ITHACA, N.Y. – The Cornell Big Red may have had just two wins in 15 tries against Division I competition entering Saturday afternoon’s contest against the visiting Princeton Tigers, but they took Princeton wire-to-wire in a 73-62 triumph at Newman Arena in a game that started 19 hours later than originally scheduled due to inclement weather.
“It was good to get a win,” Cornell coach Brian Earl said. “[We] finished it out in somewhat the way you should.”
The Tigers (9-9, 4-1 Ivy) came out very flat and made a lot of mistakes. They had nine turnovers in the first half, contributing to the Big Red (5-13, 2-3) taking a 35-22 advantage into the locker room.
“[Because of the weather], they couldn’t get in the gym [on Friday],” Earl said. “Their bus ran off the road yesterday, so I think just sitting around can hurt you.”
To open up the second half, Jimmy Boeheim scored five straight points to push the Cornell lead up to 18.
“We tried to take advantage of the inside a little bit. My teammates found me in there,” said Boeheim. ” … I just try and keep my confidence scoring throughout the game.”
Once the Big Red took the 18-point lead, the Tigers slowly came back. Ethan Wright made a layup with 10:23 left to cut it to single-digits. Later, with the Big Red up eight with 3:28 to play, the Tigers quickly cut it to six after a pair of free-throws by Richmond Aririguzoh and threes by Wright and Drew Friberg.
The Big Red would then score the next four to push their lead to 10, and then Jimmy Boeheim put an exclamation mark on the afternoon with a two-hand slam off a pretty behind-the-back pass from Greg Dolan.
Boeheim finished with 24 points on the night, and Josh Warren had 18. Warren also connected on two three-pointers.
“It’s important for our team for me to shoot those shots,” said Warren. “It really spreads things out, especially with a big guy like Richmond (Aririguzoh) on the other team.”
The other significant scoring factor for Cornell was Terrance McBride, who added 14 points. Dean Noll scored seven off the bench in the first half.
Cornell limited Jaelin Llewellyn and Aririguzoh to 13 points and 10 points, respectively, with Llewellyn shooting 5-for-15 from the floor. All of his makes were crafty finishes inside with defense draped all over.
“We confused Richmond a little bit, and Jaelin got to the basket a lot, and he’s a really difficult guard,” said Earl.
Ethan Wright also added 10 points for the Tigers, who shot 43% from the floor and 30% from three as a team. The Tigers were also outrebounded 34-29, had nine assists to Cornell’s 16, and seven steals compared to 11 for the winners.
The Big Red will take on the Penn Quakers on Sunday afternoon, while the Tigers will face the Columbia Lions.
“(We’ve got to) shoot away with confidence,” Earl said of the Penn game. “They’re a difficult team to match up against, especially with (AJ) Brodeur and a couple of other guys.”
Both games air at 2 p.m. on ESPN+.