Cornell men’s basketball 2018-19 season recap

With Stone Gettings transferring from Cornell, expectations went from a possible contender to a team that may not even get 10 wins. But despite not getting into the Ivy League Tournament, the Big Red had a pretty solid season and they far surpassed their expectations. Matt Morgan was still Matt Morgan, but forwards Jimmy Boeheim and Josh Warren stepped it up and each had big roles as secondary scorers while seniors Steven Julian and Joel Davis anchored the defense. The team played some great games, including almost-upsets over Yale and Syracuse and a sweep of Harvard.

A lot of Cornell’s problem throughout the season was poor rebounding. The Big Red could hold teams to 35-45 percent from the field most nights, yet still lose. For context, they were 352nd out of 353 Division I teams in offensive rebound percentage.

Read moreCornell men’s basketball 2018-19 season recap

Three-pointers abound as Cornell falls in the first round of the CIT

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.

Read moreThree-pointers abound as Cornell falls in the first round of the CIT

Ancient Eight thoughts – Ivy Saturday men’s edition

Eight thoughts on the men’s side:

1. Penn’s defense finds its stride

Penn held Cornell to 18 points in the second half and 0.78 points per possession for the night, an inspired defensive performance marking the latest glimpse of how high Penn’s ceiling can be when the defense is fully locked in. Matt Morgan’s usage rate was lower than usual, and Penn did a good job zeroing in on the second-all-time leading scorer in Ivy history. Morgan and company actually had a decent outing from beyond the arc (8-for-22, 36.4 percent), but it didn’t matter because everything else was effectively taken away. The Big Red typically thrive at the foul line, but Penn’s characteristically disciplined defense (the Quakers rank best in the Ivy League in defensive free throw rate) didn’t feed into that. Instead, Penn preserved its outside shot at an Ivy League Tournament berth, a feat only as realistic as its defense is strong down the stretch.

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Cornell fades at Penn, misses opportunity to gain ground in Ivy League Tournament hunt

Cornell led at Penn at halftime, 32-30, at the Palestra Saturday night in a game teeming with Ivy League Tournament implications.

Then the second half happened, and the Big Red faded in a 68-50 loss to Penn that kept the home team in the Ivy tourney hunt, even as Cornell maintains a one-game lead over Penn in the Ivy standings and is tied with Brown at 5-5, with the Big Red currently holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Penn opened the second stanza on a 14-3 run in the first 6:20 and never looked back, doing a much better job limiting touches for Cornell senior guard Matt Morgan.

Read moreCornell fades at Penn, misses opportunity to gain ground in Ivy League Tournament hunt

Cornell charges back and fades out to fall at Princeton, 68-59

Cornell trailed 54-36 at Jadwin Gym with less than 14 minutes remaining and it looked like the game may be too far out of reach.

A 23-7 Big Red fun followed, with Riley Voss and Jimmy Boeheim leading the way on the scoring front.

But Cornell couldn’t muster a field goal in the final 5:58, losing 68-59, done in by eight points down the stretch from Ryan Schwieger en route to his leading all scorers with a career-high 23 points.

Read moreCornell charges back and fades out to fall at Princeton, 68-59

Cornell can’t come all the way back in 73-70 loss to Columbia

Saturday’s rematch between Cornell and Columbia had a very similar flow as last week’s game in Ithaca. This time, though, it was Cornell tasked with making a comeback that ultimately fell just short.

The Big Red were down 11 points with 8:18 to go after a Patrick Tape post move, with all the momentum cutting against them. Columbia opened the second half shooting flawlessly, led by Gabe Stefanini and Quinton Adlesh, hitting 12 of its first 13 shots from the floor.

But down 67-57 with 6:14 to go, the dynamic duo of Matt Morgan and Jimmy Boeheim hit back-to-back threes, and it was quickly a four-point game.

Read moreCornell can’t come all the way back in 73-70 loss to Columbia

Cornell gets back on track with a 61-50 win over Navy

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.

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Foul trouble and poor rebounding doom Cornell at Toledo

Despite making their first five shots and pulling ahead to an 11-point lead just six minutes into the game, the Big Red faded late amid an 86-70 road loss to the Toledo Rockets.

Matt Morgan led the way for Cornell (5-6) with 24 points, connecting on two three-pointers and hitting all 10 of his free throws. Josh Warren had another solid night, finishing with 14 points on a 6-for-9 clip, while adding seven rebounds, six assists and two blocks. Jimmy Boeheim had eight points and two rebounds, and seven players for Cornell ranged between three and seven points on the night.

Cornell came out firing on all cylinders, hitting its first five shots, three from Morgan. The Big Red were up 13-5 at the first media timeout, and then up 19-8 minutes later. Then Toledo (11-2) went on a mega-run and took its first lead at 26-25 with 7:30 to go. Cornell found itself down 48-39 at the break but started the second half quickly thanks to a three from Morgan. Despite being in striking range for most of the second half, the Big Red just couldn’t string together enough stops to get closer than six down and finally ran out of steam with about seven minutes to go. Remember that the tilt with Toledo was Cornell’s third game in four days.

Read moreFoul trouble and poor rebounding doom Cornell at Toledo

Checking in with Cornell men’s basketball

Record: 5-7 (3-1 Home; 2-6 Away) and Rankings: KenPom No. 244 and TeamRankings No. 256

What’s Hot:
Matt Morgan and Stone Gettings

After being named to the conference’s second team in his first two seasons, Morgan is making a run, not only at the league’s first team but an Ivy Player of the Year award.  After 12 games, the sharp shooting guard is first in the conference and second in the nation with 25.3 points per game.  He currently has a streak of 35 straight double-figure scoring games, which broke school’s 62 year old record.  He also in the midst of a school record 11-game 20-plus scoring streak.  With Morgan’s interest in joining the NBA, Big Red fans will have to hope that he does not follow Evan Boudreaux’s lead and skip his senior year to keep become a graduate transfer at a high-major program.

Read moreChecking in with Cornell men’s basketball

Red-White Scrimmage brings growth and hope for Cornell

Amid an 80-degree, summer-like Homecoming on Saturday, the Cornell men’s basketball team held its Red-White Scrimmage, unofficially beginning year two of the Brian Earl era.  With a year of experience under Earl’s more disciplined system, as well as the coach’s bringing in his first recruiting class, the Big Red look like a more confident and balanced unit that should improve upon last season’s 8-21 record.

Read moreRed-White Scrimmage brings growth and hope for Cornell