The Cornell Big Red took a 38-33 halftime lead and started off the second half on a 6-0 run. However, the offense then fell cold again and the team suffered their eighth straight loss Wednesday, this time at the hands of the host Colgate Raiders, 66-58.
The Big Red (1-8) led by 11 two minutes into the second half, but the Raiders (7-4), coached by Penn alum Matt Langel, went on a 23-2 run to launch ahead. Cornell closed to within five but several poorly executed possessions down the stretch led to Colgate holding on. There were three straight possessions for the Big Red that had no real flow and resulted in a block for the Raiders.
Cornell shot a blazing 61% in the first half, connecting on four of their eight three-point attempts. They shot 28% in the second half and went 0-for-8 from deep.
On defense, the Big Red did a spectacular job as they held Colgate to just 41% shooting. The Raiders have four great scorers and Cornell managed to limit all of them. Their best production was from an unproven freshman off the bench, Keegan Records. He led the Raiders with 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting.
The Big Red also did a nice job controlling the boards, outrebounding the Raiders by 10 (38-28). Besides missing shots, foul trouble and turnovers hurt Cornell. Jordan Jones had four fouls, while Josh Warren and Bryan Knapp each had three. The team turned the ball over 15 times, 12 more than last time out against Lafayette.
Josh Warren led Cornell with 12 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting night. He had a nice bounceback game, as he’s really struggled ever since the loss against NJIT back on Nov. 13.
Jimmy Boeheim had 11 points, including seven of the Big Red’s first nine.
Jordan Jones and Terrance McBride each had nine points for the Big Red. Jones has continued to provide a nice contribution to the team and has played well enough to continue to secure a spot in the starting lineup. McBride is starting to slowly get his jump shot back as he’s struggled for a few games.
Riley Voss had seven off the bench in the first half, but was a nonfactor in the second half. Over his first few years on East Hill, he’s had some nice sparks off the bench but has yet to be consistent.
As much as I hate to say it, the officiating was very biased all night. The Big Red seemingly got no calls, and Colgate got everything. But that’s no excuse to lose the game. If the Big Red shoot better, they win.
They now go into the finals break sitting at 1-8 with a lot of work to do. Shooting is obviously the number one focus, as the defense and rebounding has been pretty solid of late.
After the break, the Big Red play at Hartford the Sunday prior to Christmas. The following Sunday, the team travels down to State College to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Between the Penn State game on Dec. 29 and the Ivy opener on January 18, the Big Red play just once, and that’s against SUNY-Purchase (Division III).
The Big Red have a lot of work to do during their break and have just two remaining Division I nonconference games to use as preparation for conference play.