Riding the momentum of two key victories this past weekend, the Cornell women’s basketball team looks to maintain the streak with another pair of conference games this Friday and Saturday. The team heads to Penn on Friday, then matches up against Princeton in New Jersey a day later.
After completing last Saturday’s win against Harvard, the Red (14-9, 5-5 Ivy) is now tied for fourth in the Ivy League.
The win also put Cornell’s seniors over the top as the winningest class of women’s basketball players in program history.
Four-year member of the team and senior captain Megan LeDuc has played an influential role in the class’s success.
“We just became the most winningest class in Cornell women’s basketball history, and hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we can continue to build on that record,” she said.
To do this, the Red will need to have a strong showing against the Quakers (15-7, 8-1) who sit atop the Ivy League.
“Penn is traditionally a pressing and zone team,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “They are very dominant inside. Their top two scorers are post players,” she added.
Despite falling 61-55 to the league-leading Quakers earlier in the season, Smith is confident in the Red’s game plan, centered around rebounding more effectively.
“We have to rebound. We did a better job of this this past weekend, and [we] need to continue to key in on this in the upcoming games,” she said.
The Tigers (13-9, 7-2) find themselves in second place in the Ivy League and are riding an impressive seven-game win streak. The Red lost a close battle, 58-54, against Princeton earlier in February.
Cornell is facing the top two teams in conference this weekend, but it is not likely to shy away from the challenge.
“We know we have to keep winning games to get into the Ivy League tournament which has been our goal the entire season, and that’s what keeps us motivated,” LeDuc said.
The Women’s Basketball Ivy League Tournament will be played for the first time this season, and the Red intends to make a good first impression. However, Cornell will only qualify if it remains in the league’s top-four at the end of the year — something that has been on the players’ minds all season.
“Our entire class wants to leave behind the legacy of being the first Cornell women’s basketball team to compete in the Ivy League tournament, and hopefully succeed there,” LeDuc said.
The weekend of tough games gets underway on Friday in Philadelphia at 7 p.m., then again at 6 p.m., Saturday at Princeton.