January 16, 2009

W. Basketball Looks to Turn it Around in First Ivy Matchup

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The women’s basketball team could use all the holiday cheer it could find over the winter break, because the holiday was anything but cheery inside Newman Arena.
The Red (4-8) was held winless in five contests, losing by an average of 17 points per game.
After a three-week respite, the Red came out flat against St. Bonaventure on Dec. 22, losing 49-70 in Olean, N.Y. The one bright spot was the performance of senior forward Shannan Scarselletta, who led the team with 14 points.
[img_assist|nid=34139|title=Lucky 13|desc=Junior guard Allie Fedorowicz (13) drives against St. Francis at Newman Arena in November, when the Red was in the middle of an undefeated streak at home.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The team’s captain seems to be quickly accepting her leadership role as an upperclassman on a particularly young squad.
In a two-game trip down in Florida, Cornell was dominated by Florida Gulf Coast 36-70 on Dec. 30 and three days later lost to Miami in a tough effort, 47-61. In that game, Scarselletta went 7-for-10 from the field and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Back at home, the tenor changed only slightly, as the Red lost a close game to local rival Binghamton on Jan. 5, 51-56. Cornell put up a good effort against the Bearcats, dominating the boards during the contest and out-rebounding its opponents 44-30.
Junior point guard Lauren Benson put up a strong individual performance, scoring 14 points and notching nine rebounds with four assists.
Despite the home team’s efforts, however, Binghamton snapped Cornell’s 11-game win streak at Newman Arena.
With little time to lick its wounds, the Red traveled to Lewisburg, Penn., on Jan. 7, where it suffered its fifth loss in a row, dropping its overall season record to 4-8 after its 45-56 defeat by the Bucknell Bison.
With the Red 12 games into its season, Scarselletta is so far leading her squad with 12.2 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. Benson is leading the team in assists with 4.7 helpers per contest, while shooting 35 percent from the field and 28 percent from behind the arc.
On Saturday, the Red will start its Ivy League schedule and look to defend its conference title with a match-up against Columbia in New York City.
The .500 Lions (7-7) will then travel up to Ithaca next weekend to face the Red in a rematch.
Columbia has won its las two games and is led by sophomore forward Judie Lomax. With 14.2 points per game along with pulling down an average of 13.7 boards, Lomax has been Columbia’s high scorer in 10 of the squad’s 14 contests. Sharing an opponent, both the Red and the Lions hosted St. Francis back in November and defeated the visiting team by a substantial margin.