After a slew of losses against multiple Ivy League opponents, the Cornell men’s basketball secured a win in its last game against Brown this weekend on senior night.
The Red (10-18, 3-11 Ivy) fell to conference leaders Yale (22-6, 13-1) on Friday, 88-64, but bounced back to get the close 75-71 win against Brown (8-20, 3-11).
On Friday against Yale, the Red stayed close initially, letting the Bulldogs only have a 22-20 lead with eight minutes left in the first half. Unfortunately, Yale finally found its stride when things got too close for comfort, widening the score gap by a substantial 30 points near the beginning of the second half.
With Yale’s win over Cornell and Princeton’s 76-74 upset against Harvard on Friday, the Bulldogs were sure to earn their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1962.
The Red put their loss behind them and focused all of their efforts on their senior night against Brown. The winner of this final game would determine who would finish their season in seventh place among the Ancient Eight, as both teams were in the last two spots.
Cornell struggled out of the gate, falling behind 9-0 against the Bears. It was not until senior Robert Mischler answered with a big three-point attempt which invigorated the team to send Mischler out with a win in his final collegiate game. The Red got into a groove after a key 3-point play from junior JoJo Fallas, putting Cornell in the lead 14-12 with 11 minutes left in the first half.
After managing to hold a 30-27 lead into the second half, Cornell rallied with Brown to hold them off throughout the rest of the game. Juniors Darryl Smith and David Onuorah netted 13 and 6 points respectively and sophomore Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof scored 8 points.
Freshman Matt Morgan had the performance of the night, concluded his first collegiate campaign with 25 points for the night. He ended up scoring 510 points for the season, the most any Ivy League freshmen has been able to score.
The intense battle between Cornell and Brown set up a climatic ending for the Red. Snapping their drought of losses with one final win at home is the best outcome the team could ask for going into the 2016-17 season.
Cornell finished seventh in the Ivy League, and this young team is more than excited to continue improving their team cohesion and adding new freshmen to their scheme in October.