November 9, 2007

Returning Starters Lead W. Basketball

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After opening the 2006-07 campaign with seven straight losses, the women’s basketball team (12-15, 8-6 Ivy) won 12 of its final 20 games to finish third in the Ivy League while tying the school record for conference victories. With four returning starters, head coach Dayna Smith will look to keep the momentum rolling for the Red.
“Defensively we’re getting stronger and gaining a better understanding of the team concept,” Smith said. “We still have a ways to go this year, but offensively we are clicking.”
Not included among the four returning starters is junior forward Jeomi Maduka, 2005 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and two-time second-team All-Ivy selection.
Maduka, who has led the Red in scoring, rebounding and steals in both of her first two seasons at Cornell, provided a spark off the bench in 2006-07.
Joining Maduka in the paint are junior Shannan Scarselletta, a Sun columnist, and senior tri-captain Moina Snyder. The forward tandem helped maintain a physical presence on both sides of the ball, as each player ranked in the top-10 in the Ivy League in blocks while adding a combined 15.7 points per game.
After transferring to Cornell last year, Snyder worked her way into the Red record books with a .513 shooting percentage and 36 blocks, the second and fourth highest marks, respectively, in school history. Returning to start in the backcourt will be junior guard Kayleen Fitzsimmons and sophomore point guard Lauren Benson. Benson joined the starting lineup for the final 15 games of the 2006-07 campaign and immediately made an impact, leading the team with 2.7 assists per game, 10th in the league.
Fitzsimmons, who led the Red in minutes played last year (26.3), proved to be a versatile guard who can step into the role of scorer or playmaker, totaling 8.2 points per game while adding 2.5 assists per game last season.
There is depth at the guard positions with five returning players and three freshmen that will vie for playing time this year. Junior Lacey Workman and sophomore Virginia McMunigal return with sophomore Allie Fedorowicz, who led the Red in 3-point percentage last year.
Freshmen Emma Shalaway and Sasha Tuong will compete for time with the Red’s six returning guards. Classmate Susie Doyle comes to Cornell from Dublin, Ireland, and will contribute at the guard and forward position after leading her Irish national teams to the European championships in 2004 and 2006.
The freshmen will be welcomed by senior-tri captains Snyder, Gretchen Gregg and Megan Hughes. Gregg and Hughes each appeared in 25 games last year and are the only three-year letter winners on this year’s squad.