to runs to bring the game to within one possession.

“It was really important for us to prove we can come back from a deficit,” Perry said. “It shows a huge contrast from last year.”

In the last situation, Cornell, using 3-point plays from both Perry and freshman Shannan Scarselletta, outscored the Bonnies 15-2 over a five-minute period to cut the lead to 45-42 with under eight minutes to play. However, the Red would never come any closer as St. Bonaventure cruised to the 10-point victory. In comparison to St. Bonaventure’s 47.8 shooting percentage, the Red struggled from the floor, scoring on only 38.5 percent of its attempts. However, Cornell did show a deft touch from behind the arc, knocking down 41.7 percent of its 3-point shots.

For the night, Perry led Red scorers with 13 points, while Scarselletta and sophomore Lindsay Krasna added 11 and 10, respectively.

St. Bonaventure’s Stefanie Collins scored a game-high 21 points.

Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer