Cornell men can’t stop Dartmouth as Ian Sistare notches a career scoring high

ITHACA, N.Y. – The Dartmouth Big Green couldn’t be stopped offensively at Newman Arena Friday night en route to an 82-70 win over Cornell that marked the visitors’ fourth win in five games.

“We didn’t play any defense,” said Cornell coach Brian Earl. “They made a lot of shots, shot it really well. We just couldn’t find a way.”

The Big Green (11-15, 4-7 Ivy) took an eight-point lead into the locker room at the half. They were led by senior forward Ian Sistare, who scored 14 in the half. He had a career-high 25 points on the evening off 8-for-10 shooting.

“That can’t happen,” Cornell guard Bryan Knapp said. “Dude averages five points.” (For the record, Sistare’s 25 points boosted his season scoring average to 7.2 points up from 6.4.)

The Big Red (6-18, 3-8) trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, but got it to two points with 9:14 left.

“They were hard to guard,” said Earl. “They’ve been playing together for a long time. They do what they do, and they did it against us.”

After the lead was cut to two, the Big Green slowly pulled away again. An altercation on the floor led Dartmouth to shooting four free throws, and they sunk three to seal the game with 96 ticks left.

In addition to Sistare, Aaryn Rai and Chris Knight contributed with 18 and 17 points respectively. Knight also hauled in 13 boards. Both players had huge under-the-radar nights. James Foye also chipped in with 14 points for the winners.

On the Cornell side of things, Jimmy Boeheim was out for a third straight game nursing an ankle injury sustained two weeks ago in Hanover. He’s not expected to play on Saturday against Harvard, but his status is unknown for next weekend.

“It’s unfortunate that we have Jimmy injured, but everybody has somebody that they are missing at this point of the season,” Earl said.

Leading the Big Red offense was Terrance McBride with 20 points. He’s really stepped up of late.

“I’m just asked to do a bit more out there,” said McBride. “I’m trying to be more aggressive, making plays for myself and others.”

Bryan Knapp, who’s also stepped up of late, scored 17.

“My game is based around pull-ups, I shoot a lot of pull-up jump shots,” said Knapp. “Whenever I catch the ball, the other team screams pull-up. So one thing that I need to try to do is versify my scoring a little bit. So they are expecting me to drive so that means the three will be open.”

Kobe Dickson added 10 points, starting in the place of Boeheim. Greg Dolan added seven off the bench. Marcus Filien had just two points but hauled in eight boards.

“(The underclassmen), they work everyday, they are in here with us everyday,” McBride said. “It’s good to see their hard work pay off.”

“They’ve had a lot of time in practice and have been getting a chance a little bit here recently in games,” Earl said. “College is a short timespan when you really look at it, so they need to step up which they’ve done a little bit here at the end of the season.”

Senior Josh Warren scored nine points and will play his final game at Newman Arena on Saturday when the team takes on Harvard. Dartmouth will take on Columbia in Morningside Heights.