November 30, 2010

Early Season Shooting Woes Plague W. Basketball

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With the loss of several top players after last season, the women’s basketball team could have predicted this year was going to be a challenge. After the first six games, they’ve learned the hard way that such concerns have come to full fruition.In the first game of the season — a home contest against Cleveland State — Cornell struggled offensively, shooting only 36 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the 3-point arc. Only two players, sophomore forward Clare Fitzpatrick and freshman guard Shelby Lyman, finished with double digits. In the second game against Big East powerhouse Syracuse, the Red managed only 45 points, shooting a dreadful 30 percent, while the team’s leading scorer, freshman reserve guard Stephanie Long, managed only nine points.Cornell snapped out of its shooting funk over the next two games, scoring 61on the road against Fairfield and 62 at home against Winston-Salem State for the first win of the season. Despite finally breaking the winless streak, the Red stumbled once again during a two-game road trip through Michigan, losing to Eastern Michigan, 66-41, and Oakland, 56-45. The Red shot a season-low 28 percent from the field against Eastern Michigan and only 32 percent against Oakland.“We’re a young team right now, and I think we’re just starting to get to know each other and how each other play,” said sophomore guard Taylor Flynn.Cornell has certainly missed the likes of former point guard Lauren Benson ’10, who left East Hill last semester. A three-time All-Ivy selection, before leaving campus Benson became Cornell’s single-game, single-season and career assists leader. Without their veteran leader controlling the offense, the Red has certainly struggled in the early goings of the season.Cornell has also missed the shooting of former guards Virginia McMunigal ’10 and Allie Fedorowicz ’10. Often leading the team in scoring, McMunigal and Fedorowicz were key pieces in the powerful Red offense that saw much success over the past two seasons.Despite losing three great players, the team has high hopes for its young talent.“Allie and Lauren and [Virginia] were pivotal parts of the team, but the freshman class we have now provide a nice replacement,” said Flynn.With only one more game to go before an extended break for finals week, the team is ready to buckle-down and get back on track.“After tomorrow’s game we have a nice long break so we get to focus on ourselves; literally taking everything piece by piece,” said Flynn. “I think breaking everything down … and getting to know each other will be big.”

Original Author: Holden Steinhauer