After jumping out to a 2-1 start in Ivy play, Cornell women’s basketball entered the weekend having fallen in its last four contests. Despite a valiant effort, the Red’s losing streak hit six games as it lost to Yale, 65-51, and Brown, 77-73.
While Cornell entered the first game’s half trailing by five, Yale extended its lead, draining 3-pointers to keep the game out of reach. The Bulldogs converted 50 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. On the bright side, sophomore guard Samantha Will played one of her best games of the season — notching a career-high 16 points in the loss.
The Red suffered an even closer loss to Brown on Saturday. After erasing an eight-point halftime deficit, Cornell entered the final minutes clinging onto a 73-72 lead, before the Bears took over down the stretch.
After a free throw by Brown, the game was knotted at 73 points apiece with 53 seconds left. Justine Gaziano recorded a steal in the waning seconds and made the ensuing layup, giving Brown a two-point cushion with just four seconds left.
On the next play, senior forward Laura Bagwell-Katalinich appeared to draw contact that would normally warrant a foul, but the referees’ whistles remained silent as Brown took over and scored a final basket to punctuate the victory.
Once again, the Red’s perimeter defense proved to be its Achilles heel, allowing the Bears to connect on 45 percent of their 3-pointers. Brown was especially hot in the first half, when it hit 12 shots from deep.
Bagwell-Katalinich and freshman guard Shannon Mulroy tied the team scoring-high for the game, with each netting 15 points. Senior guard Samantha Widmann was close behind, scoring 14 points.
In more positive news, Bagwell-Katalinich was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America’s Academic All-District Women’s basketball team last week, the second time in her college career. Her selection onto the team makes her only the second in program history to be named to CoSIDA’s Academic All-District team more than once in their time on the team, and one of only four players to have received the honor at least once.
The selection was awarded to Bagwell-Katalinich for her superior performance both on the court and in the classroom, where she boasts a 3.93 cumulative GPA. Having started every game this season while emerging as the team’s leading scorer, the senior captain has been able to score double-digits in over 80 percent of her career games.
Cornell will hope to reverse its fortunes next weekend as it squares off against two more Ivy League competitors. On Friday, the Red will face Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H., followed by a Saturday game hosted by Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.