March 10, 2008

Dale Excels in High-Scoring, Fast-Paced Game

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It took the Red 20 years to get back to the NCAA Tournament, and it almost took nearly as many years for the Red to defeat the Quakers at the Palestra. Cornell ended its 18-year losing streak at Penn with an exhilarating 94-92 win.
“It meant a lot for not only for the team but also for [head] coach [Steve Donahue],” said junior guard Adam Gore. “Being an assistant there and not getting the win at that place. … It was a long time since the program has won down there. You know we have already accomplished so much this season, but to just get that done kind of just adds one more thing to a successful season, and you know, it really meant a lot.”
As evidenced by the score, the Red’s historic win came in dramatic fashion. The Red lost hold of a 10-point lead in the final 34 seconds of the game and managed to pull out with the two-point victory. In the closing moments of the game, the Red fumbled the ball out-of-bounds, missed free throws and allowed the Quakers to nail three 3-pointers
“I think we were just pretty concerned with them coming down and just trying to put up the 3s,” Gore said. “It’s pretty hard to guard a team at the end of the game that kind of has nothing to lose, and just putting their heads down, driving as fast as they can. … We just didn’t really take care of the ball that well in the last minute or so of the game. We didn’t really change anything. We just had a little mental breakdown at the end, missed a few free throws. It wasn’t anything really serious on defense that we did wrong, just that the small mistakes at the end of the game stand out a little bit more than during the rest of the game.”[img_assist|nid=28679|title=Dandy Dale|desc=Sophomore guard Louis Dale (12) scored 24 points against Penn Friday night, then followed that up with 21 against Princeton.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Much like the whole season, the Red came out in the second half and started to pull away from the competition. After Penn went on a 9-0 spurt, the Red responded with a run of its own. Down nine points, the Red responded with a 17-2 run, highlighted by two 3-pointers from Gore.
“I would probably say our defense picked up [during that run],” Dale said. ”We were able to get stops and score at the same time which kind of helped us make a run. Runs like that in games were its pretty much was an even game, for us, that was how we captured our lead. “
“I think it’s something that we kind of have done all year,” Gore said. “Obviously we hadn’t done a great job in the first half the majority of the year really. But in the second half, we were able to make a really big run. And once we started knocking a few shots down, we’re a pretty good offensive team and we got on a roll and just started doing what we’ve been doing all year.”
For a team that averages 77.1 points per game, the Red played an uncharacteristic high-scoring game. The Red shot 46 percent from the field and the Quakers were able to hit for 50 percent.
“I don’t know why the game was so high[-scoring],” Dale said. “I think both teams were shooting the ball very well and I think both teams didn’t play transition defense well … Transition defense wasn’t really that strong for either team.”
Dale paced the Red with 24 points and seven assists. Gore was right behind with 19 points, including 5-for-10 from 3-point line. Wittman and sophomores Alex Tyler an Jeff Foote scored 17, 16 and 12 points, respectively. Tyler Bernardini scored 25 points and Brian Grandieri notched 21 as well.