December 4, 2002

M. Basketball Readies for Trip to Battle Lehigh

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The men’s basketball team continues its non-conference slate tonight as it visits Lehigh for a 7 p.m. tip. The Red (2-1) enters the game following Monday’s 83-66 win over Ithaca College. Junior Ka’Ron Barnes scored a game-high 19 points, with three other Cornell players scoring in double-digits.

Monday’s game saw the Red continue its hot shooting from the field, posting 51 percent while limiting the Bombers to just 37 percent. On the season, Cornell is shooting 52 percent from the floor and 47 percent from behind the arc, a rate which the Mountain Hawks (3-2) will have to limit in order to win.

Lehigh has opened with a bang this season, going 3-2 over its first five games, two wins shy of last season’s win total of five. Under the direction of first-year head coach Billy Taylor, Lehigh has averaged five more rebounds per game than its opponents thus far this season.

“They’re playing hard as heck,” said Cornell head coach Steve Donahue. “They have three wins already, I think they’re a pretty good basketball team. They’re playing very well.”

The Red will also have to contend with the Mountain Hawks top scoring threat, forward Matt Logie, who is averaging 14.4 points per game.

“He’s one of the best players we’re going to play against all season in terms of making shots,” said Donahue. “He’s an experienced player, knows how to use screens, he can shoot from long range.”

Lehigh’s offensive attack also includes a pair of guards, Zlatko Savovic (12.6 ppg) and Ra Tiah (9.0 ppg). The trio of Logie, Savovic and Tiah has given opponents fits all season long.

“I think we have to realize that those three guys can hurt you,” said Donahue, “its more about the mental approach, gettin back to what we did well at Buffalo and avoiding what happened at Colgate.”

When these two teams last met, Cornell came out on top 69-61 in a game in Newman Arena. Barnes was the star of the game, scoring 21 points, shooting 7-13 from the floor in the Cornell victory. Logie was Lehigh’s leading scorer that night with 16. The Red leads the all-time series 8-6.

Lehigh opened its season with a 68-62 win over Dartmouth and will also play Ivy rivals Harvard and Columbia later in the week.

Tonight’s game is the second in a stretch of four games over seven days, the most physically challenging portion of Cornell’s 2002-03 schedule.

However, because it is still early in the season, Donahue doesn’t expect fatigue to become much of an issue.

“When I scheduled these four games in seven days, I figured because it’s early in the season, we can get away with it,” said Donahue.

Archived article by Owen Bochner