The Cornell Big Red continue to struggle, having now lost their sixth straight game, this time to Navy by 11 points.
The Big Red would score first on a layup from Jordan Jones, but that would unfortunately be the only lead they would have a lead. They trailed 42-29 at the half en route to a 72-61 defeat.
Jimmy Boeheim had his second straight double-double to lead the Big Red, this time with 18 points and 11 rebounds. After a few rough games, Terrance McBride finally bounced back, scoring 12 points and hauling in five boards against the Midshipmen.
Jordan Jones had his first career start on Tuesday, replacing Thurston McCarty in the starting lineup and scored seven points in the process. Kobe Dickson came off the bench with six.
The only real highlight for the Big Red was the fact that freshman Greg Dolan got his first career points, and got eight of them while hitting both of his three-point attempts.
Josh Warren was scoreless in 15 minutes as he battled foul problems, an issue he’s had over his four years on East Hill.
The problems of late
Really, not much has gone well for the Big Red of late, but a few problems have really stuck out.
First off, they are not making their three-point shots at a good rate. They are taking a lot of threes but only hitting 26.7% of them, and that puts them 318th out of 353 Division l teams. When they go inside, they are so much better and are 108th in two-point percentage. They are also top 100 in free-throw percentage, so they need to do a better job of drawing fouls and getting into the bonus.
On defense, they are struggling to close out on perimeter shots and get the rebound. They are allowing too many second-chance opportunities, and their opponents have taken advantage of it often. They are in the bottom third in defensive three-point percentage and allowing offensive rebounds.
And the other factor is just consistency. Outside of Jimmy Boeheim, nobody has shown to be a consistent scoring threat. McBride, Jones and Warren have had their great games, but not often enough. McCarty was great in the first two games and has now played his way out of the starting lineup. Dean Noll and Bryan Knapp can make shots, but they just aren’t doing so at a good rate.
The Big Red have one of the least uptempo offenses in the country, and maybe they need to experiment about that changing a bit. They could try to run the fast break a little bit and get a few quick looks and see what happens. At this point, it couldn’t hurt.
But, part of the reason why they aren’t up-tempo has to do with their defense. Since their defense isn’t great, they use long possessions on offense to reduce the amount of possessions their opponent has. That’s great and all, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t make your own shots.
The Big Red now go home for contests against Towson and Lafayette. On Sunday, the men’s and women’s teams are playing a doubleheader with the ladies playing Lafayette at 1 p.m. and the men playing Towson at 4 p.m.
The men on Dec. 7 take on Lafayette in a 1 p.m. tip at Newman Arena. All three games will be live on ESPN+.