Aaron Snyder/Sun Sports Editor

Nazir Williams scores 15 points in Cornell's loss to Yale.

February 28, 2023

Men’s Basketball Loses To Yale

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Men’s basketball (16-10, 6-7 Ivy) went on the road Saturday, Feb. 25 to play Yale (19-7, 9-4 Ivy). After winning five of its first seven conference games, the Red had lost four of its last five contests going into this matchup. 

Cornell started the game strong, with junior guard Chris Manon forcing a Yale turnover on the Bulldogs’ opening possession. Junior guard Isaiah Gray and sophomore guard Nazir Williams knocked down the Red’s first two shot attempts, giving the team an early 5-0 lead. With 17:18 remaining in the opening half, Cornell led Yale, 9-4.

The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run. This was a team effort for Yale, with the nine points coming from five different players. Manon was able to end the bleeding with a three-pointer, cutting the Red’s deficit to one point. 

In a low scoring half for both teams, Cornell was able to keep the game within reach. Yale was able to stretch its lead to nine with 13 seconds remaining, but senior guard Greg Dolan hit a three-pointer with three seconds left to send the Red into the locker room down, 34-28.

Yale came out with all the momentum in the second half, as the Bulldogs scored the first seven points of the period to extend its lead to 13. The Red trailed by double-digits for the rest of the game.

With Cornell down 41-28 with 18:06 remaining, the Red held Yale to just four points in the following six minutes. Cornell was in a shooting drought of its own, only outscoring Yale by one during this stretch.

The Red’s struggles to start the second half centered around poor shooting. Putting a lot of points on the board is usually a strength for Cornell, with the team ranking eighth in the nation at 82.3 points per game. In this half, however, Cornell missed its first six field goal attempts — it took the team almost seven minutes to make its first basket.

Cornell faced its largest deficit when it was down 57-36 with 10:32 left. After this, the Red showed some life, going on a 13-4 run. 

This run included a three-pointer from freshman guard Adam Tsang Hinton, who was appearing in just his ninth game for the Red this season. This brief momentum shift was not enough, with the Bulldogs prevailing, 76-58.

With Cornell’s 11 steals against Yale, the team surpassed the 2009-2010 squad for most steals in a season in program history. Manon’s four steals in the game brought his season total to 56, breaking the single season record for steals by a single player.

This loss dropped Cornell to fifth place in the Ivy league. However, it did not eliminate the team from Ivy Madness contention. If the Red wins its final regular season game and Brown loses to Yale, the team will clinch the fourth seed in the conference tournament.

Junior forward Sean Hansen limped off the court with 12 minutes remaining in the second half with what appeared to be a leg injury. His status for the team’s upcoming game is still uncertain.

Cornell will play its final game at home on Saturday, March 4 at 2 p.m. against Columbia at Newman Arena. This game can also be streamed on ESPN+.