ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell was unable to slow Penn down on offense in a rare Sunday afternoon game at Newman Arena, falling to the visitors, 79-73 in a game that tipped off 20 hours than it was supposed to because of a postponement due to inclement weather.
“We needed a couple more stops and a couple more plays made,” Cornell coach Brian Earl said. “They fought a hard game last night, and us, so these games are always difficult.”
The Big Red (5-14, 2-4 Ivy) opened the game on an 8-2 run, but the Quakers (12-7, 4-2) came back and led by as many as eight in the first half. Terrance McBride connected on a nifty post move with two seconds left to cut the Penn lead to three at the halftime buzzer. He wound up with 15 points.
“Coach puts me in a lot of good positions where I can find my shot, and throughout the flow of the offense, I get shots that are open,” McBride said.
The Big Red opened the second half on a 9-2 run to take a 44-40 lead, but yet again, the Quakers came back. It would then stay a one-possession game either way until Max Martz made a layup with 8:43 left. The freshman had 17 points on efficient 7-for-11 shooting.
Cornell had trouble getting any closer, and an alley-oop from AJ Brodeur to Eddie Scott with 1:10 left to put an exclamation mark on the afternoon for the Quakers. Bryan Knapp made a pair of jumpers for the Big Red, but free-throws from Martz and fellow freshman Jordan Dingle sealed the deal.
Devon Goodman would lead Penn in scoring with 18 points, and Dingle added 17. Brodeur was limited to just 10 points but had a near triple-double with nine rebounds and eight assists.
“That kid is going to be one of the best post players in the history of the league, probably,” Earl said, speaking highly of Brodeur. “He can pass, he can score. You know that going in. He had eight assists.”
The Big Red were led by Josh Warren, who scored 23 points and shot 7-for-9 from the field.
“I try my best to let the game come to me,” said Warren. “Our team’s good at finding each other and making plays for each other. One of the things we try to emphasize is when it’s your turn, take a shot and shoot to make.”
The most impressive part about tonight was the fact that he was 5-for-6 from downtown, his only miss a blocked shot by Brodeur late in the game.
“I don’t know if we’re getting that every game, but it’s been a thing where we’ve told him to shoot away,” said Earl.
Jimmy Boeheim added 13 points, and Bryan Knapp added 12. Knapp was and always has been excellent from mid-range.
“The three-point shot is moving back, and teams are trying to take away the stuff at the basket,” said Earl. “He’s always been able to do that (hit mid-range shots), and as long as you shoot it at an efficient clip, it’s helpful.”
The Big Red limited the Quakers to 26% shooting from downtown but allowed them to shoot 72.7% from two (24-for-33). Cornell shot 28-for-61 (45.9%) overall and 9-for-23 (39.1%) from deep.
“It keeps us close,” said Earl on improved three-point shooting. “We get wide-open shots, and earlier in the year, there was a frustration about not being able to make open shots. It’s not a big celebration for me. Our guys have worked to understand that those shots are going to come, and they have to take them.”
Both teams turned the ball over just seven times, and Penn had 16 assists to Cornell’s 13. The Big Red outrebounded the Quakers by one (32-31) and was blocked five times.
Next weekend, Cornell will go on the road to pay visits to Harvard and Dartmouth. Penn will host Brown and Yale.
Note: Ryan Betley did not play. He was injured on Saturday against Columbia.