January 19, 2011

Women’s Basketball Struggles Over the Break

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The women’s basketball team’s struggles this season continued over the winter break, as Cornell managed only a 1-3 record since the end of the Fall academic term. The three losses included a home defeat at the hands of upstate New York rival Binghamton, and the first game of Ivy League conference play, against Columbia.

On Dec. 3, Cornell met the SUNY Binghamton Bearcats hoping to ride the momentum of the season’s second win, which came two days earlier at home against the Ithaca College Bombers. The Red kept the game close, but a big run to close the first half and open the second for Binghamton would help build a strong enough lead and fuel the 65-55 victory for the home team. The Bearcats were able to connect from behind the 3-point line all day, hitting eight 3-pointers at an impressive 40 percent rate. The Red, meanwhile, shot only 25 percent from behind the arc, and 38 percent for the game. Sophomore forward Clare Fitzpatrick led Cornell in scoring and rebounding with 18 points and six boards. Binghamton guard Andrea Holmes led all scorers with 19 points, while forward Kara Elofson was a beast all day, finishing one point short of a double.

Cornell would return home on Jan. 6 for two games against the University of South Dakota, and then Longwood University on the 9th. Against the Coyotes of the “Mt. Rushmore State” the Red struggled offensively — as it has all season — and managed only 45 points. While the first half ended in a 29-29 tie, Cornell shot an abysmal 24 percent from the floor in the second half. The Red was also completely out-muscled on the boards, with the Coyotes grabbing 47 rebounds compared to the home team’s 28. Three days later, however, Cornell finally found its offensive groove, scoring a season-high 69 points in a 69-65 win. Freshman forward Allyson DiMagno scored a team-high — and career-high — 15 points to go along with nine rebounds, and hit the game-winning put-back shot that sealed the Red’s third win of the year.

On Jan. 15, Cornell traveled down to the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan to open Ivy League play against Columbia. In what has developed into a disconcerting trend for the Red this season, Cornell once again lost its offensive rhythm in the second half, and fell to the Lions, 61-54. Freshman guard Stephanie Long led the team with 20 points on 8-of-23 shooting, while Columbia guard Brianna Orlich led all scorers with 21 points. Once again, Cornell was dominated in rebounding, recording only 33 boards to Columbia’s 55.

Original Author: Holden Steinhauer