March 6, 2006

W. Hoops Swept at Home

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The women’s basketball team (8-19, 5-9 Ivy) fell victim to two second-half letdowns at home this weekend, losing 78-69 to Harvard (12-14, 8-5 Ivy) before falling to Dartmouth (20-6, 11-2 Ivy), 67-56, in its season finale.

“I thought we should have gotten the win against Harvard,” said senior co-captain Brittani Rettig. “We improved on Saturday night.”

Freshman Kayleen Fitzsimmons enjoyed the best weekend of her career, leading the Cornell attack with a combined 38 points and eight assists between the two games. Further, against the Crimson, the underclassmen tied Suzy Onze ’94 for the second best single-game mark for three-point shooting in Cornell history, going 7-10 from beyond the arc en route to a career high 23 points.

“She played real well,” Rettig said. “She made very smart decisions. I expect a lot out of her in the future.”

Fitzsimmons played a critical part in helping the Red build a fifteen point lead in the first half of that game, draining two three-pointers as part of a 16-2 run that put Cornell in front 31-16 with 6:23 remaining in the first half.

Harvard, however, quickly regained momentum. Using a 10-4 run at the end of the first-half to cut the halftime deficit to 37-28, the Crimson would go on to dominate much of the second-half, eventually gaining a 61-48 lead with six minutes to go.

“We started off well – they just came out and played strong in the second half,” Rettig said. “We just didn’t match them.”

Though Cornell clawed its way to just seven down, 70-63, at the 2:53 mark, the team could not shrink the margin any further. Freshman Jeomi Maduka and Sophomore Lindsay Krasna had strong outings for the Red in the losing effort, collecting 15 and 14 points, respectively. Also, despite shooting just 39.1 percent from the field overall, Cornell managed to connect on 55.6 percent of its 3-point attempts, much to do with Fitzsimmons’ performance that evening.

Niki Finelli and Laura Robinson led Harvard scorers with 16 points apiece. Katie Rollins also came up big for the Crimson, falling just short of the double-double with eight points and 12 boards.

Harvard shot a blistering 62.5 percent from the field in its 50-point second half on its way to the win. The Crimson also took advantage of the Red in the frontcourt, claiming a 43-30 advantage in rebounds and outscoring Cornell 40-20 with points in the paint.

It was deja-vu for Cornell the following evening, as Dartmouth also used its advantage in the frontcourt and strong second-half shooting to earn the win.

Similar to its game against Harvard, the Red built a sizable first-half lead against the Green, going up 17-8 at the 11:25 mark. However, Dartmouth, battling back with an 11-2 run, took a 25-24 lead into the half.

The Green retained that momentum after the break opening up a 41-29 lead with 10:10 to go in the game. Again, Cornell battled back to make the lead single-digits, but, unable to close the gap any further, could not avoid the loss.

Sydney Scott and Angie Soriaga each had 16 points apiece to pace Dartmouth. Krista Perry also grabbed 15 rebounds for the Green on the night, helping team enjoy a 39-28 overall advantage in boards.

Meanwhile, Rettig, in her final career game with the Red, had a memorable night with 11 points and four rebounds.

She and classmates Sarah Brown and Hillary Seidel enjoyed Senior Night festivities before the game as well as started against Dartmouth. All three players have served as Cornell co-captains over the past two seasons.

“It was really emotional night,” Rettig said. “We really wanted to make the most of our last game.”

Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer