Jimmy Boeheim went off for a career-high 31 points on a very efficient 14-for-20 shooting night and Matt Morgan stuffed the stat sheet one last time, but the Robert Morris Colonials couldn’t miss in overtime, beating the Big Red, 98-89, in the first round of the CIT. The loss has ended the Big Red’s season at 15-16.
Matt Morgan’s 27 points, 25 of which were in the second half, and the Big Red’s suffocating defense was enough to push themselves over the Navy Midshipmen Sunday, 61-50. Cornell climbed to 6-7 with the win, while Navy fell to 3-8.
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.
Cornell could not fix its shooting woes from Sunday against Colgate and dropped Thursday’s home contest against the Delaware Blue Hens by a score of 73-56. Cornell fell to 2-2 with the loss, while the Blue Hens improved to 3-1.
Jimmy Boeheim and Matt Morgan both had stellar games, with Boeheim notching 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting off the bench, and Matt Morgan was able to recover from a poor game on Sunday with 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting. He also hauled in five boards and had four assists. The two pitched in a combined 44 points, shooting 16-for-26 (61.5 percent), while the rest of the team combined for just 12 points shooting on a woeful 6-for-31 (19.4 percent). The team shot 6-for-23 for three (26.1 percent), with Morgan and Boeheim connecting on three each. Five of the six threes came in the game’s last 6:12.
Picked for sixth in the 2017-2018 Ivy League preseason poll, the Cornell men’s team (12-16 overall, 6-8 Ivy) exceeded expectations to finish the season in fourth place and secure the team’s first ever appearance in the Ivy Tournament. After starting conference play with three straight losses by a total of 71 points, the Red and their second-year head coach Brian Earl regrouped. Over the next four weeks, they went on a 4-2 run, punctuated by a 22-point second half comeback in a 107-101 triple overtime win over Princeton, to get back into the thick of the race for the upper division. After losing a thrilling double overtime at Harvard on the penultimate night of the regular season, Cornell bounced back again to defeat Dartmouth and claim the Ivy’s fourth golden ticket.
In the semifinal against Harvard, the Big Red found themselves up seven with three minutes to go in the first half, but the Crimson closed the stanza on a 16-4 run. Without any answers in the second half, their season ended with a 74-55 defeat. With the return of Matt Morgan and Stone Gettings for their senior seasons, things looked up for the Cornell faithful. In May, however, Gettings changed all of that with a surprise announcement that he would forgo his senior season, graduate in December and become a graduate transfer for 2019-20. Despite the loss of their second-team All-Ivy forward, the Big Red look to jump over the .500 mark and make it back to Ivy Madness.
On Monday, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman tweeted that Cornell’s Matt Morgan would withdraw from the upcoming NBA Draft. That same day, Raphy Gendler of the Cornell Daily Sun reported that Morgan will return to the school and the team for his senior year. Noted Morgan in a text to the school paper, “It was in my best interest to come back and play one more year and finish out not only my athletic career but also my academic career. It was great going through the process again but I’m glad to officially be back and getting ready for another run with my team.”
Morgan had tested the NBA Draft waters for the first time in the spring of 2017. During that time, he received interest from the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Washington Wizards. He took the information from that process and used it to have his strongest season at Cornell. Not only did he lead the Ivy League in scoring for the third straight season, but his career-best 22.5 points per game was the 11th highest in the nation. The Concord, N.C. shooting guard ended the 2017-2018 season with an active 51-game double-digit scoring streak, while being named a member of the All-Ivy first team and the Lou Henson All-America team. His 1,646 points are third on the Big Red’s all-time list, 17 points behind John Bajusz and 382 points behind Ryan Wittman’s record 2,028.