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.
Cornell’s two big men, Steven Julian and Josh Warren, got bogged down in foul trouble, leading coach Brian Earl to have to extend the rotation and use junior college transfer Chaz Mack. Julian had a very poor night offensively, going 0-for-8 from the field, and none of his shots seemed to be very close either. Cornell cannot win games with Steven Julian being ineffective. Josh Warren went 2-for-4 in 15 minutes of play.
Terrance McBride went 0-for-2, missing two wide open shots. Struggles from him and senior Troy Whiteside (1-for-4) led to Earl digging deeper with sophomore Bryan Knapp seeing some action. Knapp lacks defensive skills, but he is not a guy defenses want to leave open from deep. He would not however take any shots.
The visitors shot 54.7 percent from the field (29-for-53) and 40 percent from deep (6-for-15). Kevin Anderson led the Blue Hens with 22 points (9-for-14) and redshirt senior Eric Carter had 19 points (8-for-12). This Blue Hens team may be better than most think, having been tabbed seventh of 10th in the CAA, with the Hens almost stunning Maryland in College Park last week.
Cornell’s main concern right now should be finding a supporting offense. Its defense through four games has statistically been better, letting opponents shoot only 43 percent. Three-point percentage for opponents has also been down, with Cornell allowing just 17 threes on 71 attempts (24 percent). The Big Red have also made offenses turn the ball over 56 times though four games. If players like Troy Whiteside, Steven Julian, Jake Kuhn, and Josh Warren put up better offensive numbers, the Big Red will win more ball games with defensive numbers like these.
Cornell’s next game is at NJIT Saturday at 4 p.m. This game will conclude the Central New York Hoops Classic. NJIT is 4-0 with wins over Colgate and Binghamton, Ivy League foe Brown, and D-lll Kean. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN+.