Much like the men’s game the night before, the Cornell women’s squad jumped out to a sizable halftime lead but failed to close it out as they lost to the Colgate Raiders, 62-58.
The Big Red held the Raiders to just 28% shooting in the first half, including 22% in the first quarter while Cornell shot over 50% in the first half. Cornell took a 15-point advantage into the locker room at the half.
Samantha Widmann scored a layup just six seconds into the third quarter, but after that it was all Colgate. They cut a 41-24 Cornell lead to just three points with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter. The Big Red made just two shots in the third quarter. However, they were still clinging onto a three-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Big Red led by eight with seven minutes left in the game, but it didn’t seem to matter to the Raiders, who went on a 11-1 run and took a one-point lead with 2:55 remaining in the game.
But Kate Sramac hit an enormous three-pointer with 1:36 left to put Cornell back on top by one. Then the Big Red got a much needed stop but couldn’t take advantage of it as Widmann was called for an offensive foul with 52 seconds remaining.
Colgate went down on their end and Haley Greer drilled a three with 37 seconds left, and that was the shot that put the Raiders ahead for good. Colgate made four free throws in the final 25 seconds, and that would be about it.
The Big Red scored just 19 points in the second half and made just five field goals.
“They (Colgate) didn’t change anything (in the second half). We stopped executing our offense, we rushed shots, we didn’t get second chances with boards, we let the refereeing get in our heads, we didn’t finish when there was contact, and we didn’t really get stops on the defensive end,” said Cornell coach Dayna Smith. “We’ve gotta dig down, we get some of those defensive rebounds and not give up five (offensive rebounds) in one possession.”
Despite the fact the Big Red lost, they won the rebound margin (47-34), but allowed 16 offensive rebounds. They gave up nine of those offensive rebounds in the final five minutes of the third quarter.
“I just expect more out of our upperclassmen, our captains, our veterans; they played a lot of minutes (and) there was no putting a foot down and carrying our team over that emotional ride they (Colgate) were on,” Smith said.
The Big Red did a nice job of guarding the Raiders star Rachel Thompson in the first half. She was limited to just four points on 2-for-7 shooting. Abby Schubiger led the Raiders with 11 points in the first half but was contained in the second stanza. Thompson went off, scoring 17 second-half points.
Widmann and Laura Bagwell-Katalinich led the way for the Big Red, scoring 15 and 14 points respectively. Bagwell-Katalinich also had 11 boards, and Widmann had seven. Also chipping in was Shannon Mulroy with nine points, and Kate Sramac and Dylan Higgins with six apiece.
The Big Red continue their three-game homestand on Saturday when they host the NJIT Highlanders. Game time will be at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN+.