Cornell women’s basketball opened its 2018-19 season against Binghamton on Friday, coming away with a 72-61 loss in a back-and-forth contest.
“Although we did not come out with a win against Binghamton, the big takeaway from the game is that our team has great potential,” said junior guard Dylan Higgins. “We were all really pleased with our ability to push the pace of the game, score in transition and match the athleticism of a very talented team.”
The Red finished the first quarter ahead 13-7 and gained its largest lead — eight points — over the Bearcats early in the second quarter. Sophomore forward Halley Miklos and junior forward Laura Bagwell-Katalinich, a transfer from Penn, led the way offensively for the Red. The forwards each turned in career-high 14-point performances.
“I think we started off really strong in the first quarter,” said Miklos, who also had nine rebounds. “The energy was there, and we were working well as a team. It was really exciting to see us come together like that. In the second half, we had more turnovers and some little mistakes that added up in the long run.”
Cornell shot a solid 43.9 percent from the floor, just shy of Binghamton’s 45.5 percent. The greatest gap in the teams’ performances came from long range: Binghamton converted on 60 percent of its three-point attempts to Cornell’s 4-for-18 mark, just 22.2 percent.
Junior guard Danielle Jorgensen was 3-for-8 to lead the Red in treys. The only other shot that Cornell hit from deep came from junior guard Samantha Widmann. Widmann and Jorgensen each scored nine points.
Widmann led the Red with five assists, and her defensive prowess was critical in holding off the Bearcats for much of the first half of the game. Not until late in the second quarter did Binghamton manage to tie the game, briefly taking the a 33-31 lead before halftime.
Continuing to gain momentum, Binghamton launched a full-fledged comeback in the second half, headed by junior guard Kai Moon, who accounted for 22 of the team’s total points and went a perfect 15-of-15 on free throws.
Senior forward Rebecca Carmody likewise played a crucial role in the Bearcats’ comeback, scoring 14 total points and going 3-of-4 on threes. The team made 9-of-15 three-pointers and went an impressive 23-of-26 from the foul line.
The Bearcats closed the third quarter with a seven-point lead and maintained the gap in a fast-paced fourth quarter which brought the final score to 72-61, leaving the Red with a loss in its season-opener.
“All of us have the skills and the attitude to succeed, it’s just a matter of playing our game for four straight quarters,” Miklos said. “But we’re ready to get back on the court [Monday] and fight for our first win of the season.”
The Red hosts Albany in its home opener at 7 p.m. Monday at Newman Arena.