After having lost three of its last four games, Cornell men’s basketball will look to get back in the win column when it travels to Lafayette Wednesday night.
Through this skid, head coach Brian Earl has stressed defensive intensity to his team. In five games against Division I opponents, the Red (3-3) have allowed 77 points per game.
Most recently, Cornell gave up 91 points to national powerhouse Connecticut in a 91-74 loss in Storrs. Five Huskies ended the night scoring in double figures, including 21 points by senior guard Jalen Adams.
Despite the lackluster night defensively, star senior guard Matt Morgan was able to post 26 points on an efficient 11 for 15 shooting. The outburst moved Morgan into ninth on the Ivy League all-time scoring list with 1,799 points.
In the 2018-19 campaign, the Red have relied on Morgan to catalyze the offense. Morgan is averaging over 25 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per contest.
Morgan has been aided by sophomore Jimmy Boeheim, who has taken on a more significant role off the bench for Cornell in his second season in Ithaca. The forward is scoring 13 points per game and is averaging five rebounds in just 22 minutes per night.
However, the focus will continue to be on the defensive side of the ball for the Red as they head into the later stages of their non-conference slate.
Similar to the Red, the Leopards (2-3) have gotten off to a slow start to begin the season.
Sophomore guards Alex Petrie and Justin Jaworski have led the Leopards so far this year, averaging 15.6 and 15 points per game respectively. Jaworski has been dominant from three-point range, as he has made 48.5 percent of his attempts from behind the arc.
Lafayette did not have high expectations from the media entering the season, as they were picked to finish second-to-last in the Patriot League. The Leopards are one of the youngest teams in the Patriot League, with just two seniors on the roster, neither of which has played over 15 minutes per game this season.
Although Cornell has won three consecutive meetings with Lafayette, the Leopards hold the overall lead in the series with an 11-10 record against the Red.
After the mid-week matchup, Cornell will make its annual trip to the Carrier Dome Saturday to take on Syracuse. The Orange have won 38 consecutive matchups against the Red.