January 19, 2009

Cornell Gives Up Lead in First Ivy Game of Season

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The women’s basketball team collapsed in its first Ivy League game of the 2008-09 season, giving up an eight-point second half lead en route to a 47-44 loss to Columbia on Saturday. Kathleen Barry led Columbia’s offense with 14 points and also sank two crucial free throws at the end of the game to push the lead to three points. Senior forward Shannan Scarselletta paced Cornell with 17 points and seven rebounds.[img_assist|nid=34185|title=Eyes front|desc=Junior guard Lauren Benson drives against St. Francis on Nov. 24, 2008. She scored 10 points against Columbia.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
It was the Red’s (4-9, 0-1 Ivy) first visit to Levien Gymnasium in New York City since its 64-47 playoff win over Dartmouth on March 16, the win that handed Cornell its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. Since that victory, the team has struggled, losing some of its highest scorers and going 4-10.
Early in the game, Allie Fedorowicz grabbed a steal and took it the length of the court for a layup to put Cornell ahead, 12-8. Columbia’s Judie Lomax brought the Lions within one point by hitting a free throw then grabbing a rebound and dishing it to Barry for the easy basket.
Columbia used tight defense to recover from a 10-3 Cornell run, down just three points at halftime.
A short jumper by Scarselletta gave the Red its largest lead of the game, 43-35, but Columbia responded with a 10-0 run and reclaimed the lead, 45-43, with just over two minutes to play.
The Lions used the charity stripe to their advantage throughout the game, but especially down the stretch. Columbia made 13-of-16 free throws compared to 2-of-9 for the Red.
The Red shot 39.6 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from long range, while holding Columbia to 34 percent from the field and 20 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Junior guard Lauren Benson added 10 points and five rebounds for the Red. Benson also handed out three assists but she turned the ball over six times.
Lomax was Columbia’s leading rebounder with 15, including five off the offensive glass, and she added nine points of her own.