Although an Ivy League title has eluded the men’s basketball team for yet another season, the Red has no difficulty finding motivation as it heads into its final weekend of competition for the 2005-06 season with a final trip to Harvard (12-13, 4-8 Ivy) tonight and Dartmouth (5-20, 3-9) tomorrow.
A second consecutive winning record in the Ancient Eight will be on the line for Cornell (11-15, 6-6) this weekend. While this may seem a small feat to some, head coach Steve Donahue believes it is another step towards the ultimate goal of conference champion.
“It’s a great opportunity to have another winning season in the Ivy League,” he said. “Back-to-back winning seasons hasn’t happened [for Cornell] since 1987-88. It would be a tremendous accomplishment for our program as we try to build a championship team.”
The Red will need to work against all the habits it has developed over the course of the season to bring a winning record back to the East Hill.
Cornell has yet to sweep a season series against an Ivy League opponent, but could reverse that trend by adding wins this weekend to a 63-47 win over the Green on Feb. 3 and a hard-fought, 79-77, victory against the Crimson on Feb. 4. Games outside the friendly confines of Newman Arena have also been a weak spot for the Red, which is 7-5 on its home court but 3-10 on the road this season.
“Our guys just try to do the best they can,” Donahue said. “It’s not like they’re trying to match a perfect season; we’re just trying to compete and do our best each time.”
For Donahue there are no major changes his team needs to make, but instead, minor alterations.
“I think when you go on the road you really have to do the little things well,” Donahue said. “You have to expect they’re going to shoot the ball well at home.