February 13, 2010

Sports Update 2-12-10: No. 22 Cornell Falls to Penn at the Palestra in Shocking Upset

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Men’s basketball 64, Penn 79

The race for the Ivy League crown arguably just got a whole lot more interesting, as the No. 22 men’s basketball team fell, 79-64, to Penn on Friday night at the Palestra, in what can only be described as a shocking upset.

In a game where the 3-pointer just wasn’t falling in for the Red –– Cornell shot just 34.5 percent from outside –– the Quakers seemed unable to miss, capitalizing on nearly every open look en route to shooting 52.4 percent from long distance for the game.

Junior forward Jack Eggleston led both teams with 24 points and was a scorching 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He was closely followed by sophomore guard Zack Rosen, who notched 22 points and dished out five assists.

Senior forward Ryan Wittman and senior guard Louis Dale chipped in 16 points apiece to lead the Red, while senior center Jeff Foote picked up his eighth double-double of the season (10 points, 11 rebounds) and had three blocks.

Both teams were evenly-matched in terms of statistics to open the contest, with Penn holding a narrow 32-31 lead heading into the locker room –– the first time in 13 games Cornell trailed at the break. However, the Quakers used a 15-0 run to open the second half, which resulted in the Red having to play catch-up early.

A scuffle resulting from an intentional foul on Foote appeared to fire up the visiting team, as the tri-captain made 1-of-2 from the line and Wittman followed with his second trey of the game before Dale calmly sunk two from the charity stripe. However, the momentum shift proved temporary, as sophomore forward Rob Belcore responded with a 3 of his own.

Cornell would pull within six with 7:29 to play on a layup by Dale, but the Quakers’ hot shooting prevented the Red from closing the gap beyond that. With two minutes remaining, Wittman drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the night, but it was ultimately too little too late as Dale fouled out of the game and head coach Steve Donahue went to his bench with time expiring.

The Red had 11 turnovers to the Quakers’ 12, but they proved costly, especially in the first 20 minutes. Penn shot a blistering 56.3 percent for the contest while holding Cornell to 43.4 percent overall. The Quakers also held the advantage in rebounds, 30-25.

After its notorious 0-10 start to the 2009-10 campaign, Penn has now won three of its last four to bring its record to 4-15 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Meanwhile, Cornell drops to 20-4 on the season and finds itself in second place in the Ivy League standings, behind still-undefeated Princeton (5-0), who it will take on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Although Rosen admitted afterwards in a press conference that he expected to win this game, the Quaker fans obviously didn’t share his conviction, as they took to rushing the court after Penn ran out the clock for a 79-64 win.

Check out Monday’s edition of The Cornell Daily Sun for a full-game recap. Also, a Sun sports reporter will be live-blogging Saturday night’s game against Princeton and posting periodic updates to Twitter. Follow along at www.twitter.com/dailysunsports

Original Author: Sun Staff