Sloppy ball-handling for Cornell led to 19 turnovers and a loss against the UConn Huskies on Tuesday by a score of 91-74. Cornell dropped to 3-3 with the loss, with UConn improving to 4-1.
UConn threw constant pressure and double teams at Matt Morgan whenever it could, but it wouldn’t matter as he was stellar again with 26 points, making 11 shots on just four misses. He drilled four long balls, only missing twice from there. He also had four rebounds and competed well defensively with a steal and two blocks, while altering several other shots. Josh Warren was the only other double digit scorer for the Big Red, posting 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting. Jack Gordon and Jimmy Boeheim had trouble shooting the ball but had four assists and three assists respectively, as they had several drives to the hoop then passing to a player like Jake Kuhn or Josh Warren who would be cutting to the hoop.
If Cornell didn’t turn the ball over 19 times (say, subtract 10 turnovers), it is probably a five or six-point game. Outside the turnovers, the Big Red played really well. They shot a respectable 46 percent and started the game strong making nine of their first 12 shots. Things started very slow, with the Big Red trailing 6-1 after a little more than two minutes into the game. Troy Whiteside came down and caught a pass in the wing, and nailed a contested three-pointer for the Big Red’s first field goal. Matt Morgan stayed very quiet in the first five and a half minutes of the game, barely getting any touches due to UConn’s strong pressure. With Jack Gordon inbounding from under the hoop, he caught the pass on the baseline and hit a high-arcing three over the defender who was all over him for a swish and his first points of the game. He was a silent assassin as usual, just peacefully putting up three pointers and driving to the hoop, making it look so easy, and UConn had no answers.
Cornell actually held a four-point lead with 9:45 left in the first half after a Terrance McBride layup, but UConn finished the half on a 31-10 mega-run. The second half was a little more streaky for both sides, as each team would go on little mini-runs and change momentum. Cornell would cut the lead to 13 points with 12:30 remaining after being down 22 points just minutes earlier. This came by eight points from Matt Morgan, including back-to-back threes, a three by Troy Whiteside, and four points from Jack Gordon. UConn was up by more than 20 points when the reserves came in, and Cornell reserve Chaz Mack had seven points in three and a half minutes, making both of his shots.
Cornell gave up 91 points, but its improved defense showed as UConn shot 51 percent from the field, but just 32 percent from three. The Huskies did have a little luck, getting a few lucky bounces and a few lucky drives with a flip-up that went down. The Big Red were only outrebounded by six, 35-29. Cornell’s big men got in some foul trouble, with Josh Warren finishing with three and Steven Julian finishing with four fouls. He picked his fourth up just a minute and a half into the second half, and missed significant time in the first half as he picked up his first three rather quickly. Out of 16 active players, 15 saw action for the Big Red.
Five Huskies got into double digits. Jalen Adams led the way with 21 points, three assists and two steals. Tyler Polley also posted four blocks for the Huskies.
The Big Red have a little bit of time off until they play Lafayette on Nov. 28 in Easton, Pa. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. at the Kirby Sports Center. The game will be live on the Lafayette Sports Network, which is partnered with Stadium as well as several local carriers. This will be Cornell’s second-to-last game before a two-week hiatus for final exams.