February 17, 2009

Despite Tough ‘D’, Red Loses by Double-Digits

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[SIDEBAR]Although its defense was formidable, Cornell produced its worse offensive performance of the season in a loss to Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., Saturday night, 55-36.
Shooting only 21 percent from the field, the Red (7-13, 3-5 Ivy) was unable to get into any offensive rhythm in the face of the Green’s (12-9, 7-0 Ivy) defensive pressure, and was unable to reach 20 points in either period. The loss is Cornell’s fourth-straight against an Ivy opponent, following the team’s 3-1 start in conference play.[img_assist|nid=35188|title=On the run|desc=Freshman forward Allison Abt (34) dribbles away from a Princeton defender Feb. 6. Abt scored 11 points against Dartmouth, with six rebounds.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“When you miss a lot of 3’s and don’t get offensive boards, it’s going to be a long night,” said head coach Dayna Smith.
The Red saw a return of inconsistent and streaky shooting, draining less than 18 percent of its attempts from long-range. Typical of many of its losses this season, Cornell was also overmatched on the glass, losing the rebounding battle 40-19 on the defensive end, and 12-7 on the offensive end.
“[Dartmouth] did a good job collapsing on the forwards and playing tough post-defense,” Smith said. “And we didn’t have any easy baskets.”
Freshman forward Allison Abt got a turn in the starting lineup, and made the most of it, leading the Red with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 32 minutes of playing time. Junior guard Virginia McMunigal added 7 points, and fellow junior guard Allie Fedorowicz notched 4 assists.
The team did, however, put-up a solid defensive performance — an aspect of its game the Red committed a lot of time to in practice after suffering a couple of tough losses over the past few weeks.
“We worked hard on defense, and we had a good week of practice,” Smith said. “I was happy with the defense, for the most part. I thought we did a better job of driving some of the forwards out of the lane.”
Asked if the team is starting to feel any pressure to string-together wins against Ivy opponents, Smith sent a strong signal to her team:
“We have good players on this team and they need to step-up to the challenge, and each person needs to believe in their abilities,” she said. “They’ve got to get back to playing confident basketball … and not put too much pressure on themselves.”