Cornell women’s hoops newcomers look to speed up team’s rebuild

The 2017-2018 season was expected to be a major rebuild for the Cornell women’s basketball team, following the graduation of all five starters, as well as seven of the top eight players, from a 2016-2017 team that came in fourth place and missed the first Ivy Tournament by a tiebreak. The Big Red’s conference record of 3-11 (7-20 overall) landed the team in sixth place, where they were predicted in the preseason poll. With a roster that has a years worth of game experience and a solid group of new players, Coach Dayna Smith is hoping for improved results in her 17th year in Ithaca and the second year of her program’s rebuild.

Statistically, Cornell has room for significant growth, since the team found itself at, or near, the bottom of the conference in nearly all offensive categories. The exception was offensive rebounding percentage, where the team was third in the league with a 35.7 percent rate. They fared better on the defensive side, as they were second in forced turnovers (17.6), second in steals (9.1) and third in fewest points allowed (63.9).

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Ivy women’s basketball week in review

1. Princeton (9-3)

Win – at Wagner, 58-37

Win – vs St. Joe’s, 63-54 (at Gainesville, Gator Classic)
Win – vs UT-Chattanooga, 59-49 (at Gainesville, Gator Classic)

The Tigers opened up a 17 point lead on Wagner by the second quarter, but the Seahawks got the lead down to five 30 seconds into the second half.  An 8-1 run over the next three minutes stretched the lead back to double-digits and the Tigers never looked back.  Leslie Robinson, Sydney Jordan and Carlie Littlefield each put up 10 points in the low-scoring contest.  Defensively, Princeton held Wagner to a season-low 37 points, including 30 percent shooting and only one three-pointer.

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2017-18 Ivy women’s basketball preview, part 2

This is part 2 of Ivy Hoops Online’s 2017-18 Ivy women’s basketball preview. Read part 1 here and part 3 here.

8. Dartmouth Big Green (‘16-’17 record: 8-19 overall, 3-11 Ivy; tied for seventh)

Coach Belle Koclanes (fifth season)

Captains: Andi Norman (senior forward) and Emily Slagle (senior guard)

Key Returning Players:

Kate Letkewicz (senior guard) – 23 starts, 34.6 mpg, 11.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 51 three-pointers made

Isalys Quinones (junior forward) – 21 starts, 27.2 mpg, 9.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 steals per game

Key Losses:
Fannie Szabo (guard/forward) – 20 starts, 29.9 mpg, 10.6 ppg, 2.0 apg

Amber Mixon (point guard) – 21 starts, 21.5 mpg, 2.0 apg

Key Additions:
Anna Luce (forward) – AP Washington State Co-POY; 1,700-plus career points

Elle Louie (guard) – 1,000 + points, 700 rebounds, 400 steals, 300 assists and 100 blocks in career

IHO Dartmouth schedule breakdown here

The Big Green return three players who started 20-plus games last season (Letkewicz, Quinones, Olivia Smith), and one who started 13 games (Norman).  Letkewicz was an Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection the last two seasons.  She was top 15 in the league for points and total rebounds, while being in the top five for three-point field-goal percentage (41 percent), three-pointers made, and defensive rebounds (6.1 per game). Quinones, who played for the Puerto Rican national team this summer, was top 15 in the conference in total rebounds, offensive rebounds, steals, free throw percentage and field goal percentage.  Norman was in the top 10 for three-point field-goal percentage and three-pointers made.

Read more2017-18 Ivy women’s basketball preview, part 2