February 12, 2007

W. Cagers Split Ivy Weekend

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In an up-and-down road weekend, the women’s basketball team held off Brown for a 68-59 victory on Friday night before appearing out-of-synch in a 61-45 loss at Yale a day later.

“It wasn’t our prettiest victory against Brown, but a win is a win,” said sophomore forward Shannan Scarselletta. “We were pretty disappointed with the Yale game, though. It was a terrible loss — we didn’t play well at all.”

Cornell forwards Moina Snyder and Jeomi Maduka stole the show against the Bears. Snyder collected 20 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Meanwhile, Maduka contributed 17 points, a game-high eight boards and tallied three steals.

Shooting an eye-opening 59.1 percent in the first half against Brown (4-18, 2-6 Ivy), the Red opened up a 29-20 halftime lead after holding the Bears to just three points in the last 7:04 of the first half.
[img_assist|nid=21304|title=Strong Like Bull|desc=Sophomore Shannan Scarselletta (left) tries to bulldoze her way past Harvard’s Emily Moretzohn in Cornell’s 71-57 loss Feb. 3.|link=none|align=left|width=67|height=100]

Cornell (9-12, 5-3) slowly built that lead in the first 10 minutes of the second period, building as much as an 18-point lead, 46-28, near the midpoint of the half. However, aided by an 11-0 scoring run, Brown came roaring back to cut Cornell’s lead to three points with 2:26 to play.

Nevertheless, the Red dominated the game from there on out, closing the contest with a 9-3 run to take the victory.

“We’ve been in the position before when we’ve been up by a lot and then the other team’s gone on a run,” Scarsalletta said. “This time, though, we were able to stop them and pull ahead for good. It helped us recognize some growth in our team.”

Unlike in the Brown game, Cornell’s shooting against Yale (11-11, 4-4) on Saturday started off cold, with the team connecting on just 35 percent of its attempts in the first half. Still, the Red managed to stay close to the Bulldogs throughout the first half until an 8-2 Yale run gave the home team a 29-21 advantage at the break.

In the second half, Cornell continued to struggle from the floor — managing a meager 20 percent from the floor — as Yale cruised to the 16-point win, dropping the Red to third in the Ivy standings.

Although its shooting was the most obvious struggle against the Bulldogs, Scarsalletta also blamed Cornell’s poor defense and rebounding — Yale held a 41-32 advantage on the boards — for the loss.

“We didn’t rebound well at all and had almost no second chance opportunities. Our defense didn’t play well either,” Scarsalletta said. “Overall, we just weren’t in the right mindset.”

One of the few bright spots for Cornell came in the play of freshman Allie Fedorowicz, who registered a career-high 10 points. Maduka also played well, collecting nine points and and a team-high eight rebounds in five minutes

The weekend split leaves Cornell in third place in the Ivy League standings, 1 1/2 games behind first place Harvard. However, with six games left to play, Cornell is optomistic about its chances

“We’re still in it,” Scarsalletta said. “We’re not going to let up at all … just scrappy basketball from here on out.”