November 20, 2014

W. BASKETBALL | Red Tops Colgate in First Victory

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The Cornell women’s basketball team pulled out the victory against Colgate Wednesday, defeating the Raiders 74-66. The victory ended the team’s 0-2 skid to start the season and dropped the Raiders to 0-2.

“Coming off this we’re hoping to roll off into our next game with another win,” said sophomore guard Megan LeDuc.

Junior guard and co-captain Maddie Campbell added that the win is sending the Red in the right direction.

“It’s big for us just to get some momentum going in the right direction and to see the pieces come together,” she said.

LeDuc led the team in scoring with nineteen points and Campbell added fourteen points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Christine Kline led the team with four assists and sophomore forwards Nia Marshall and Nicholle Aston chipped in eleven and twelve points, respectively. The Red never gave up the lead.

“We’ve had two very close games, games we know we left a lot out on the court, and with a young team all we can ask is for them to learn from those situations,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “We’re going to take from [this game] and learn from it, and hopefully this propels us to better things.”

One of the things Smith mentioned was the youth of the team. Only three of the Red’s 14 players are upperclassmen. As a result, a number of players that had limited roles last year are now filling starting roles. Sophomores LeDuc, Marshall, and Aston are all starters. Although she is a junior, Campbell had to sit out all of last year as a transfer, so this is her first year in the starting rotation. In addition, Kline and senior Sarah Poland received limited minutes last year and now are both part of the first five.

“We have so many ‘new’ players, and our experienced players are technically our sophomores,” Smith said.

Smith noted that such a young team is advantageous because the players are ready and willing to learn.

“This group right now they soak up everything you teach them, and they really love playing basketball,” she said.

However, having such a young, inexperienced does not come without costs.

“We’re going to face a new experience every night,” Smith said. “It’s what you do with it, how you learn, that’s how you proceed forward.”

With 11 games to play before moving into Ivy League competition, though, the Red has plenty of time to sort out any kinks and problems.

“We always want to win the Ivy League Title, so that’s always going to be first and foremost,” Smith said.