After accumulating an impressive eight consecutive wins over Columbia across multiple seasons, the Cornell women’s basketball team was unable to maintain its streak during last Saturday’s 72-54 home loss.
“I thought our defensive execution wasn’t as good,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “Columbia came in with a much more aggressive gameplan. I thought they did a nice job of setting the tone early with the speed and the aggressiveness of their offensive transition and … we didn’t respond quick enough.”
Columbia (7-12, 1-3 Ivy) maintained its lead over the Red (5-12, 1-3) for the entirety of the game’s 40 minutes, bringing its lead to a height of 22 points for the last five minutes of the game.
Despite the loss, the Red put up a fight, with the squad’s top three scorers in sophomore guards Samantha Widdman and Danielle Jorgensen and junior guard Samantha Clement each recording double-digit point totals. Clement had a team-high 15 points, while Widdman had her second straight double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Jorgensen also added 14 points and handled four assists while playing the entire 40 minutes.
The trio followed up noteworthy numbers from last weekend’s win against Columbia in which Widdman, Clement and Jorgensen were once again the top scorers with 22, 15 and 9 points, respectively.
However, the main difference maker between the two games was not the scoring but simply sloppy ball-handling. The Red turned the ball over 22 times, leading to 22 chance points for the Lions.
“Our league is very good and teams take advantage of turnovers and turn them into points pretty quickly,” Smith said. “It’s definitely a key to the game, something we were very disappointed in that we had done and have to work to correct quickly.”
While the Lion’s top player, Camille Zimmerman, poured in another characteristically outstanding performance with 23 points, four other Columbia players were able to record double-digit nights on Saturday — a far cry from the previous weekend in which the Red was able to limit any player not named Zimmerman.
“[Zimmerman] is a tremendous player and … I think the key is to limit her to maybe her average and really try to shut the others down,” Smith said. “We just did a really good job [during the last game, but] this game I thought their supporting players really stepped up.”
The Red will have two more Ivy tilts this weekend on the road against Dartmouth on Friday at 7 p.m. and Harvard this Saturday at 5 p.m.