As the old cliché goes, it can be lonely at the top. For senior forward Shannan Scarselletta, it can be lonely down low as well.
On a team that is heavy on guard-play, and features only one other senior on the roster, Scarselletta has emerged this season as a natural leader because she not only provides a consistent presence at her position, but because she is also the only four-year player in the starting lineup.
“I knew I was going to have to be a go-to player, but I didn’t know I had to be the go-to player,” Scarselletta said. “This is a role I had to step into and be for my team.”
The Red will hit the road this weekend in search of its first win away from Newman Arena, as the team travels first to Providence, R.I. to face Brown, and then to New Haven, Conn. to meet Yale. Cornell will look to build on its win against Columbia last Saturday and gather momentum as it gets into the thick of Ivy play.
The Bears (3-13, 1-1 Ivy League) have had a rough opening to their season, suffering losses to several nationally-acclaimed basketball programs such as Georgetown, Rhode Island and the University of Massachusetts. After beating Yale in thrilling fashion, 64-62, on January 16, the Bulldogs came back to clobber Brown, 71-37, back on the Bears’ home court less than a week later.
After spending much of the early part of the season looking for consistent performance in the paint and on the glass, the Red got just the inside presence it needed from a young forward who has spent much of the season on the outside looking in. Freshman Allie Munson helped lead the Red past Columbia, 53-58, in a close home contest Saturday at Newman Arena.
Averaging only about 10 minutes a game coming into the contest against Columbia, Munson, came off the benchfor career-highs in points and rebounds (17 and seven, respectively), helping to power Cornell (5-9, 1-1) past the Lions (8-8, 1-1).
The women’s basketball team collapsed in its first Ivy League game of the 2008-09 season, giving up an eight-point second half lead en route to a 47-44 loss to Columbia on Saturday. Kathleen Barry led Columbia’s offense with 14 points and also sank two crucial free throws at the end of the game to push the lead to three points. Senior forward Shannan Scarselletta paced Cornell with 17 points and seven rebounds.[img_assist|nid=34185|title=Eyes front|desc=Junior guard Lauren Benson drives against St. Francis on Nov. 24, 2008. She scored 10 points against Columbia.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The women’s basketball team could use all the holiday cheer it could find over the winter break, because the holiday was anything but cheery inside Newman Arena.
The Red (4-8) was held winless in five contests, losing by an average of 17 points per game.
After a three-week respite, the Red came out flat against St. Bonaventure on Dec. 22, losing 49-70 in Olean, N.Y. The one bright spot was the performance of senior forward Shannan Scarselletta, who led the team with 14 points.
[img_assist|nid=34139|title=Lucky 13|desc=Junior guard Allie Fedorowicz (13) drives against St. Francis at Newman Arena in November, when the Red was in the middle of an undefeated streak at home.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
On a roster that features only one other senior, Shannan Scarselletta will see an increased role this year not only because of her on-court play, but because of her reliable leadership for the young squad.
Last year, Scarselletta played in each of Cornell’s 29 games, averaging over 20 minutes per game.
“She was like a sixth starter last year,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “Shannan has definitely had some experience.”
The women’s basketball team played some tight defense and continued its streak of hot shooting in a home court defeat of St. Francis last night, 59-48. With the victory, the Red evened out its season record at 2-2.
Senior captain Shannan Scarselletta, also a Sun columnist, had a stellar night in Newman Arena, with a superb statistical performance that encapsulated her “do-it-all” playing style. The 6-1 forward finished with a team-high 14 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.[img_assist|nid=33876|title=Made you look|desc=Junior Lauren Benson (23) goes up for a layup against St. Francis last night. The Red excelled at the 3, however.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
This weekend, the women’s basketball team will head to Kingston for the annual Rhode Island “Rhody Classic” tournament. On Friday, in the first matchup, the Red will face the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut St. (1-2). CCSU has had a rough start to their season, scoring an average of only 56.3 points per game behind a poor 33 percent field goal percentage, while opponents have scored 75.7 points per game and have shot 44 percent. The Blue Devils will look to several of their young players to help inspire an early turn-around, such as freshman guard Shontice Simmons, who scored a team-high 15 points and five assists in the win against Maine.
Only two games into the season, there’s already a buzzword floating around the women’s locker room at Newman Arena.
“We need to continue to be aggressive,” said junior guard Virginia McMunigal.
The women’s basketball team will take its new mantra to Indianapolis tomorrow determined to pull off an upset win against non-conference foe IUPUI.
In its first game of the year, against Duquesne, the Red saw what can happen when its lacks that aggressive style of play that head coach Dayna Smith has preached in practice. Out-rebounded, out-hustled, and simply out-played, the team knew there were improvements that needed to be made.
The women’s basketball team tightened up its defense and played aggressively last night, defeating instate rival Albany at Newman Arena, 50-46, to begin the Red’s home schedule.
Cornell (1-1) played a much more intense game than its lackluster season-opening matchup against Duquesne, when the Red forced only 17 turnovers and shot a poor 31.3%.
Against the Great Danes (0-3) however, the Red won the rebounding battle, 41-37, and grabbed five steals as the team heeded the advice of its coach to raise the intensity.
[img_assist|nid=33763|title=She got game|desc=Junior guard Allie Fedorowicz (left) drives against an Albany defender last night at Newman Arena. Fedorowicz scored a career and game-high 19 points.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]