It’s round two of the annual Cornell-Columbia showdown.
Two squads who normally vie for the third spot in the Ivy League are quickly getting accustomed to fighting for the top. The Red has the upper hand as they defeated the Lions in a defensive struggle like no other, 41–35. In front a throng of red–clad supporters, the Red defense protected its home court when it needed it the most.
“After losing the Penn and Princeton games, it was difficult,” junior Luke Vernon revealed, “but we bounced back well, and we’re right back in it.”
The Red has every reason to be optimistic again. After suffering a slight concussion in the game on Saturday, senior tri–captain Greg Barratt will be back in the line–up. Barratt has now led the team in rebounding five of the last six games and has hit double digits three times this season.
Freshman star Ka’Ron Barnes and junior Wallace Prather continue to impress from the backcourt, combining for 34 steals and 65 assists. The Red has also had a solid week of practice.
“Coach [Steve Donahue] really made us work this week. There are a lot of areas we need to work on,” Vernon commented.
Shooting, in particular, comes to mind.
The offense has struggled of late, crossing 60 points only twice in its last seven games. Its last four games have seen a consistent drop in output.
“We’ve been doing a lot of shooting,” Vernon admitted.
Columbia’s squad can’t quite be described as marksmen either. In perhaps the worst offensive showing of the year, the team shot for a dismal 24% while committing 16 turnovers. The Lions will likely change their offensive scheme to get better shots. But the Red will be ready.
“We’ve been preparing for their offense,” Vernon assured. “If we can play as good defense but better offense, we can definitely win.”
Archived article by Sumeet Sarin