Just one day after defeating the previously unbeaten Ivy Princeton at home, men’s basketball was unable to continue its winning streak.
Penn narrowly beat the Red 79-73 on Sunday at Newman Arena, after a neck-and-neck game.
Neither team had full control of the game until Penn ended with its six-point advantage at the final buzzer — the Quakers’ largest lead of the game was just eight points.
The loss marked the first home defeat for Cornell since Dec. 7 — the Red had won its previous four games in Ithaca. With Penn’s victory, Cornell slipped into sixth place in the Ivy League standings, with eight games still remaining.
Senior forward Josh Warren ignited Cornell offensively, scoring a career-high of 23 points. Additionally, he went 5-6 from behind the three-point arc and contributed seven rebounds.
“I tried my best to just let the game come to me,” Warren said. “Our team is really good at finding each other and making plays for one another, so one of the things that we try to emphasize is that when it is your turn, take your shot and shoot to make.”
Three other members of Cornell finished in double-digit scoring — as junior guard Terrance McBride finished with 15 points, junior forward Jimmy Boeheim added 13 points and junior guard Bryan Knapp chipped in 12 points.
Penn’s top scorer, guard Devin Goodman, hit 18 points and the focal point of its offense, forward A.J. Brodeur, put up a triple-double — ending the night with 10 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
“[Brodeur] is probably going to end his career as one of the best post players to ever play in the Ivy League,” said the Red’s head coach Brian Earl. “We tried to throw all different types of looks to make him uncomfortable, but at the end of the day, he is just a really talented player.”
Penn was also aided by the phenomenal freshmen duo of forward Max Martz and guard Jordan Dingle — the pair scored 17 points apiece.
“We needed a couple more stops and just a few more plays to go our way,” Earl said. “We both played in very tough games yesterday, so these games are always difficult. Ultimately, our guys played really hard, but we just needed a few more things to go our way.”
Cornell’s defense, which it has relied on for each game during this season, was somewhat subpar. The weak defense allowed the Quakers to shoot over 50 percent from the field during each half and ended the contest at 53.6 percent.
Although the visitors were quite efficient from the field, they were inconsistent from behind the three-point arc. Penn shot 40 percent from deep in the first half but went 0-8 from the three in the final 20 minutes.
“We played really good team defense, especially in the second half, we just had to come up with a couple more stops down the stretch,” McBride said.
Cornell will look to get back into the win column when it faces Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday. The Red is 0-11 on the road so far this season — if Cornell wants to be eligible for the Ivy League tournament, it will need to improve its play away from its home arena.
Regardless of the loss, there is still hope for the upcoming matches. Last season, Cornell swept Harvard and Dartmouth, and won its last six meetings with the Big Green.