Coming off back-to-back victories, Cornell women’s basketball went to Princeton looking to maintain momentum and take down the Tigers. The match got off to a tough start for the Red, who staged a near-comeback in the second half before ultimately falling to Princeton, 68-64.
Princeton outscored the Red 44-27 in the first half of the match. Junior guard and forward Samantha Widmann led the team with 14 points in the first half, shooting an efficient 6-for-9 from the floor in under 20 minutes.
During the second half, however, Cornell showed marked improvement. Junior guard Lauren Bagwell-Katalinich led the Red’s comeback by scoring 18 points in the latter two quarters despite only playing 15 minutes. Bagwell-Katalinich shot 8-for-12 from the floor and led the team in steals in the second half.
“Our performance during the first half … prepared us for the second half and our pressure defense late in the game catapulted our offense and allowed us to have a great comeback,” Widmann said.
Cornell’s 25-point performance in the fourth quarter drew the game to a four-point deficit by the time the final buzzer sounded.
“I’m so proud of how our team responded in the fourth quarter … I know we would’ve liked to leave Princeton with a win, but all we can do now is learn from it and look ahead to the next game,” Bagwell-Katalinich said.
Even with the game going in Cornell’s loss column, the energy of the comeback — coupled with Widmann and Bagwell-Katalinich’s impressive showings — made the game feel a little less like a defeat.
“I think running and looking to be aggressive in transition helped us. We pride ourselves on defense, and in the Princeton game we were able to get some steals and scores off of fast break opportunities,” sophomore guard Kate Sramac said.
Going forward, the Red hopes to improve its play by increasing ball movement and giving more players the chance to get on the scoreboard.
Cornell could also improve on its three-point shooting — the Red only shot eight three-pointers during the game, while Princeton shot more than triple that amount.
This weekend, Cornell will take on Ivy foes Yale and Brown at home.