Just one week after evening up its Ivy League record at .500, the Red lost two consecutive road games. Brown defeated Cornell 74-63 and Yale beat the Red 86-71.
Forwards senior Josh Warren and junior Jimmy Boeheim led in scoring for Cornell across both games — Warren finished with 17 points against Brown and 14 points at Yale, while Boeheim ended with 12 against the Bears and 17 in New Haven.
When facing Brown, Cornell had the lead early in the first half, but the home team went on a 32-10 run to come away with its first Ivy League victory of the season.
Junior guard Bryan Knapp has consistently stepped up to defend the Red, and his performance Friday night was no exception. Knapp held Brown’s leading scorer senior guard Brandon Anderson —who happens to be the second-highest scorer in the league — to just seven points on 1-16 shooting.
Despite Knapp’s success in fending off Anderson, the Bears still shot 44 percent from the field. Brown’s senior guard Zach Hunsaker led both teams with 20 points — he was aided by sophomore forward Jaylan Gainey, who had 12 points and eight rebounds, shooting a perfect 6-6 from the field.
While the shooting numbers for both teams were nearly even, Brown had a decisive edge on the glass and in free throw attempts. The Bears outrebounded the Red 40-30, 14 of which were offensive boards. Additionally, Brown shot 20 more free throws than Cornell.
“We played a pretty good game, we just needed to make a couple more shots and a few less mistakes, but they are a very good team and it is always a tough place to play, so I was pretty happy with our effort,” said head coach Brian Earl.
Unfortunately, during the next night in New Haven, the Red suffered another double-digit Ivy League loss. The Bulldogs were led by the junior duo of guard Azar Swain and forward Paul Atkinson. Swain made six three-pointers and finished with a game-high 25 points. Atkinson ended with 24 points and 11 rebounds on 10-15 shooting.
“Yale is a really, really good team, ” Earl said. “They do not have a lot of holes, and even though we shot the ball very well, they have a lot of experience and talent, which was hard for us to overcome. We hung tough with them for much of the game, and we competed hard, but they are just a very high-level team.”
For a second consecutive game, a conference foe heavily outrebounded the Red. The Bulldogs hauled in 37 boards compared to just 21 rebounds for Cornell.
The silver lining from the loss to unbeaten Ivy rival Yale was the overall improved three-point shooting for the team — as the Red went 13-27 from deep. Sophomore guard Dean Noll also provided a spark off the bench with 13 points and four assists.
The winless weekend dropped Cornell to a tie for sixth place in the league. Although the Red still has 10 conference games to move up the ranks, only the top four teams will qualify for the Ivy League tournament — which will be held during the weekend of March 13 and 14 at Harvard.
Last season, Cornell was swept by Princeton and split in two matchups with Penn. The Red will look to get back to .500 in league play when it hosts the Tigers and the Quakers this weekend.