On Sunday, the women’s basketball team traveled to Philadelphia, Pa., to face off against traditional Ivy powerhouse Penn. Going into the match with a two-game winning streak, the Red dominated the second half, holding the home team without a field goal for more than seven minutes. Although Penn got within seven points with a little over six minutes remaining in the game, the Quakers would never truly threaten Cornell, as the Red scored seven straight to cruise to a victory, 67-53. “We started out slow in the first half,” said junior guard Spencer Lane, who finished the game with eight points, five rebounds and four assists. “However, we were able to come together and shut Penn down in those last nine minutes of the half. After that, we just played our style for the rest of the game.”In the first half, both Cornell (8-9, 2-1 Ivy League) and Penn (8-9, 1-2), came out stagnant, with the Quakers taking a five-point lead 10 minutes into the game. Each team struggled to find the basket until the final nine minutes of the first half, when Cornell scored on each of its last nine possessions to go up seven to end the half. After that, it was all Cornell, as the Red increased the lead to double figures in the first seven minutes of the second period, and never looked back from there. After Penn came within seven points, Cornell went on a 7-0 run to go up 14, and never led by less than 12. Throughout the game, Penn struggled to shoot the ball, shooting 35 percent from the field and only hitting 1-of-12 shots from beyond the arc. According to Lane, one of the main contributors was head coach Dayna Smith’s decision to lay back in a zone, which forced the struggling Quakers to hit mostly jump shots. In addition to a strong defensive effort, the Red also saw a solid performance by freshman forward Sarah Roland, who hit all of her free throws, scored 13 points and pulled down five rebounds in a time span of just 15 minutes. “I hadn’t been getting a ton of playing time this season, so, when coach decided to put me in, I knew I had to make the best of it.” Roland did just that, as her performance, in addition to strong games by junior forward Claire Fitzpatrick and sophomore guard Alison DiMagno, propelled the Red to victory. Fitzpatrick had another strong performance, scoring 14 points, grabbing five rebounds and tallying two steals. “The win against Penn was huge, as we started out Ivy play with two wins on the road against quality opponents,” Lane said. “As we move into the thick of the Ivy season, it is crucial to continue the way we have been playing, so we can build on wins like that and just improve from there.”The Red will play its Ivy League home opener on Friday against Harvard at 7 P.M. at Newman Arena.
Original Author: Nicholas Rielly