Claire Li/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Cornell secured a victory against Dartmouth but fell short against Harvard.

February 21, 2023

Women’s Basketball Splits Doubleheader Weekend

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Women’s basketball (10-15, 3-9 Ivy) was on the road for a double header against Dartmouth (2-24, 0-11 Ivy) and Harvard (15-9, 8-4 Ivy) this past weekend.

After a tough loss against Brown, the team was ready for a redemption game against Dartmouth

“We tried to focus on the things we could control, which was getting ready for the next one and playing as a team,” said freshman forward Emily Pape. 

Senior guard Ania McNicholas scored a basket on a fastbreak in the first four seconds of game play to start off strong for the Red. This first quarter was full of fastbreaks, as junior guard Kaya Ingram added three additional points to the board from fastbreaks. 

Cornell’s defense was working effectively during the first quarter, capturing multiple rebounds and steals. 

“We were trying to capitalize on rebounds and make the most of those opportunities,” Pape said. “If we did get a rebound, we would just put it right back up.” 

Dartmouth was unsuccessful in racking up points until one basket at the end of the first quarter, with Cornell leading 10-2 at the end of the frame. 

As the Red kept up their intensity during the second quarter, Dartmouth was picking up speed. But, Cornell responded with a tough defense and accumulated 12 points in the second quarter. 

“We worked a lot on keeping people in front of us who played all man to man and we were able to do a good job taking charge… Dartmouth is a team that attacks the rim and we played team defense against it and I’m really proud of that,” said head coach Dayna Smith.

The Red went into the locker room at halftime with a comfortable lead of 22-14.  

The third quarter was a standout offensive quarter for the Red, converting on over 50 percent of its field goals. Dartmouth turned over the ball multiple times and the Red capitalized on these mistakes, scoring six points off of turnovers. The Red ended the third quarter with a lead of 37-23.

The final quarter was slightly tougher for the Red. Dartmouth came into the fourth with a newfound intensity, scoring a jumper in the first fifteen seconds. Despite a strong start, Cornell was able to hold back Dartmouth offense and secure a win, ending the game 53-40.  

After its victory, the Red had to regroup quickly as it headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts to face Harvard in Lavietes Pavilion. 

Cornell found its footing quickly in the first quarter with the lead switching off between the Red and the Crimson. Senior guard Shannon Mulroy shot a three-pointer, giving the Red a 14-12 lead at the end of the quarter.

“On the defensive end, I thought we did a really good job communicating and shutting down… We were really consistent, especially on the defensive end and I think that led to a lot of opportunities offensively,” Pape said. 

Harvard brought a new offensive energy to the second quarter. With five three-pointers finding the net, the Crimson outscored the Red by 12 points. Turnovers weighed down the Cornell offense with Harvard scoring six points off of them. 

The Red ended the half trailing 33-23.

“We played really well in the first half defensively and offensively. We just missed shots… and unfortunately that’s been plaguing us all season… We played really hard and good basketball in the first half against a talented Harvard team,” Smith said. 

The third quarter started slow for Cornell, with Harvard scoring a three-pointer in the first two minutes of play, leading to the Red calling a time-out to regroup. 

“We were focusing on being in the right position and making strong, hard cuts,” said Pape.

After the short break, Cornell was able to find a new stride, scoring three out of its four three-pointers. Despite finding some offensive success, it was not enough to cut into Harvard’s lead.

The Red was still behind at the end of the third quarter, 60-42. 

Turning to the fourth quarter, Harvard played with high intensity. Five three-pointers found the net, shaking up Cornell’s offense.

“We felt pretty good about what we did on defense, [but] hitting shots was the issue,” Smith said. 

The Red tried to keep up with the Crimson, but fell short with subpar shooting and multiple turnovers. Cornell could not come back from the deficit since the beginning of the game, losing to Harvard 86-59.

Even after the game against the Crimson, Smith is hopeful for the end of the season.

“We are going to take it one game at a time… Everyone on the team has been working hard, we just haven’t had the success that we want so we want to feel good about how we end our home season,” Smith said. 

Cornell will face Yale (11-4, 5-7 Ivy) this Saturday at 2 p.m. at Newman Arena for its last game of the season.