January 5, 2009

Men's Basketball Outlasts Quinnipiac, Routs Ursinus

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The men’s basketball team moved back over .500 with wins over Quinnipiac and D-III powerhouse Ursinus this week. With the wins, the Red improves to 8-6 on the season and remained perfect at Newman Arena, 5-0. Cornell has won 13 straight contests at home dating back to last season.
Senior guard Louis Dale showed why he is the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year with two clutch defensive plays late in the Red’s 73-70 win over Quinnipiac. He blocked a shot with 29 seconds left in the game then forced a held ball with 2.2 seconds left to give the Red possession. Junior forward Ryan Wittman was fouled after the inbounds pass and sank his two free throws to pad the Red’s lead. Dale, a team captain, and Wittman paced the offense with 23 and 25 points, respectively.
The game was a back-and-forth affair between the two schools better known for their hockey rivalry. The final 20 minutes of the game saw 10 ties and 16 lead changes. The largest lead by either team in the second half was just five points, and the lead was down to one point in either direction for the final five minutes of play. The Bobcats were able to contain senior center Jeff Foote to nine points and five boards and an uncharacteristic 3-of-11 shooting performance. Quinnipiac took advantage of Foote’s off night by grabbing 18 offensive rebounds and notching 20 second-chance points.
The Red shot a school-record 18 3-pointers and rolled over Ursinus 99-45. Cornell shot 59 percent from the field and all 16 players on the roster saw playing time. The win was the Red’s 18th straight victory over non-D-I teams.