Despite the small crowd, the hecklers were already out supporting the men’s basketball team in its first game action of the season, an exhibition match against Waterloo (4-0). “UConn’s got nothing on us!” screamed one fan who had coated himself in red paint and garmented himself in all red, as the final buzzer sounded in Cornell’s 82-58 trouncing of Waterloo. The Red started out strongly with an 11-0 run, and never gave that lead up the entire game to the Canadian squad.
“For a first game to get the jitters out, I thought we did a pretty good job,” said head coach Steve Donahue.
The Red opened up the game as if saying “Ka’Ron who?” as the squad surged to a quick lead, led by two early 3-pointers off the hands of Cody Toppert. Cornell pressed in the backcourt early in the game, which tested Waterloo’s guards and resulted in a couple of early turnovers. Waterloo surged back with a 21-16 run to come within seven with the help of guard Graham Jarman, who had 12 points by the time the halftime buzzer sounded. However, this five-point deficit was the closest the squad would get before the half ended with the Red up, 40-31.
“I thought Cody Toppert’s play was really good,” Donahue said. “As good as [he has] played, he played at a great pace on the offensive end tonight.”
The second half was all Cornell, as the Red surged to increase its lead from the nine-point differential at halftime. Sophomore Graham Dow opened up the scoring with his only two points of the game as he drove to the basket to make the score 42-31.
After a Lenny Collins turnover two minutes in led to a layup by Jarman, who had 16 points on the night, the Red called a timeout. Cornell quickly got itself together and never looked back, and halfway through the second half the Red had a 26-point lead.
Good offensive rebounding by junior forward Ryan Rourke and senior center Eric Taylor gave the Red the second chances it needed to pick up baskets and get to the line. This served as a major help, as the Red was 12-for-18 from the foul line on the day, while Waterloo was a mere 3-for-4.
In addition, Dow played particularly well at point guard. With six assists, Dow led the offense formerly anchored by Ka’Ron Barnes ’04 well.
“I think he’s made great strides over last year where Ka’Ron [carried the ball] so much, and now Graham has taken that leadership,” Donahue explained.
Off the bench, freshman Khaliq Gant made his presence known, picking up 6 points and a block. Sophomore Andrew Naeve and junior David Lisle also had impressive performances, as each made his way into the double figures with 10 points.
Archived article by Mike Pandolfini
Sun Staff Writer