Hoping to finally find some momentum after a lackluster season thus far, the Cornell women’s basketball team’s struggles continued through its road trip to Dartmouth and Harvard.
After a lopsided loss to bottom-ranked Columbia just last Saturday, the Red’s (5-13, 1-4 Ivy) conference blues continued into this weekend when it fell to Dartmouth (11-7, 3-2), 55-40, before being battered by first-place Harvard (13-6, 5-1), 80-58, the following day. The duo of losses ensured that Cornell would remain confined to the bottom of conference rankings.
The back-to-back losses began on Friday, where Dartmouth’s knack for sinking long-range shots powered the Green to an early lead that it never relinquished.
The Red was able to keep it close through the first half behind the effort of sophomore Samantha Widmann, who recorded 16 points and nine rebounds, but inaccurate shooting ultimately proved to be the main cause of the Red’s downfall. The squad managed just 30.7 percent from the field and a dismal 14.8 percent from the three-point line.
“We missed a lot of open shots,” said head coach Danya Smith. “This is three games now where we didn’t have a lot perimeter shooting.”
Anemic shooting coupled with a Dartmouth team that made shots 50 percent from downtown for 11 threes ultimately proved fatal for the Red.
“While we need to do a better scoring … we did a good job executing … and taking care of the ball,” Smith said.
The Red’s difficulties in landing points carried over to its Saturday matchup against Harvard. In the first period, the team made just 3 of 15 shots, affording the Crimson an early path to dominance from which Cornell failed to recover.
Widmann scored 16 points and had another nine boards, while sophomore Danielle Jorgenson added another 12 points.
Despite the weekend’s rough results, the team is taking its challenges in stride.
“While we’ve left a number of games out there, we did lose five seniors over the offseason,” Smith said. “We’re a very young, inexperienced team … that’s trying to understand what it takes to be a scorer, a rebounder in a tough Ivy League conference.”
As the squad turns towards the rest of the season — now comprised exclusively of conference games — the goal is to simply improve as much as possible.
“We knew it was going to be a rebuilding year,” Smith said. “Our main goal is to learn how to get better on a daily basis.”
Cornell looks to snap its three-game losing streak as it welcomes Brown at home this Friday, Feb. 9th.