Throwback Thursday: Women’s Basketball Achieves Program History
In the sports world, the month of March is synonymous with madness. For the Cornell Women’s basketball team, this madness was in full swing during the spring of 2008. Under the leadership of head coach Dayna Smith, the Big Red earned its first birth to the NCAA tournament in program history. That season was truly one for the ages, as Cornell set school records for victories (20), Ivy League wins (11), points (1,889), three-pointers (200), and assists (436). The team was led by Ivy League Player of the Year, Jeomi Maduka, who also earned the school’s first ever All-American honor, and Lauren Benson, who broke the single season assists record (156) and was an All-Ivy honorable mention.
This week, eight years ago, the Big Red clinched its berth to the big dance by overwhelming Dartmouth, 64-47, in the Ivy League title game. To get to this point, Cornell was lucky enough to win a coin toss to get a bye in the conference playoffs, whereas Dartmouth had to beat Harvard in order to reach the championship. The Big Red defense was dominant throughout the day and held the Big Green scoreless for more than five minutes in the opening half. Eventually, Dartmouth mustered up only 19 points in the first 20 minutes and shot just 28 percent from the floor. Cornell was propelled by four scorers in double figures, as both Maduka and Moina Snyder recorded 14 points, Shannan Scarselletta posted 11, and Allie Fedorowicz added 10.
A few days later, the Big Red’s historic season came to a close with the team falling to top-ranked Connecticut, 89-47, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Despite this lopsided loss, Cornell dominated its way to a 20-9 overall record and remains the standard bearer for Big Red women’s basketball.