Ben Parker / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Men's basketball's five-game losing streak makes tournament dreams seem elusive.

March 4, 2019

Men’s Basketball Falls Twice on Road, Barely Clinging Onto Ivy Tournament Hopes

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This weekend, Cornell men’s basketball extended its losing streak to its fourth and fifth games — in those last five, the team has faced an average deficit of 16 points. The Red now sits at sixth place in the Ivy League.

Friday night, Cornell played at Yale and saw why the Bulldogs are the top team in the Ivy League. After beating Cornell in Ithaca by only six points the week before, Yale came out with renewed vigor, building a nearly 30-point lead by the end of the first half and ultimately tagging Cornell with its worst loss of the season, 88-65.

Bulldog guard Miye Oni torched the Red for 30 points and seven rebounds, going 7-of-10 from three-point range. As a team, Yale shot 54.5 percent from beyond the arc while Cornell only managed to achieve 32 percent.

“They shot the lights out. Not much you can do when a guy’s hitting contested threes like that,” said head coach Brian Earl.

Cornell looked fatigued as it struggled to get back on defense — half of Yale’s points in the first half came off transition buckets.

Junior forward Josh Warren led the offensive effort for Cornell with 15 points and senior guard Matt Morgan barely kept his double-digit scoring record alive by dishing in 11 points on only eight shots. Lack of both ball movement and aggression continued to be points of weakness for Cornell as the Red had just 16 assists and only four trips to the free throw line the whole game.

Following the loss against Yale, Saturday’s trip to Brown went no better for the Red. Cornell lost 75-51, shooting an abysmal 19 percent from three-point range to go along with six assists as a team the entire game.

Cornell’s success has been heavily dependent on three-point shooting this year. They are 5-0 when they make 11 or more threes in a game — going 5 for 26, as they did at Brown, makes winning difficult.

Matt Morgan had 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists, leading the team in all three categories. The rest of the offense never got into a rhythm and turned in sloppy minutes for the majority of the contest.

Brown has now taken sole control of fourth place in the Ivy League and Cornell sits two games back of making the Ivy Tournament with just two games left to play.

The Red will need to snap its current five-game skid against Harvard (9-3 Ivy) on Friday if it wants any shot at salvaging its underdog season and making the tournament.