December 1, 2004

M. Cagers Face Quinnipiac

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After opening its home season with a win against intra-city rival Ithaca College, the men’s basketball team will head out on the road again to face Quinnipiac tonight at 7 p.m. Both teams enter having won their last games. The Red (1-3, 0-0 Ivy) defeated the Bombers on Monday, 69-67, in Newman Arena, while the Bobcats (2-2, 0-0 Northeast) are coming off an 89-62 win over Longwood last Saturday. This will be the first meeting between the two teams, and the contest will be televised live on the New England Sports Network. Tonight’s game will be the second of four games this week for the Red.

“It’s a big week for us, no question,” said head coach Steve Donahue. “Quinnipiac on the road is a very good scholarship team in the Northeast Conference. They’re struggling a little bit, but they’re good at home.”

In the fourth annual Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, the Red faced a hot-shooting Ithaca squad. The Bombers jumped out to an eight-point lead midway through the first half, but the Red pulled ahead, 27-22, after a 15-2 run. Ithaca battled back, and the two teams went into halftime tied at 35.

The Red pulled away in the second half, leading 69-56 with a minute left in regulation, but the Bombers mounted a huge comeback and rattled off 11 straight points before the end of the game. Despite the valiant effort, IC fell just short of a victory.

Senior captain Eric Taylor led the Red with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Lenny Collins chipped in 15 points and six assists. Freshman Khaliq Gant notched nine points in his first start at point guard for Cornell. After shooting 59 percent in the first half and 66 percent from beyond the arc, Ithaca finished the game with a field goal percentage of 52. The Red out-rebounded the Bombers 35-17, while Ithaca had four players in double figures. Quinnipiac will be facing its third and final Ivy League opponent of the season tonight, as it has already dropped games to Penn in the first round of the Pre-Season NIT and Dartmouth. Its other win of the young season came against Concordia.

The Bobcats return nine players and three starters from a squad that went 9-20 and finished tenth in the Northeast Conference. Junior guard Craig Benson leads the team in scoring with 15.0 points-per-game. Senior guard Rob Monroe is averaging 13.3 points-per-game and 8.3 assists-per-game, and recorded a career-high 14 assists against Longwood.

Monroe has a good chance of finishing his career as Quinnipiac’s all-time leading scorer at the Division I level. Senior C.J. Vick is the Bobcats’ third-best scorer, averaging double digits, and he also leads the team in rebounding with 6.5 rebounds per game.

Cornell also boasts three scorers in double figures on the season in senior Cody Toppert, Taylor, and Collins. Collins is averaging a team-high 18.5 points per game, while Toppert and Taylor average 12.8 and 12.3 PPG, respectively. The team is shooting 81 percent from the line and 48 percent from the field.

The Red will try to capture its first road win of the season tonight in the team’s fourth contest away from Newman Arena. Afterward, Cornell will travel to face St. Bonaventure on Saturday, returning home on Monday to face Lafayette in its last game before the team breaks for exams.

Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach
Sun Staff Writer