November 27, 2006

W. Basketball Drops Two

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While most Cornell students stayed at home this weekend to enjoy Thanksgiving leftovers, the women’s basketball team took to the road to face some of its toughest competition of the season at the Klosterman Buckeye Classic in Columbus, Ohio. The Red dropped both of its tournament games, losing to No. 6 Ohio State, 77-43, on Saturday before falling, 67-39, to Davidson yesterday.

In both contests, Cornell displayed resiliency by hanging close to its opponents early in the game. However, plagued by poor shooting performances and numerous turnovers, the Red could not keep pace with either counterpart.

Against the host Buckeyes, Cornell got on the board first with an early bucket from sophomore Jeomi Maduka. Ohio scored the next nine points, but the Red came right back with scores from Maduka and sophomore Shannan Scarselletta to cut the deficit to three points.

[img_assist|nid=20233|title=CLAIRE-VOYANT|desc=Senior tri-captain Claire Perry (21) had five points and an assist in Cornell’s 67-39 loss to Davidson.|link=popup|align=left|width=57|height=100]
That was as close as Cornell would come to tying the game, however, as the Buckeyes used a 19-3 run to work its way to a 44-21 halftime lead. After trading scores early in the second half, OSU scored 10 straight points to open up a 60-27 lead with 13:05 to play. From there, the Red battled its hosts evenly to the 77-43 final score.

With 21 points and nine rebounds, Maduka — the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year — led Cornell in both statistical categories. Sophomore Kayleen Fitzsimmons also added 11 points and three assists.

Jessica Davenport led all scorers with 24 points and had 10 rebounds for Ohio.

For the game, Cornell shot just 29.2 percent from the floor compared to the Buckeye’s 50.9 field goal percentage. Meanwhile, the Red also struggled to take care of the ball, turning it over 20 times, double the number of turnovers committed by Ohio.

Unfortunately for the Red, that trend would continue into its next game as it committed 35 turnovers to Davidson’s 17. Cornell also struggled with its shooting in the second contest, making just 30.0 percent of its attempts from the field and 18.8 percent of its shots from beyond the arc.

Despite these issues, the Red stayed within striking distance of the Wildcats throughout the first half. Falling behind 13-4 early, Cornell chipped away at the lead until freshman guard Virginia McMunigal scored four consecutive points to put the Red ahead, 22-21, with 3:50 left in the first frame.

Davidson held Cornell scoreless for the rest of the first half to take a 26-22 lead by the end of the half. In the second half, the Wildcats opened with an 11-0 run to take a 37-22 lead with 15:30 to play. Cornell continued to struggle on offense, and unable to stop Davidson on the defensive end, couldn’t prevent the squad from cruising to victory.

Scarsalletta and McMunigal each scored nine points to lead the Red. Maduka added seven points and six rebounds, but committed a team-high and season-high 10 turnovers. One of Cornell’s few bright spots came on the boards, as the Red out-rebounded Davidson 33-25 on the game, with edges in both offensive and defensive rebounds. Cornell also missed only one free throw, making 12-of-13.