Harvard men ride hot hands to 95-89 win over Cornell

Senior guard Idan Tretout contributed to Harvard’s hot shooting in its win over Cornell Saturday, going 3-for-5 from three-point range en route to a 17-point performance. The Crimson shot 10-for-18 (55.6%), powering them to a win that pulled them into a tie with three other Ivies for third place in the Ivy League behind Princeton and Cornell. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

The Achilles heel of the Cornell men finally felled them Saturday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion. 

The Big Red allowed the Harvard Crimson to shoot 60% from the field as they fell 95-89 for their first Ivy League road loss of the season.

Cornell (14-5, 4-2 Ivy) showed its typical full-court pressure, but it didn’t faze Harvard (12-8, 3-3). The Crimson attacked the rim, scoring 42 points in the paint and 10 off the fastbreak.

Senior standout Chris Ledlum showed why he’s one of the best in the Ivy League, scoring 24 points and hauling down nine boards to lead the way. Senior guard Idan Tretout tallied 17, junior guard Sam Silverstein notched 16, junior forward Justice Ajogbor pitched in 12 and senior guard Luka Sakota added 10.

Cornell and Harvard battled back and forth throughout the first half before the Crimson gained some separation going into the half. After 20 minutes of play, Harvard led, 49-46.

With 15:31 remaining, the Crimson extended its lead to nine after Ajogbor slammed home a dunk. Cornell tied it up at 64-64 after a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Nazir Williams and took a 69-68 lead with 8:26 to go.

But from that point on, it was all Harvard. Ledlum hit a three-pointer with 5:39 remaining to put the Crimson up eight and the deficit became insurmountable for the Big Red.

Despite a frantic rally in the final 61 seconds, Harvard went 9-for-10 from the free throw line to hold on for the victory and even its record in Ivy play.

Williams continued his scoring surge for Cornell, recording 23 points off 5-for-7 shooting from deep. Sophomore forward Guy Ragland Jr. contributed 18 points off the bench and senior guard Greg Dolan delivered 15. Junior guard Chris Manon managed 13 points in just 20 minutes.

The Big Red went 10-for-15 from deep in the first half before going just 4-for-18 in the second. They shot 45% from the field in the second session.

The Crimson controlled the boards, outrebounding Cornell, 30-22.

Cornell will return home Saturday to host Brown while Harvard will hit the road to face Penn.