February 23, 2009

Bulldogs Upset M. Basketball on Road

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The men’s basketball teams 28-point win on Jan. 31st over Yale was quickly forgotten Friday night as the Bulldogs had a strong defensive effort defeating the Ivy-favorite Red, 72-60. The Red were held to 38.3 percent shooting and allowed the Bulldogs, who only managed 36 points on Jan. 31, to shoot 50 percent from the field. The Bulldogs had four players in double-digits with Alex Zampier leading the way with 15 points. Junior Ryan Wittman led the Red with 21 and senior Jeff Foote tacked on 14 points and six rebounds.
“It was a frustrating game,” Foote said. “They got into us a little bit and our shots weren’t falling. We got ourselves into hole and couldn’t get out. You have to give Yale credit.”
The Red struggled out of the gate but went into the half with the lead, 34-32 following a 10-0 run. The lead wouldn’t last for the Red as the team was outscored 40-26 in the second stanza. A 3-pointer from junior Geoff Reeves pushed the cushion to 7 points before Yale rallied. Energized by rowdy crowd at John J. Lee Amphitheater, the Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run to grab the lead.
“A lot had to do with energy level,” Foote said. “Usually when we play at home our energy level is 10 times better. We are comfortable at home and shooting on our rims with a large crowd.”
Zampier, who did not score any points in the teams’ last meeting, hit a jumper that began a 12-4 Bulldog run to give Yale some padding against the Red.
“Zampier is a good player,” Foote said. “He was hitting big shots for them. We had some problems matching up with him and they were screaming for him like crazy, he did a good job.”[img_assist|nid=35457|title=Boxed in|desc=Last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, junior Louis Dale, was limited to seven points by the Bulldogs in the Red’s tough loss in New Haven.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
While the Bulldogs were pushing hard on offense, it was their defense that threw of the Red’s game. Other than Wittman and Foote, Cornell missed 25-of-35 of field goal attempts, including holding reigning Ivy Player of the Year junior Louis Dale to seven points on 3-of-12 shooting.
“We knew they were going to be physical,” Foote said. “We weren’t getting a lot of help and they just threw us out of our game, did a great job of frustrating us.”
It was a game of contrasts for the two Ivy League teams. Yale, which is the worst 3-point shooting in the Ancient Eight, hit 42 percent from beyond the arc. The Red, which shoots 40 percent from downtown, had a poor performance from deep, hitting only 7-of-22 3-point attempts.