January 30, 2009

W. Basketball Goes on Road In Bid to Keep Momentum

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The Red will hit the road this weekend in search of its first win away from Newman Arena, as the team travels first to Providence, R.I. to face Brown, and then to New Haven, Conn. to meet Yale. Cornell will look to build on its win against Columbia last Saturday and gather momentum as it gets into the thick of Ivy play.
The Bears (3-13, 1-1 Ivy League) have had a rough opening to their season, suffering losses to several nationally-acclaimed basketball programs such as Georgetown, Rhode Island and the University of Massachusetts. After beating Yale in thrilling fashion, 64-62, on January 16, the Bulldogs came back to clobber Brown, 71-37, back on the Bears’ home court less than a week later.
Brown has struggled offensively this year, with its leading scorer, sophomore guard Karly Grace, averaging less than eight points per game. The Bears do however have an answer for Cornell and junior point guard Lauren Benson at the “1”, namely their own tenacious on-court general — junior Courtney Lee, who leads the team with 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Benson will surely look to put on a similar performance to the one she displayed last time Cornell faced Brown, when she led the team with 11 points and helped guide the Red to a 65-41 victory.[img_assist|nid=34590|title=Hands up|desc=Junior guard Allie Fedorowicz (13) drives on a defender during the Red’s 58-53 win over Columbia last Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The Bulldogs (8-8, 1-1) have fared better so far this season, with key wins over Quinnipiac (77-73 on December 21) and N.C. State (65-61 on November 22). Junior wing Melissa Colborne has been the main offensive threat all year for Yale and is averaging an impressive 17.1 points per game. In the win over Brown, Colborne scored 19 points to raise her career total to 1,000, as well as contributed to Yale’s best defensive effort in 12 years. The Bulldogs do, however, feature a balanced squad, and field three players who are averaging at least nine points per contest — sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield, senior guard Jamie Van Horn and junior forward Haywood Wright.
Following her breakout performance last Saturday, freshman forward Allie Munson was named Ivy League Rookie of the week. The underclassman came off the bench to notch 17 points (11 in the second half), seven rebounds and two blocks. Despite the effort, there have been no reports of senior Shannan Scarselletta or sophomore Susie Doyle losing their spots in the starting lineup to Munson, who will most likely continue to play off the bench and contribute as a key role player.
In fact, since emerging as a natural team leader at the beginning of the season, Scarselletta has played consistently well and provided the dominant presence inside that head coach Dayna Smith was looking for. The forward is leading the team with 12.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, while averaging 33 minutes of play per contest.
The Red will tip-off against Brown at 7 p.m. tonight at the Pizzitola Center, while the game against Yale is set to start at 6 p.m. tomorrow.