As women’s basketball neared winter break, the team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end as it suffered two losses at home to Binghamton and Duquesne.
After a canceled game against Lafayette College on Sunday, December 1, Cornell faced Binghamton first on Thursday, December 10. It was a neck-and-neck game most of the way with the Red ultimately falling to the undefeated Bearcats, 59-56.
Cornell’s (5-4) impressive defense held its opponent to its lowest season point total. Unfortunately, the Red offense was inconsistent, allowing Binghamton to claim victory.
“Our offense really suffered … really lost focus on details and key possessions, both offensively and defensively,” said head coach Dayna Smith.
Highlighting how well the Red’s defense fought off Binghamton (9-0), it did not allow senior guard Kai Moon to score for most of the game. Still, Moon is the nation’s leading scorer and showed her skills by sneaking in some big shots in the final minutes of each quarter. Her 3-pointers in the last seconds of the second and third quarters were vital for not only Binghamton’s score, but its energy to defeat the Red.
“It doesn’t really matter how we defended the whole game; she hits two big shots to end the quarters – those are daggers,” Smith said.
On the offensive side, captain and senior forward Laura Bagwell-Katalinich played an incredible game for the Red. She scored a game-high 23 points and logged 16 rebounds. This continues her impressive season, consisting of two other 20-point outings and three other double-doubles. Bagwell-Katalinich has been instrumental in this season’s offense, scoring double-figures in over 80% of the Red’s games thus far. She has worked with fellow captain senior guard/forward Samantha Widmann to improve the offense’s cohesion over the course of the season.
“The season is so long, you play so many games, and they’re right after one another … you can’t hang your head on those losses,” Bagwell-Katalinich said.
“We’ll be watching film, getting in the gym, looking at what went wrong in order to make those corrections really quickly,” she continued.
On Tuesday night, Cornell found itself trailing behind Duquesne. The Dukes eventually landed their eighth consecutive win of the season, beating the Red, 72-62.
Bagwell-Katalinich once again led Cornell’s offense, scoring 17 points and 11 rebounds. Adding to her remarkable stats, she earned her fifth double-double of the season.
Alongside Bagwell-Katalinich, multiple teammates put points on the board, with six other players scoring at least five points. The Red put up a strong fight for the entire game, ending the first half behind only nine points and ending the game down 10 points. The Dukes (8-2) were able to keep their consistent lead over the Red by sinking 3-point shots and keeping up a strong defense.
Although Duquesne played an overall better game, Cornell had the same number of rebounds — both teams tallied 39 for the night. In this regard, Cornell was able to remain relatively even on the boards with Duquesne, one positive theme throughout the game.
The Red’s loss against Duquesne marks the last contest of the semester. Despite the downward trend thus far in the month of December with the two losses to Binghamton and Duquesne, Cornell will take on St. Bonaventure — a team in the midst of a seven-game losing streak — in a winter break game on December 29.