After combining for a measly 79 points in its home-and-home series against Columbia, Cornell more than equaled that total in an 84 point effort last night against Stony Brook.
But whatever promise the Red exhibited on the offensive end of the court was negated by a dismal defensive performance. Cornell allowed a season high 91 points as the Seawolves shot 58.2% to give them their twelfth win of the season.
The Seawolves have put a premium on improving their basketball team during the last few years. The program has steadily been gaining respect among its peer schools and seems to have broken through this year. Highlights for the team include a win against Columbia and a nine point loss to Connecticut.
The Red barely beat Stony Brook in last season’s contest on East Hill, 79-74. Unfortunately for the Red, it could not repeat the result.
Cornell came out firing from the start. It shot 12-for-14, giving the Red as much as a nine point lead. However, consistency has been a problem all season and the team could not continue its high level of play, mustering only one more shot before the half ended.
Stony Brook took advantage of Cornell’s lapse, taking the lead, 34-32, with fewer than three minutes left in the half. Despite the deficit, the Red’s bettered the hosts shooting percentage by a 61.9% to 60% margin. Cornell found itself trailing by five at intermission, 39-34.
As the next twenty minutes began, Stony Brook steadily built upon its tentative lead, culminating at a 81-62 score with 5:05 left. The Red was able to lessen the margin, but only came as close as the final score.
Senior tri-captain Ray Mercedes, who had played four minutes in his last two games, came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points for Cornell, equaling Stony Brook’s Rob Hartman. Mercedes carried much of the team’s burden as his classmate tri-captain Greg Barratt and rookie guard Ka’Ron Barnes both fouled out.
Senior tri-captain Kevin Cuttica, the team’s three-point specialist, shot 4-7 beyond the arc while garnering 16 points for the Red. Leon Brisport equaled Cuttica’s total and added eight rebounds.
Sophomore Luke Vernon was the only other player for Cornell to score in double-digits.
Rebounding was scarce as both teams had the hot hand. Nevertheless, the Seawolves beat the Red on the boards, 30-23.
The Seawolves edged out the Red in virtually every area, points off turnovers, 24-16, second chance points, 17-8, fast break points, 4-2, bench points, 43-38 and total personal fouls, 18-24.
Cornell (5-8, 1-3 Ivy) now finds itself at a paramount point in its season. The team enters the thick of Ivy League competition this weekend when Harvard and Dartmouth visit Newman Area on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Archived article by Amanda Angel