March 12, 2013

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL | B-Ballers Sweep Green to Finish Season

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The women’s basketball team finished its season this past weekend by completing its second-ever sweep of Dartmouth but fell short to Harvard in a senior-dominated senior night.

After defeating Dartmouth in a postponed game, that was finally played on Tuesday, the Red welcomed the Green to Newman Arena just three days later.

In a very similar game as the one played earlier in the week, the Red handled the ball efficiently, committing only seven turnovers — its lowest amount in more than two years.

“We really got back to playing team basketball,” senior forward Clare Fitzpatrick said. “We were not turning the ball over and we had a lot of assists.”

The Red also excelled on the defensive end, forcing 15 turnovers and allowing the Green to shoot just 20 percent from three-point range.

“Communication was big,” head coach Dayna Smith said. “We let some uncontested threes in our first game against Dartmouth … we really wanted to fly out on their leader Faziah Steen and we were able to hold her to 0 for 3 [from three].”

The final score of the game was 60-48 in favor of Cornell.

After its sweep of Dartmouth, the Red took on Harvard on Saturday and concluded its season by starting its four seniors, Fitzpatrick, Kristina Danielak, Taylor Flynn and Spencer Lane.

After a slow start, the Red found itself in a hole that it could not escape.

“We weren’t focused in the first half and we let them go on a run,” Fitzpatrick said.

Despite a 10-point loss, 66-56, the Red concluded its season with another excellent defensive performance — forcing the Crimson into 16 turnovers and finishing with nine steals.

It was an emotional weekend for the Red who said goodbye to its four seniors. According to Fitzpatrick, the departing class is bittersweet about the end of their Cornell careers.

“[I’m] sad that it’s over but very happy with what we’ve done this season,” Fitzpatrick said.

The seniors helped make the women’s basketball double its win totals from their first two to their last two seasons.

“When we first got here we won [around] six games total and now we’re in double digits win-wise,” Fitzpatrick said.

While the seniors are difficult to replace, Smith is looking forward to welcoming next year’s freshmen.

“I’m excited about next year. It is still pretty fresh now this season with four senior spots that we have to recruit [but] we really like our incoming class” she said.

Junior Allyson DiMagno will lead the Red again next season. DiMagno recorded 16 double-doubles in the 2012-13 campaign and will continue to be among the best players in the league.

“I think she will be one of the best and will have the potential to be in the running for that,” Smith said. “Allyson had just an incredible year all around and that’s just the start for her.”

Original Author: Skyler Dale