Women’s basketball (10-17, 3-11 Ivy) played their final game of the season this past weekend against Ivy frontrunner, Columbia (23-4, 12-2 Ivy).
“We learned [from Yale] to focus on a good first five minutes of the quarter and to build from that,” said junior guard Kaya Ingram.
The Red began the first quarter with an intensity that they had not brought to most openings of the season.
Senior guard Ania McNicholas scored the first points of the game with a jumper off of a fastbreak.
The Red utilized communication and rebounds to gain an edge against Columbia.
“Communication is a big thing for our team, but especially at Columbia because the gym was packed and it was super loud,” Ingram said. “We were just focusing on talking to one another on and off the court so that we could be on the same page despite the environment.”
The lead switched between both teams throughout the quarter, but Cornell was able to pull ahead and ended the game leading 21-12.
Columbia adjusted in the second quarter, focusing on their defense and stealing the ball multiple times from the Red. Despite this, Cornell was able to keep their lead with eight points scored in the paint, going into the locker room with a score of 31-24.
The third quarter was challenging for the Red. Columbia started the half with a new offensive push.
“They came out more aggressive on offense and defense,” Ingram said. “I think they were a little shocked about how strong we came out so they were trying to match our energy [in the second half].”
Columbia’s shots were finding the net repeatedly, with a field goal percentage of 54. Cornell could not keep up with Columbia’s newfound offensive success, leading to Columbia scoring 22 points, compared to Cornell’s 14.
The Red had a substantial lead until the end of the third, behind by one point, 46-45.
The fourth quarter was a fighting quarter for both teams with the lead switching sides 10 times. However, Cornell kept the intensity high, scoring six points off turnovers.
Capitalizing off a fastbreak, Ingram scored a layup in the paint with three minutes left in the game.
Despite Cornell’s strong offense, Columbia also had a tough offensive push, scoring 15 points.
The teams were tied at the end of the quarter, 61-61, and the Red entered its second overtime of the season. In collegiate basketball, overtime includes an additional five minutes of play to break the tie.
Columbia started overtime strong with a basket in the first 25 seconds, followed by a good foul shot.
Cornell was not able to answer the Lions’ points until halfway through overtime when sophomore forward Summer Parker-Hall scored a layup, bringing the score to 64-63.
“They were able to get a few baskets off of our turnovers and things like that,” Ingram said. “I think that given the short amount of time we just weren’t able to fight back as much as we wanted to.”
Columbia made a final push at the end of the quarter with a layup in the final 11 seconds of the game.
After a tough battle against the Lions, Cornell lost 69-64.
“We fought all four quarters and we gave it our best effort. Sometimes we came up a little short, but I think, throughout the whole game, in every single one of our games, we played as hard as we could,” Ingram commented about the season overall.
Women’s basketball ended the season with a conference record of 3-11 and finished the season seventh in the Ivy League.