Dale who finished with a season-best 23 points, three assists and three steals, blocked a shot with 29 seconds left off a Bobcat player's leg to get possession back for the Big Red, then answered with what proved to be the game-winning free throws with 10 seconds to play after drawing a foul in the lane. With Quinnipiac looking to regain the lead, Dale tied up James Feldeine in the low post with four seconds left for a steal to give Cornell possession back. After Ryan Wittman hit a pair of free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining, a desperation heave from Quinnipiac's Bryan Geffen fell short and the Big Red escaped with the victory.
Along with Dale's best performance of the season, classmate Ryan Wittman posted a game-high 25 points and added three assists and three rebounds to join Dale as the lone double figure scorers. Jeff Foote added nine points and five rebounds but was hounded into a 3-of-11 shooting day. The Big Red hit on 53 percent of its shots overall, including 6-of-13 from beyond the arc, while the Bobcats hit on 46 percent of their efforts. The visitors were 2-of-12 from beyond the arc, including 0-of-5 in the first half.
Chris Wroblewski added a pair of 3-pointers for six points and three assists off the bech and Adam Wire had four points, five rebounds and two steals.
Despite missing second-leading scorer Justin Rutty, Quinnipiac came out smoking, jumping out to a 20-8 lead seven minutes in, but consecutive 3-pointers by Wroblewski and Wittman brought Cornell back into the contest. The Bobcats maintained a lead, though Cornell methodically came back, cutting the edge to one at 26-25 with 5:06 left on a Wittman trey, then finally knotting the score at 30-30 on a Dale 3-pointer. Dale tied it again on the next possession with a driving layup before the home team took its first lead since the initial basket of the game when Alex Tyler found a wide open Wroblewski for his second trey of the half to make it 35-34 with just under a minute to play. Cornell got a pair of defensive stops down the stretch to take that lead into the break.
Neither team led by more than five in the second half, and it was a one-point game for the final five minutes of action and for all but 35 seconds in the final 10 minutes.
While the game went back and forth, the Big Red was up for the challenge. Wittman hit four shots that gave Cornell the lead in the final 14 minutes, and both Foote and Dale also made killer plays down the stretch. Foote's short jumper in the lane gave Cornell a 69-68 edge with 55 seconds left before the seven-footer swatted away an initial shot on Quinnipiac's ensuing possession that led to Dale's block seconds later. The home team ended the afternoon with eight blocked shots.
The Big Red will attempt to extend its home win streak to 12 games when it meets Division III power Ursinus on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 3 p.m. in Newman Arena. The Bears, ranked No. 13 in the country and coming off a Final Four appearance a season ago, will welcome Cornell head coach Steve Donahue, a 1984 graduate.