November 14, 2011

W. BASKETBALL | Red Defeated With Weak Play in Second Half

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On Friday, the women’s basketball team traveled to Williamsburg, Va. to play Colonial Athletic Conference powerhouse William and Mary. For the first 17 minutes of the game, it looked as though the Red — which came into the game undersized and underrated — would hang with William and Mary, which was led by power forwards Janine Aldridge and Jaclyn McKenna. In fact, with three minutes to go in the first half, Cornell managed to claw back from a nine-point deficit and take the lead. However, basketball is a two-half game, and Cornell, like many young teams, did not come out strong in the second half. It let an experienced William and Mary team run away with a game that could have gone either way.

In the second half, the closest Cornell got to William and Mary was five points at the 16:52 mark, but over the next three minutes, the Tribe scored 14 unanswered points to go up 61-42. With that run, William and Mary put the game out of reach, and ending with a lopsided 85-54 victory.

Junior guard Spencer Lane said she noticed some discrepancy in her team’s performance in the first half versus the second half,

“We just didn’t come out to play in the second half,” she said. “William and Mary turned up the full court press and started making their shots, and we did not respond. They were a good team who had a lot of close games last year.”

However, despite the loss to William and Mary, the team is looking forward to facing in-state rival Colgate for its first home game of the season on Tuesday. Both teams are looking for their first win of the season, as the Raiders are coming off of a devastating two point loss to Bryant on November 11. However, despite their record, Colgate comes in as a formidable foe for the Red, as the team is returning four starters and ten letter winners. In addition, first year head coach Nicci Hays Forte has brought a new energy to the team that they look to bring to Ithaca on Tuesday night.

The home opener always has a special meaning for any team, and it is no different for Cornell. Junior guard Taylor Flynn said that this game “is special” for Cornell, and that the Red always look forward to playing in-state rival Colgate.

“The home opener is always a big game because you have all of your family and friends watching you and you want to make sure you make a statement,” she said. “Plus, Colgate has always been a competitive game for us, and we are eager to put up a competitive game against them.”

A win against Colgate would not only give the Red its first home opener victory since defeating Albany, 50-46, on November 19, 2008, but it both would improve the series record against Colgate to 17-15 and give Coach Dayna Smith a 5-3 record all time against the Raiders.

Original Author: Nicholas Rielly