Laura Bagwell-Katalinich's double-double at TCU helped keep the Red competitive with the Big 12 opponent.

Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Laura Bagwell-Katalinich's double-double at TCU helped keep the Red competitive with the Big 12 opponent.

November 11, 2019

Women’s Basketball Wins Opener, Hangs in Against Big 12 Competition

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In each of the women’s basketball team’s first two games, a Cornell player has recorded a double-double. A 20-point win at University at Albany opened the Red on a high note on Friday before the team fell to Texas Christian University on Sunday.

Starting out its season at Albany, the Red posted a convincing 71-51 win. Cornell dominated throughout the game, going up 14 points in the first half. Senior guard/forward and captain Samantha Widmann led the team, scoring a double-double in the game.

After giving up points at the start of the game, Widmann hit a jump shot to give the Red the lead. After that, Cornell never looked back. The Red was up by 13 at the end of the first quarter. The momentum did not change, as the team continued quality drives to complete a 22-2 run.

The Red shot over 50% in field goals in each of its first two quarters. In the second half, the team’s already-impressive performance improved even further. Cornell shot 71% in the second part of the tilt, giving the team a commanding lead and crushing Albany’s hopes for a comeback.

Widmann played a team-high 33 minutes, shooting 10-for-12 from the field. She scored 22 points along with 11 rebounds while also adding five assists and one block on the day. Junior guard Kate Sramac and senior forward and captain Laura Bagwell-Katalinich each scored 11 points. Sophomore forward Theresa Grace Mbanefo shot 4-for-5 from the field, putting up eight points coming off the bench.

Every member of the Red saw playing time and 10 players put up points, showing efficiency on offense throughout the roster.

After the victory at Albany, the Red traveled to Fort Worth, Texas to take on TCU.

The Big 12 opponent proved more challenging than the Albany team Cornell had faced two days prior. Despite the Red’s best efforts, its vigor was not enough to ultimately take the game and the final score was 59-49 in favor of the Horned Frogs.

The Red saw a slow accumulation of points in the first half and headed into the intermission 15 points behind TCU, 40-25. Freshman point guard Shannon Mulroy and Bagwell-Katalinich both were key contributors to the Red’s score in the first half. Across the entire game, both were aggressive and confident on the court.

Bagwell-Katalinich secured a game-high 17 points and a collegiate-best 17 rebounds for the seventh double-double of her career.

Coming out for the second half, Mulroy and Bagwell-Katalinich continued to contribute to their team’s scoring. The Red was clearly fired up and ready to give its best effort to take the lead from the Horned Frogs. Going into the final quarter, the Red had narrowed the scoring gap to just a 6-point difference.

In the final frame, the Red tallied another 10 points on the scoreboard. Bagwell-Katalinich and Mbanefo both contributed to this effort with solid layups in the sixth and third minutes of the quarter.

Senior Dylan Higgins also played a major role in the fourth quarter, closing the Horned Frogs’ lead to just 3 points. But TCU regained its strength and bested the Red in the closing minutes with a 7-2 run.

In the end, the team lost by 10 to the Horned Frogs.

The Red is slated to return home this week, with a contest against Colgate at 7 p.m. Thursday and then a game against the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday at 1 p.m.