The Red (2-2) suffered an 80-35 blowout to Syracuse (3-1) at Newman Arena on Friday. The game began scoreless for nearly five minutes before senior forward Kristina Danielak made a layup to give Cornell a 2-0 lead. Though the game was eventually dominated by the Orange offense, the Red was still in the game with around eight minutes left in the first half, when the score was 14-10. The Orange then went on a 17-4 run to close out the half and put the game out of reach. “Offensively we struggled a lot,” said Coach Dayna Smith. “We had a hard time scoring.” Specifically, the squad had difficulty against Syracuse’s press in the backcourt and zone in the frontcourt. “We can’t turn the ball over against the press,” Smith said. “We settled for threes when we shouldn’t have. We had shooters shooting the ball when they were not ready.” Nevertheless, Smith recognizes that the loss reflected not only the Red’s poor showing but also the talent of the Syracuse squad. “I think it’s a combination,” she said. “Obviously they’re bigger and stronger and more athletic.” In practice yesterday, the team worked to improve on what it did poorly against the Orange. Though Smith recognizes that the team’s inability to simulate the type of press it faced against Syracuse, she emphasizes the importance of working on ball security. “We work daily on being strong with the ball … We face a lot of pressing teams,” she said. The squad will need to continue to practice well and play well in anticipation of its games against Manhattan College (1-1) on Tuesday and the University of New Hampshire (2-0) on Sunday. The Red prepares for the unique 1-3-1 zone of the Manhatten Jaspers, a team with great strategy and smart basketball players. “We’re going to have to really take away what Manhatten is looking for,” Smith said. After its battle against the Jaspers, the Red looks to rebound from its buzzer beater loss last season against the New Hampshire Wildcats.With just a couple seconds left in the game the Wildcat’s missed a potential game winning shot but grabbed the rebound and put the ball in the basketball with less than one second to go. “That still leaves a sour taste in our upperclassmen’s mouths,” Smith said. “[We’re looking to] travel up there and put together a good game plan and try to get that game back from last year. While Smith understands the talent and toughness of both the Jaspers and the Wildcats, she welcomes the challenge. She said her goal was to improve her players every day, expose them to different styles of basketball and toughen them up for their conference games this winter. “We have a tough schedule but we did it on purpose,” Smith said.
Original Author: Skyler Dale