Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cornell Gives Up 9 Point 2nd Half Lead and Falls to Ohio 102-89

Box Score

Ohio Outguns Men's Hoops, 102-89

ATHENS, Ohio -- Ohio used a big second half surge to run past Cornell 102-89 on Saturday evening at the Convocation Center behind 28 points and 15 rebounds from Leon Williams. The victory kept the Bobcats unbeaten at 2-0, while the Big Red slipped to 1-1.

Cornell placed six players in double figures in the high-scoring affair and led by as many as nine in the second half. Senior Jason Hartford had 18 points, while sophomore Ryan Wittman posted 17. Alex Tyler (13 points, six rebounds), Adam Gore (12), Louis Dale (11 points, nine assists) and Collin Robinson (10 points) also hit double figures. The Big Red shot 49 percent overall and 43 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

The visitors had a season-high 21 assists as a team and also hit 12 3-pointers. Williams was joined by Bubba Walther's 25 points and 21 more from Jerome Tillman. Ohio shot 51 percent from the floor and held a 39-33 rebounding advantage, including pulling down 15 key offensive rebounds. Ohio turned the ball over just eight times in the win.

In a back-and-forth second half that featured a combined 102 points, Ohio took control over the final 11 minutes and erased a nine-point deficit The Bobcats scored 18 second chance points after the break and surrendered 59 points in the final 20 minutes for the second straight game. Ohio stormed out to a 7-3 lead just three minutes in, with Gore hitting a trey, before the Big Red scored four straight on layups by Hartford and Dale tied the game at 7-7.

After Ohio went up 13-7, Tyler got a basket off the break and the Bobcat bench was called for a technical foul. Wittman stepped to the line and canned both shots, the first two of seven straight points by the sophomore. A 3-pointer on the other end by Walther made it 20-16 at the second media timeout A 19-5 run midway through the half put the Big Red up 41-35 after Dale's running jumper with 2:30 to play iunj, with Hartford scoring four points and Wittman and Wilkins hitting tough jumpers during the run. Ohio answered by evening the score at 43-43, but Cornell got a run-out bucket late to go into the break with a 46-43 advantage.

Cornell shot 61 percent from the floor in the first half and had three players with at least nine points, led by Hartford's 10. The Big Red opened the second half hot, with Gore making two 3-pointers and Wittman hitting another in the first three minutes of the second half to go up nine, then another flurry of treys by Hartford and Wittman over consecutive possessions made it an eight-point lead at 68-60 with 14:55 left in the half. From there on out, it was the Tillman, Walther and Williams show. The duo combined to score 36 points over the final 10 minutes to put the home team in the lead and then put the game away. Cornell will attempt to pick up its second win of the season when it returns home to face Army on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena.

Ohio Head Coach Tim O'Shea Quotes:
I thought it was a very entertaining game, especially on offense. I thought the way Cornell shot the ball there for a period of time there was just incredible, I mean just unbelievable, the shots they were throwing in. It really shows you why they're picked to win the Ivy League this year. To come into our building and put on a performance like that, I thought we caught them on a night when they were really playing on the top of their game...You've got to ride the storm out. It wasn't as if they were hitting easy shots, I mean they were incredible. I just think we were fortunate that we were scoring the ball so well tonight that we were able to keep pace with them offensively. If you come into a night like this, and have a cold shooting night against a team that's that hot, you can get down 18, 20 points real easy.They were shooting the ball so deep, and so well, there really isn't much defense you can do, you have to just hope that you can weather the storm. The biggest thing is that we never let them get too far away during that stretch where they were real hot. We were able to score enough baskets to keep it close.

Men's Basketball: Williams leads Bobcats to victory over Cornell,Ohio's 102 points in regulation most since 2002

Published Saturday, November 17, 2007.

The Post (Athens, Ohio)
By Steve Gartner

With his team trailing to Cornell by nine points early in the second half, Leon Williams put the Bobcats on his back.

The center ignited a 25-5 run for Ohio, scoring 14 points during the spurt, and following this mid-second-half surge, the Bobcats never faltered, defeating the Big Red 102-89 Saturday night.

"I thought it was essential to impose my will and look for my shots," Williams said. "I was trying to help my team in any way that I could."

Williams finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds, and coach Tim O'Shea credited the senior with keeping the team focused during a run where the Big Red hit 17 of 21 shots.

"Leon picked it up to the point where he was so dominant inside," he said. "I thought his performance was really key. That's what your upperclassmen need to do, show some leadership."

Williams, who scored 20 points in the second half, said he was determined to stay out of foul trouble after playing only 17 minutes against New Mexico State in the Bobcats' opener.

"It felt good to be out there for a good amount of time and it was good not getting in foul trouble as well," he said. "That's always in the back of my mind, and it's good to be out there and not having to worry about it."

Guard Bubba Walther and forward Jerome Tillman totaled 25 and 21 points, respectively. Ohio (2-0) also received a big boost from guard Michael Allen off the bench, with the junior college transfer scoring 11 points and dishing out nine assists in his first game of the season.

"It was a great experience because even in practice, I played with the second string and I really hadn't played with the starters," Allen said. "It was wonderful."

Allen said that playing against some top players at the junior college level helped ease his transition to the Division I level.

"I think my...experience was pretty good because I played with some high-caliber guys from the Big 12 and Big East," he said. "I knew I was ready to come in and fulfill the role."

O'Shea said that he liked what he saw from Allen in his first game running the Ohio offense.

"He's a very quick player and he's got a good feel for the position," he said. "I thought he came off the bench and he made some plays that kind of got us going."

Though Ohio maintained a lead throughout the first half, the Big Red (1-1) closed the first half on a 27-16 run to take a three-point lead into the locker room. Cornell continued its hot shooting early in the second half, building a nine-point lead with just less than 18 minutes remaining. For the game, the Big Red tallied 12 3-point field goals.

"I think we were fortunate that we were scoring the ball well tonight and that we were able to keep pace with them offensively," O'Shea said. "You could see where Cornell is going to give people fits all year long."

The 102 points by the Bobcats are the most points they've scored in a regular-season regulation game since 2002...Forward Justin Orr added 10 points to give the Bobcats five players in double figures.

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