NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Yale rallied in the final two minutes to pull out a 71-70 victory over Cornell at John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday evening. The Bulldogs stole the win by overcoming a 10-point in the final 1:58 of the contest to improve to 10-9 (3-2 Ivy), while the Big Red dropped to 4-15 (0-5 Ivy) with the loss.
Drew Ferry scored a game-high 18 points for the Big Red, including hitting on 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, while Errick Peck scored 16 points and added six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Also in double figures for Cornell was Eitan Chemerinski with a career-best 11 points and six rebounds and Johnathan Gray with 10 on 4-of-4 shooting.
Yale got 18 points from Porter Braswell, while Austin Morgan chipped in with 17 points, including the game-winning three-point play with 12 seconds to play. Greg Mangano had 14 points, nine rebounds and five of Yale's 10 blocked shots on the evening. The Bulldogs shot 49 percent from the field overall and overcame 18 turnovers with 19 team assists.
The Big Red led for the first 19 minutes of the second half, only to see Yale's rally come at the worst time. Cornell committed three turnovers and missed three free throws in the final stretch to drop its fifth straight game to open league play.
Cornell's pressure defense and the play of Chemerinski off the bench sparked the Big Red to one of its finest first halves of basketball this season. Cornell went into the locker room leading 36-32 after scoring 10 points off 10 Bulldog turnovers. Chemerinski had nine points and five rebounds in nine minutes off the bench as Cornell held a 23-5 advantage in bench scoring over the first 20 minutes. He rebounded his own miss three times on one possession before finally getting one to fall for a key three-point play. Freshman Manny Sahota's first college points also made a big splash, as they snapped a 30-30 tie on a driving layup, giving the Big Red its first lead of the contest.
Peck scored 10 points, and his backdoor cut for a reverse layup as time expired in the half gave the visitors a four-point lead at the break. Braswell and Mangano each had eight first half points as Yale shot 52 percent from the floor overall.
Cornell returns to action tomorrow when it visits Brown at 6 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Big Red alone in Ivy League cellar
Cornell, which led by 10 points with under 2 minutes remaining, had two possessions to win, but a blocked shot and a turnover sealed the Big Red's fifth straight league loss.
At 4-15 overall and 0-5 in the league, Cornell is alone in last place. The Big Red plays at Brown Saturday night. The Bears (8-11, 1-4) beat Columbia, 87-79, Friday night on the strength of 39 points from freshman Sean McGonagill. Princeton edged Harvard, 65-61, in a matchup of league unbeatens, and Penn routed Dartmouth 78-47 to move to 3-0 in the league.
Drew Ferry hit two free throws to put Cornell up 65-55 with 1:58 remaining.
It was at that point Cornell made a series of mistakes that aided the Bulldogs' comeback: primarily, repeatedly stopping the clock by committing untimely fouls.
The Big Red bracketed two fouls around a turnover, which led to four Yale free throws in a span of 24 seconds. Mark Coury followed by splitting a pair from the free throw line with 1:19 remaining, making it 66-59. Four seconds later, Coury fouled Austin Morgan, who made two shots.
Errick Peck was fouled and made two free throws, but Porter Braswell's 3-pointer cut Yale's deficit to 68-64 with 59 seconds left.
Yale then fouled Chris Wroblewski, who hit two free throws. Less than five seconds later, Peck was whistled for a foul. Yale hit two more from the line.
Up two with under 20 seconds left, Cornell turned the ball over. The miscue led to Morgan's go-ahead bucket.
Ferry finished with 18 points. Peck scored 16, and sophomore Eitan Chemerinski chipped in career-highs of 11 points and six rebounds. Cornell played without senior center Aaron Osgood, who suffered a knee injury during Wednesday's practice. Cornell shot only 58 percent from the free throw line, making 15 of 26.
Braswell scored 18 points and Morgan 17 for the Bulldogs (10-9, 3-2 Ivy). Greg Mangano, Yale's 6-10 center, finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
By Bill Cloutier
New Haven Register
NEW HAVEN — It got real quiet on the Yale bench in the closing minutes of Friday’s Ivy League men’s basketball game against Cornell. In fact, the only one who was talking was coach James Jones, and he was doing it silently to himself.
Yale trailed by 10 points with 1 minute, 58 seconds remaining, but Jones still had a sense of belief.
“I said to myself, ‘Self, we’re going to win this game,’” Jones said. “I’m not going to know how it’s going to happen, but I swear I said it to myself, but we did, and I still don’t know it happened.”
A couple of minutes later, the silence grew into a roar as Austin Morgan’s three-point play with 12 seconds left capped a memorable comeback, and Yale defeated Cornell 71-70 at the Lee Amphitheater.
“It’s one of those miracles that you witness and you’re happy to be a part of,” Jones said. Porter Braswell scored 18 points and Morgan had 17, including seven in the last 1:15, as Yale finished the game on a 10-2 run.
The Bulldogs improved to 10-9, 3-2 in the league.
Cornell led 68-61 after a pair of free throws by Errick Peck, but Braswell made a 3-pointer, and after Chris Wroblewski converted a pair of free throws, Morgan began driving to the basket at will.
He made two free throws to cut the deficit to 70-66 with 50 seconds left. After Peck missed a pair of free throws, Greg Mangano scored on a putback to close the gap to two points. Mangano then deflected a Cornell pass at midcourt with 16 seconds left giving Yale possession and setting up Morgan’s winning drive to the basket.
Morgan drove through traffic, made the shot, and was fouled by Miles Asafo-Adjei. Morgan made the free throw to give Yale the lead. Peck then had a shot blocked by Reggie Willhite with 4 seconds left. Cornell got the ball back but threw away the inbounds pass.
Still, the game wasn’t over.
Braswell was fouled with 1.7 seconds left and missed both free throws. Peck grabbed the rebound, but his heave from 70 feet fell short, sending the Yale bench into mayhem.
“It’s huge,” Jones said. “You don’t want to go to 2-3.”
Said Morgan: “Basketball’s a funny game. Our coaches always say to keep playing because you never know what’s going to happen. You never want to lose at home, and, fortunately, we got some bounces and got this thing done.”
Cornell (4-15, 0-5), which won the last three league titles, has now lost nine games by seven points or less. It looked listless in the opening minutes of the game, but then played with desperation and pride the rest of the way.
“I told the team in the locker room that Cornell deserved to win,” Jones said. “They frustrated us and took us out of rhythm. But I’m happy to be on the winning side.”
The Big Red got a major jolt of emotion from backup center Eitan Chemerinski, who grabbed five rebounds on one possession.
Trailing 20-9, Chemerinski got inside for a layup, but was blocked three times. All three times, he got his own rebound and missed the follow up. Chemerinski then grabbed the loose ball and attempted three more layups. He finally hit the last one and was fouled and turned it into a three-point play.
The Cornell bench erupted after the series, and the Big Red then made their next three 3-pointers to get back into the game.
Yale again built a 30-23 lead following a powerhouse jam by Willhite, but Cornell responded with an 11-0 run and took a stunning 36-32 lead into the break.
Yale turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, and despite shooting 52 percent, it trailed at the half for the third straight game.
“You wonder why we were losing, and that’s it,” Jones said. “We turned the ball over 18 times. We shot 49 percent, and we were losing.”
Cornell got 18 points from Drew Ferry and 16 from Peck.
Morgan's Three-Point Play With 12 Seconds Left Wins It
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There probably weren't many fans in the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday who thought the Bulldogs were going to win when they trailed Cornell by eight points with three minutes remaining. James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach still believed, and his faith was rewarded. Austin Morgan's three-point play with 12 seconds left capped a stunning comeback as Yale escaped with a thrilling 71-70 victory over the Big Red.
"With three minutes left in the game, I said to myself we're going to win this game. I didn't know how it was going to happen, but we're going to win," a mentally drained Jones said after the game. "Sometimes miracles happen, and we're happy to be a part of it."
Yale (10-9, 3-2 Ivy) was down 10 points with 1:58 left and still trailed by seven with 1:10 remaining.
Porter Braswell's three-pointer cut the deficit to four. After Cornell's Chris Wroblewski and Morgan traded a pair of free throws, Errick Peck missed two free throws, keeping the Bulldogs alive. Greg Mangano's put-back then pulled Yale within 70-68 with 26 seconds left.
The Bulldogs regained possession when Mangano got his hands on Drew Ferry's pass. After a timeout, Morgan's driving layup and ensuing free throw completed the comeback.
Cornell had one last opportunity, but Reggie Willhite blocked Peck's driving layup in the final seconds.
"Basketball is a funny game," said Morgan, who also had a winning three-point play in Yale's overtime victory over Holy Cross earlier this season. "The coaches always tell us to keep playing until the end. We kept chipping away without time going off the clock."
Braswell finished with 18 points to lead Yale. Morgan added 17 points, and Mangano contributed 14 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.
With Cornell's defense focusing much of its attention on Mangano, Yale's guards combined for 40 points.
"Having Greg is a big asset," Morgan said. "He attracts so much attention that it makes everybody else better."
Drew Ferry paced the Big Red with 18 points.
The Big Red got 42 points from its bench.
Early on, it didn't look like the Bulldogs were going to need a big comeback. Braswell's three-pointer gave Yale an 11-point lead midway through the first half. After an emphatic dunk in traffic by Willhite with 3:22 left, the Bulldogs still had a seven-point advantage.
Cornell, though, scored the next nine points and closed the half with a 13-2 run to take a 36-32 lead at the intermission.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the second half, 53-52, on a Jeremiah Kreisberg jumper with 9:47 remaining but wouldn't lead again until the final seconds.
NOTES: Yale had a big edge in most of the statistical categories, outshooting the Big Red 49.1 percent to 42.6 percent and outrebounding Cornell 39-29. The Bulldogs, though, committed 18 turnovers… Freshman Isaiah Salafia scored a career-high five points off the bench… Mangano finished 7-of-11 from the field and finished one rebound shy of his eighth double-double… Yale did an outstanding defensive job, led mostly by Willhite, on Wroblewski. Cornell's leading scorer was just 3-of-8 from the field in scoring nine points, six below his average… The Bulldogs have little time to savor this victory. They host Columbia on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Lions dropped an 87-79 decision at Brown.
Below, some fan videos off of YouTube from the game's final 15 seconds...