January 18, 2002

Is M. B-Ball's First Ivy Win in New York City?

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Forget the final scores. If you listen to men’s basketball head coach Steve Donahue describe, his young team could have won its opening Ivy League games against Yale and Brown last weekend.

“If they played a little smarter and a little better at times, they could have won two road games.”

Instead, Cornell (3-12, 0-2 Ivy) dropped a 72-59 decision to Brown last Friday evening, and then proceeded to fall 79-74 at Yale the following night.

This weekend the Red will have an opportunity to win its first Ivy game for real against Columbia. Cornell travels to New York City tonight for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. (The Lions will complete the home-and-home series by visiting Ithaca next Saturday).

Despite a poor string of recent results — the team has lost five of its last six — Donahue’s disposition doesn’t match the box scores.

“We’re playing our best basketball,” he signaled. “We’re closer than we’ve ever been.”

He says that because his squad — loaded with freshmen and beset by a rash of injuries — is still finding itself, as evidence by its play last weekend.

“We outplayed [Yale and Brown] for long stretches, but right now we have some gaps.”

In Columbia (7-9, 0-2 Ivy), the Red should see a reflection of itself —