Having maintained a steady, albeit narrow lead for the entire game on Sunday at Colorado State, Cornell women’s basketball lost its lead late in the fourth quarter, when the Badgers pulled ahead for the first time all game with only five minutes left in play.
The loss sent Cornell (2-3) below .500 and evened CSU’s record at 2-2. The game in Fort Collins, Colorado was the second in a four-game road trip.
The game ultimately came down to the final moments. Cornell was down, 54-53, with 11 seconds left, when CSU guard Lore Devos scored again to push Colorado further ahead to a final of 56-53, narrowly denying Cornell the chance at an overtime comeback.
Devos led the Badgers with 14 points, followed by senior guard Tatum Neubert, who transferred from Louisiana State University this season, with 12 points and junior guard Mollie Mounsey with 9.
The Red’s offense opened the game in dominant form, with 14 points to CSU’s 7 in the first quarter, while its defense blocked the Badgers with a scoring drought that lasted over seven minutes.
Junior forward Laura Bagwell-Katalinich was Cornell’s key asset throughout, accounting for nearly half of the Red’s points. She put up her second double-double of the season, with a career-high 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior guard Samantha Clement scored a season-high 15 points and led Cornell with 5 treys, while junior guard Samantha Widmann neared the double-double mark herself with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Cornell and CSU proved a worthy match for each-other, with very similar stats: both teams went .250 (6-24) in treys, while CSU had 36 rebounds to Cornell’s 34, and was able to edge out the Red in shooting from the floor (.382-.350).
As Colorado was the second of four consecutive away games for the Red, the team was traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday. The players celebrated thanksgiving dinner together at junior Danielle Jorgensen’s house in Minnesota, and then hit the road again.
“We had one day to practice and get ready for the CSU game, and despite a long weekend of travel, everyone brought their A game,” said sophomore forward Halley Miklos. “That was exciting to see, because it was clear that we can come out fighting no matter who we’re playing.”
Miklos, the Red’s own Fort Collin’s native, said that competing in her hometown was “a dream come true.”
“I’ve watched CSU women’s basketball games since I was a kid. So to play on that court with my team was pretty surreal.”
Having suffered tough losses in Minnesota and Colorado, the Red hopes to come away with some wins in the second half of its away-game series.
“After this weekend, we have to start learning how to generate and keep the momentum in a game,” said Miklos. “If we can learn to ‘keep the pedal to the metal,’ so to speak, then I think our team can do some great things down the road.”
The Red will compete next at Lehigh on Thursday at 6 p.m. before finishing its away-game streak at Stony Brook on Dec. 1.