Sunday, February 3, 2013

Game Recap: Cornell 71, Penn 69

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Sophomore Galal Cancer's spinning shot in the lane with 10 seconds remaining helped Cornell overcome a 10-point second half deficit in a 71-69 victory at Penn on Saturday evening at the Palestra. Cornell improved to 10-11 (2-2 Ivy), while the Quakers dropped to 4-16 (1-2 Ivy).

Cancer pounded the ball on the left wing as the shot clock wound down, spun in the lane to split a pair of defenders and went off glass to put the visitors into the late lead.

It was the third straight game down to the wire for the Big Red at the Palestra and the second win in the final 10 seconds in head coach Bill Courtney's three seasons on the Big Red sidelines.

Cornell led by six with six minutes to play after trailing by double figures in the final 20 minutes, but this time Penn rallied back. The Quakers tied the game on a Dau Jok 3-pointer off an inbounds play with 3:34 left, then took the lead on a Miles Cartwright trey with 2:15 remaining. Cornell tied the game at 69-69 when Errick Peck hit a pair of shots from the charity stripe, and Cancer's game-winner came after Shonn Miller got a steal on the other end.

While Cancer's basket may have been the highlight, the most important play came on Penn's ensuing possession. Cartwright drove the lane and had his shot blocked by Miller, but not before Penn coach Jerome Allen called a timeout from the sidelines with 2.7 seconds left. Inbounding under its own basket, Cornell's defense put the lock down and drew a five seconds call, making sure it wouldn't allow the Quakers a potential shot to tie or win. Peck inbounded the ball into Cornell's backcourt and Penn, who had just five fouls, couldn't get the Big Red to the line to extend the game.

Peck didn't miss a shot all night, matching a school record by hitting all eight of his field goal attempts, including a 3-pointer, as part of a 20-point night. He was instrumental in a 12-0 second half run that featured four baskets by Peck and an assist on a fifth over a span of less than three minutes. Senior Johnathan Gray chipped in 11 points and Cancer ended the night with nine points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals. As a team, Cornell shot 51 percent from the field, including 54 percent after halftime.

Patrick Lucas-Perry scored a team-high 14 points for Penn, while both Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry each had 10. The Quakers assisted on 24 of the team's 28 baskets and hit 12-of-24 from 3-point range while shooting 50 percent overall from the floor.

Unlike Friday night, when Cornell jumped on Princeton early, the Big Red got off to a slow start, falling behind 8-3. The Quakers extended the lead to as many as eight, but Cornell wouldn't let the home team run away. Trailing 21-14, Cornell embarked on an 8-0 run to take the lead. Dominick Scelfo's 3-pointer gave the Big Red its first lead at 22-21 with 8:16 left in the half.

The teams traded the lead back and forth the rest of the half, including an alley-oop dunk from Miles Asafo-Adjei to Miller before Penn spurted out to a five-point lead on the strength of consecutive 3-pointers by Patrick Lucas-Perry. Cornell got two points back on a pull-up by Nolan Cressler on its final possession of the half and forced a miss on the other end to go into the break trailing 36-33.

Penn scored five points right off the bat in the second half to extend the lead to eight, and four minutes in moved the lead to 10. It held it in that area until Cornell went on a game-changing run after trailing 54-45 with 12 minutes left. It started with a Cressler 3-pointer from the left corner, and after a media timeout, the Errick Peck show began. Three straight Big Red possessions turned into Peck baskets in the lane, two coming on isolations where the senior spun to get open and scored off the glass. He then connected on two more basets to make it 11 points in less than four minutes.

All of a sudden a double figure deficit was a 62-56 Cornell lead. Peck would hit another jumper and two more free throws in the final four minutes as Cornell regained the lead, then gave it back.

Cornell will return home next weekend to face defending Ivy League champion Harvard on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena.

The Cornell men’s basketball team (10-11, 2-2 Ivy) had an up-and-down weekend, as it was routed by Princeton (10-7, 3-0) on Friday, 76-59, but managed to rally in the second half against Penn (4-16, 1-2) to win its second game in the Ivy League on Saturday, 71-69.

The Red played well against Princeton in the first half, controlling the pace of the game, but Princeton dictated the tempo in the second half, which was an important factor in the win, according to senior point guard and captain Miles Asafo-Adjei.

“A big thing with Princeton is that we have to speed them up,” Asafo-Adjei said. “They want to slow the game down, since they’re so big and they run their offense so well. We have to get them out of their offense and we were able to do that in the first half, but we weren’t able to do it as well in the second half. They’re such a good team at running their offense and doing what they want to do, they were able to get easy buckets and score around the basket in the second half; that’s what made us lose the game.”

Princeton’s Ian Hummer — a strong Ivy League Player of the Year candidate — led the charge, scoring 22 points, grabbing nine rebounds and recording four assists. In the first half alone, he scored 18 points to give the Tigers a 34-30 lead going into the half.

“[Hummer’s] a tremendous player … very tough to guard, especially with the way they play their offense, since it’s hard to double team him with the shooters that they have,” Asafo-Adjei said. “We just have to play a little better team defense on him and give Shonn [Miller], Errick [Peck] and the guys guarding him a little more help, but he’s a great player.”

Hummer’s effective game gave the Red a better idea of how it will need to defend the 6’7” forward when the two teams meet again in Ithaca.

“[Hummer] had a good game against us Friday; he had 18 against us in the first half, which is absolutely ridiculous,” said senior forward Errick Peck. “When we play him again, we’ll do a better job on him, as he didn’t take many tough shots this time. He had a lot of layups off of our defensive breakdowns.”

Sophomore forward Shonn Miller and senior forward Josh Figini both played well against Princeton, scoring 12 and 13 points, respectively, to lead the team.

“Josh is finally getting his confidence back with his shot and he can really shoot it,” Peck said. “He’s a deadly [weapon] in this league, since we’ve got a lot of bigger, slower centers trying to guard him. As for Shonn, he’s been good all year … And his confidence is high; he’s certainly playing well right now.”

After a disappointing start to the weekend, the Red was able to bounce back against Penn, but the victory was not easy. The Red found itself down by 10 with 14 minutes left in the second half, but was able to rally for the win on a big shot by sophomore Galal Cancer with 10 seconds to play. The game served as a big confidence boost for the team, according to Asafo-Adjei.

“I think [the win against Penn] shows a lot of maturity in our team and how we’ve grown in the last couple years,” Asafo-Adjei said. “The loss at Princeton was a tough one … but to turn around and come from behind and get a win at the Palestra is huge. It’s a huge win for our record and a huge win for our confidence as well.”

Peck was a key factor in the game, scoring 20 points without missing a shot. He was 8-8 from the field, 1-1 from three, and 3-3 on free throws.

“[Peck’s] an important part of our team,” Asafo-Adjei said. “He’s capable of doing that every night; it was a great boost for his confidence. It’s great to see him play that way. Missing the last year was tough on him, so he’s happy to be back on the court. I’m looking forward to him continuing to play that way and that’ll make us a very tough team to beat.”

The big play of the game was the game-winning shot by Cancer in the final seconds. He received a screen, got into the lane and was able to convert a tough bank shot. Cancer’s game-winner capped off a solid all-around game, finishing with nine points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals.

“We wanted to set a flat ball screen for Galal and for him to come off and just create,” Asafo-Adjei said. “[We wanted ]to see if he could get to the basket. That’s what coach [Bill Courtney] wanted him to do and he was able to do that. If he was locked up, he could have found someone else. We just wanted him to read the situation and he made an incredible play and got the basket to go for us.”

The Red will be back at Newman Arena next weekend for two games against Harvard and Dartmouth. The team said it understands that if it has any shot at winning the Ivy League, it needs to win the rest of its games.

“We’re [still in] the hunt for the Ivy League title,” Peck said. “Even with two losses we can win it, we just have to win out.”

With the game tied, 69-69 with less than 15 seconds to play, Cornell sophomore Galal Cancer drove for a go-ahead layup to beat Penn, 71-69.
Penn’s final chance to tie faltered as they incurred a five-second violation in bounding with 2.7 second to go. Sophomore Camryn Crocker couldn’t find anyone on the play and couldn’t call timeout, as the Quakers had just used their final one to set up for the in-bounds play.
“I called a play out of the timeout, a play where we’ve had some success,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said. “They made an adjustment, and I thought it was quick five-second call, but I’m not reffing.”
The Big Red (10-11, 2-2 Ivy) fell down 51-41 early in the second half. However, they stormed back with a 16-3 run, led by their bench. Four players off their bench – Cancer, Errick Peck, Nolan Cressler, and Josh Figini – scored at least seven points and were instrumental in the Big Red’s comeback with 46 of their 71 points.
Peck played one of his best games of the year, scoring 20 points on 8-for-8 shooting. He scored 15 of his points in the second half during Cornell’s rally.
“We didn’t play a great game, but we made some plays when it mattered,” Cornell coach Bill Courtney said. “During that [16-3] run, Errick Peck stepped up huge.”
“He has been struggling a little bit with his game, but he just stayed at it. He persevered and was a big reason why we made that run, as he basically took over the basketball game for a four-minute stretch.”
After beating Columbia Friday, the Quakers (4-16, 1-2 Ivy) hung with Cornell throughout the entire game behind their three-point shooting. The Red and Blue made 12 three pointers, including four off the bench from sophomore Patrick Lucas-Perry.
“It was difficult because part of our game plan was to make them take contested threes,” Courtney said. “When they started making them, we had to adjust what our thoughts were, particularly on [Lucas-Perry].
The box score for each team looked almost identical as both Penn and Cornell made 28 field goals and each team was within one rebound and one percent shooting of each other.
But one place where the two teams differed was from the free-throw line. After shooting 29 free throws on Friday, Penn shot a season-low three shots from the line, compared to 10 from the Big Red.
“I thought it was us relying heavily on the jump shot,” Allen said. “We weren’t really attacking the paint and when we got into the paint, we really didn’t go hard enough to create fouls.”
After a slow start to the game, Cornell’s offense picked up the pace. Led by seven first half points from senior forward Eitan Chemerinski, the Big Red shot 48 percent from the field and kept Cornell in the game.
However, the Quakers kept ahead in the early going behind a balanced attack. Eight players scored for them in the first half, while junior Miles Cartwright provided six first-half assists.
However, despite a career-high nine assists, Cartwright struggled from the field as Cornell singled him out defensively.
“We put our best defenders on Miles,” Courtney said. “[Johnathan] Gray and Galal Cancer are our best perimeter defenders. We told those guys to try and limit his touches.”
“We kind of wanted to keep him off balance a little bit. He’s a good player and he just had a tough night. He is a guy we know we’re gonna have to worry about when they come up to Ithaca.”
Both teams reached deep into their benches as they were each playing their second game in as many nights. Penn and Cornell each went 11 players into their roster.
But the Quakers had one surprising addition to the “Did Not Play” list. Allen decided to move Tony Hicks into the starting lineup and, by the same token, declined to play freshman Jamal Lewis, who had started 15 consecutive games before tonight.
A former member of Penn’s starting lineup, Fran Dougherty, struggled for the second night in a row. The junior, who is coming back from mononucleosis, picked up two early fouls and sustained an injury early in the second half while making a layup.
Dougherty did not return to the game, and Allen did not have an update on his status.
After the win, Cornell heads home next weekend to face the Ivy League-leading Harvard and last place Dartmouth. The Big Red were coming off a loss at Princeton after splitting their two games with Columbia.
Meanwhile, after winning a game in the final minute the night before, Penn was unable to come up with the final push at the end tonight.
“Defensively, for the second night in a row, we gave up nearly forty points in the second half,” Allen said. “We have to work on being able to finish games.”

Box Score (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - Despite leading by as many as 10 points in the second half, the University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team was plagued by turnovers in the critical moments of the contest on Saturday and fell, 71-69, to visiting Cornell at The Palestra. Penn was led by Patrick Lucas-Perry with 14 points. Penn (4-16, 1-2 Ivy League) held a 51-41 lead with less than 15 minutes to play after a transition three from Lucas-Perry, but Cornell unleashed a 21-5 run over nearly eight minutes to take a 62-56 lead and set the stage for a dramatic ending. The first half was a far different story for the Quakers. Jumping out to a fast start after connecting on its first four field goals, Penn led 8-3 in the opening minutes and by as many as eight after Tony Hicks scored on consecutive possessions. Absorbing contact and using the glass, the precocious freshman gave the Quakers a 15-8 advantage, and on the next trip down the floor found himself open on the wing and knocked down a trey to make it 18-10. Cornell (9-11, 2-2 Ivy) rallied back and took its first lead of the game after back-to-back threes from Errick Peck and Dominick Scelfo, 22-21. The lead swung back and forth for the final few minutes of the opening half before Lucas-Perry hit consecutive treys to give Penn a 36-31 lead inside the final minute. A jumper from Nolan Cressler sent the teams into the locker room with the Quakers out in front, 36-33. Some first half foul trouble came back to bite the Quakers as Darien Nelson-Henry picked up his third foul in the first 30 seconds of the second half. With Fran Dougherty on the bench to spell him, Penn didn't miss a beat. Dougherty posted up to open the scoring in the half and had three rebounds in quick succession on the defensive end. The last of those boards led to an open look from Steve Rennard who buried a three to push the Quaker lead back to eight, 41-33. The Big Red hit a jumper to stifle the Penn run, but on Cornell's next offensive possession, a block from Henry Brooks caromed out to Miles Cartwright and led to a 3-on-2 opportunity. With Cartwright pushing the break, he passed left and found a streaking Dougherty who scored with contact, putting Penn ahead, 43-35. Unfortunately, Dougherty fell hard on the play and went to the locker room for treatment. He would not return to the contest. With Nelson-Henry forced back into action, the freshman big man posted and scored the next trip down the floor, giving Penn its biggest lead of the contest, 45-35. The teams would trade three-pointers on the next four trips, the last of which came from Lucas-Perry for the 51-41 lead. At that point, Cornell turned up the heat. A three from Cressler was an early warning sign of things to come and made it a 54-48 contest. That was followed by six straight points from Errick Peck to tie the game at 54-54. A three-pointer from Johnathan Gray then gave the Big Red their first lead of the second half with less than nine minutes remaining. Nelson-Henry has grown into something of a security blanket in tight situations and Penn promptly went down low to him. He laid it in to earn Cartwright his ninth assist of the night, a career high. Though the lead was cut to one, Peck went back to work with five straight points, giving Cornell its largest lead of the night, 62-56, with 6:39 to play. Undeterred by the moment, Hicks rallied the Quakers. A three off a feed from Camryn Crocker sliced the lead in half, and moments later the deficit was cut to one as he pulled up at the elbow in transition and found net, making it 62-61. The Cornell lead was three as the contest reached the final media timeout, but Dau Jok found himself open and buried his second 3-pointer on the ensuing inbounds, tying it at 64-64. Cornell's lead was 67-66 until Cartwright gave Penn its final lead, burying a three as the game neared the two-minute mark and putting the Quakers up, 69-67. The Red and Blue wouldn't be able to expand on that lead as they turned the ball over on each of their last three possessions. Two free throws from Peck tied it up for a fourth time as the clock rolled under 75 seconds, and Galal Cancer used his strength down low to give the Big Red a 71-69 lead with 10 seconds to play. Penn worked the ball upcourt without calling timeout, but used its final stoppage with 2.7 seconds on the clock. Inbounding from underneath the Cornell basket, the Quakers couldn't find a target and were called for a five-second violation. Whistled for only three fouls up to that point, Penn couldn't send Cornell to the line and the Big Red were able to launch the ball downcourt to run out the clock. Both Hicks and Nelson-Henry joined Lucas-Perry in double-digits with 10 points apiece. Cartwright scored eight along with his nine assists, while Dougherty had four points and tied for game-high honors with five boards. Peck scored 20 points on 8-8 shooting to lead all scorers. Gray added 11 points and four rebounds for the Big Red, while Cancer scored nine points and handed out four assists. Penn stays at home next weekend, welcoming in Yale and Brown on February 8-9. The Bulldogs pay a visit on Friday at 7 p.m., while the Bears and former Penn assistant Mike Martin come to town on Saturday at 7 p.m. *** Game Notes: The loss snapped a five-game Ivy League home win streak Penn had dating back to last season ... Penn had 24 assists, a team high in the Jerome Allen coaching era, on its 28 baskets ... Penn had more assists (24) than turnovers (17) for the third time in four games; prior to that, the Quakers had accomplished the feat just twice in the first 16 games this season ... Penn shot 28-of-56 (50.0 percent) from the field, its third time shooting 50 percent or better in a game this season ... Penn shot 12-of-24 on three-pointers, its fourth time shooting 50 percent or better from beyond the arc in a game this season ... Penn's 12 treys were a season high, and one shy of the team best in the Allen era ... Penn outrebounded its opponent, 29-28, the first time in five games the Quakers won the battle of the boards ... Penn's bench was outscored, 46-30, the first time in nine games the Quakers lost that category ... One night after setting a season high in free throws made, Penn tied a low in the Allen era in free throws taken (3) and set a new low in the Allen era in free throws made (1) ... Sophomore Patrick Lucas-Perry had 14 points, one shy of his career high, and tied his season/career best with four three-pointers ... Of his 14 points, 11 came in the first half ... Lucas-Perry became the seventh different player to lead Penn in scoring in a game ... Freshman Darien Nelson-Henry had 10 points, his seventh straight double-figure scoring game (13.6 ppg in that span) ... Nelson-Henry also had three blocked shots, giving him seven for the weekend ... Freshman Tony Hicks had 10 points, his seventh double-figure scoring game this season ... Junior Miles Cartwright had eight points and dished off a career-high nine assists ... Sophomore Camryn Crocker had six assists and one turnover; in the last eight games his assist/turnover ratio is 3.57 (25/7) ... Crocker also set a season/career high with four rebounds and finished one point shy of a season/career high with six ... Junior Dau Jok had six points, his best scoring night in six games ... Sophomore Henry Brooks tied season/career highs in assists (2) and blocked shots (2). 
As a young Penn team tries to grow into one that can be a consistent Ivy League winner, there are going to be tough lessons that come only through experience.
Penn coach Jerome Allen won't need to search long or hard for the growing pain he'll focus on after Saturday night's 71-69 loss to Cornell at the Palestra.
For the second straight night, the Quakers couldn't protect a second-half lead. Unlike Friday, when they broke a late tie to beat Columbia, 62-58, this time it came back to bite them.
"We've got to work on being able to finish games," Allen said. "You can't expect to give up almost 40 points in the [second] half and expect to win."
Galal Cancer's layup with 10.5 seconds left lifted Cornell. On the ensuing possession, Penn was called for a 5-second violation on an inbounds play under its own basket.
The Quakers, who allowed 77 second-half points on the weekend, twice led by as many as 10 in the second. Cornell used a 16-3 run to take a 57-54 lead with just under 9 minutes remaining.
Miles Cartwright gave Penn a 69-67 advantage with 2:15 left, but Cornell scored the game's final four points.
Penn suffered a major blow early in the second half when star Fran Dougherty went down with an apparent arm injury.
The sophomore forward, playing his second game after missing eight with mononucleosis, was injured falling to the floor after being fouled on a running layup 3:20 into the half.
The Archbishop Wood product left the court clutching his arm and didn't return. Dougherty had scored four points off the bench, and Penn led by eight when he exited.
Allen said his loss didn't change the momentum. Cornell's Errick Peck did, however.
Peck came off the bench to shoot 8 for 8 and score 20 points.
"He imposed his will on whoever guarded him," Allen said.
Reserve guard Patrick Lucas-Perry led Penn with 14 points. Darien Nelson-Henry and Tony Hicks each scored 10.

After taking care of Columbia in its Ivy home opener Friday night, Penn was hoping for some winning déjà vu on Groundhog Day against Cornell at the Palestra. Unfortunately, the Quakers got a déjà vu of the rest of their disappointing season before this weekend.
Cornell held on for a 71-69 victory over Penn Saturday on the strength of 20 points and perfect 8-for-8 shooting from senior forward Errick Peck.
“I thought [Peck] imposed his will no matter who was guarding him,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said. “Whether it was a guard or whether it was a big.”
The Quakers (4-16, 1-2 Ivy) couldn’t have asked for a smoother first half against the Big Red (10-11, 2-2), outassisting Cornell 14-6 and shooting 6-for-12 from three before halftime.
Sophomore guard Patrick Lucas-Perry led the way for the Quakers (4-16, 1-2 Ivy) against the Big Red (10-11, 2-2) with 14 points, although 11 of those came in the first half.
“Part of our gameplan was to make them take contested three-point shots, and then when we started making them we had to readjust what our thoughts were,” Cornell coach Bill Courtney said. “In particular on Lucas-Perry, because of the way he was shooting we wanted to stay more attached to him with help.”
The Quakers committed 17 turnovers, four more than the Big Red, and attempted just three free throws the entire game.
“I just thought we relied heavily on the jump shot, not really attacking,” Allen said. “We didn’t go hard to create chances. Some people may say it’s the second game of a back-to-back and guys’ legs aren’t there. But if that is the case, you have to operate as close to the basket as you can.”
Junior forward Fran Dougherty left the game mostly under his own power with what appeared to be an upper-body injury at the 16:40 mark of the second half. Dougherty then had his right arm taped up and in a sling. Allen gave no comment on Dougherty’s status after the game.
Even after Dougherty’s exit, though, the night still looked positive at that point for the Quakers. Penn led 51-41 with 13:35 remaining, when Cornell went on a 16-3 run to seize the lead.
“I just think [what fueled the run was] a lack of focus and concentration defensively,” Allen said. “Did I think they were going to make a run? Yeah, I thought they were going to make a run. But I thought we were going to be able to have the poise to stop the run, and it just didn’t happen.”
A three by junior guard Miles Cartwright gave the Quakers a 69-67 lead with 1:17 remaining. Two free throws from Peck tied the game at 69 apiece just four seconds later.
With the clock winding down to single-digits, sophomore guard Galal Cancer drove inside to give the Big Red a 71-69 lead. The teams exchanged timeouts with 2.7 seconds left before Penn was called for a five-second violation while inbounding under its own basket, sealing the Big Red victory.
“We called a play out of the timeout, one of the plays earlier we had some success with,” Allen said. “They made an adjustment. I thought it was a quick five-second call but I’m not reffing.”
“We just switched on all screens,” Courtney said. “We just switched on everything to prevent them from going to the basket but also to make it difficult for them to inbound.”
Cornell’s win marks its eighth in the last 11 games in the series. The Quakers’ next matchup will be against Yale on Friday at the Palestra.

Cameron Crocker stood in disbelief, Cornell’s bench erupted and the Palestra crowd howled boos upon the referee making the call.
Five-second violation, Penn. Cornell would get the ball up two with 2.7 seconds remaining.
And three personals under the limit, the Red and Blue couldn’t even foul in a desperate attempt to get one last chance.
The play pretty much summed up the Quakers’ Ivy League season: over before it really even started.
It didn’t have to be that way.
Galal Cancer’s go-ahead deuce rolled in with 10.5 seconds still to go, and it took Jerome Allen nearly eight ticks later to call a timeout when Miles Cartwright couldn’t make anything happen.
“Down two, with the ball, under 10, coaches have different philosophies,” Allen said. “It’s [the players’] game, they got to make the play. I saw that we got in trouble so I called a timeout.”
Whatever play Allen drew up, well, it was moot. The Quakers squandered an opportunity and never even took a shot — not even a last-second heave.
A wide-open Ancient Eight stands ripe for the taking, and nearly any team stands a chance to claim it.
It just won’t be Penn.
“Hey,” you say, “but they’re only 1-2. There’s plenty of basketball left.”
Well sure, there is. And yes, the Quakers were in the title hunt with two ticks in the loss column right up until the final game a season ago.
But don’t fool yourself. Don’t expect this Penn team to be able to repeat that feat. Don’t start scoreboard-watching now, waiting for Harvard to be upset — it’s nearly happened three times already, yet it hasn’t happened once.
Tame your expectations. Keep coming to the Palestra to root, root, root for your classmates. But also don’t expect an Ivy title run.
You never really believed one was possible anyway, did you? Not with so young and undeveloped a squad as this one?
Maybe Friday offered a glimmer of hope. Fran Dougherty returned. Miles Cartwright was Mr. Clutch down the stretch. And Penn beat by four a very good Columbia team which they should’ve topped by even more.
Oh right, almost forgot. Has it been mentioned that Dougherty left Saturday’s game in the second half with an apparent arm injury?
The 6-foot-8 big man who leads the Quakers in just about everything but games played — he missed eight because of a bout with mono — drove hard to the bucket and drew a foul but fell hard on the floor.
He stayed down for a while, enough for the trainers to come out, before he was helped off the court. Later, he sported a sling as he was relegated to the sidelines.
With him, perhaps Penn stood a long shot. But now that there’s a good chance he could miss more time — even if he plays, he’ll be far from full strength — forget it.
And you know what? It’s all right.
If Penn goes 7-7 in league play, yes, that would be a mediocre record. It wouldn’t necessarily be a mediocre season.
This year is, and always has been, a rebuilding season.
It’s why Jerome Allen used so many combinations of lineups in the early going.
It’s why freshman Jamal Lewis has gone from starting and playing 30 minutes per night, to seeing just seven minutes Friday, to getting no time at all Saturday.
It’s why Darien Nelson-Henry has moved up from benchwarmer to solid starter and has averaged 13.6 points (on 64 percent shooting!) in his last seven contests.
He’s coming into his own and finding his groove. Next year, it’ll really pay off.
So if you witnessed Saturday night’s anticlimactic finale and left the Palestra cursing under your breath, calm yourself. A loss could pay as many dividends as a win would have.
There’s plenty of basketball left to be played. Just not enough for unrealistic pipe dreams.

Just a night after securing its first conference win of the season, Penn took Cornell down to the wire at the Palestra before falling in anticlimactic fashion. With 2.7 seconds remaining, the Quakers were set to inbound the ball from the baseline, down 71-69. But they never got a chance at a last shot, as they suffered a five-second violation call just as Cameron Crocker inbounded to Darien Nelson-Henry underneath the basket, and the Big Red walked away with a 71-69 victory. With the loss, Penn sinks to 4-16 and 1-2 in Ivy League play.
THE GOOD: Three-point shooting gives Penn a chance to win.
Despite entering the game dead-last among the Ancient Eight in three-point field goal percentage, the Red and Blue lit Cornell up for 12 threes and shot exactly 50 percent from distance. It's become clear that giving minutes to Dau Jok and Patrick Lucas-Perry adds marksman accuracy to Penn's offense and complements Nelson-Henry's play inside. The two sophomore guards shot a combined 7-for-12 from the field, and Lucas-Perry led the Quakers in scoring with 14 points.
THE BAD: No inbound, no overtime.
The bad of this really starts before Penn even has a chance to inbound the ball. After Cornell scores with 10.5 seconds left to make the score 71-69, Cartwright drives the ball up the floor and takes the ball left, driving toward the basket. Just as he goes into the air for a leaning, left-handed layup, Jerome Allen calls timeout, leaving the Red and Blue just 2.7 seconds left. Why Allen didn't call timeout as soon as Cartwright crossed half-court is truly a mystery. Then, the play Allen draws up is fruitless, and Crocker fails to get the ball in. The Quakers' coaching staff needs to be better in the clutch for Penn to have a chance down the stretch.
THE UGLY: Fran the Man goes down again.
After missing eight games due to mononucleosis, Fran Dougherty went down with some sort of upper body injury in his second appearance since returning. He was later spotted wearing a sling with tape reaching from his upper arm to his wrist. No word on whether the junior forward will miss any time, but his absence would be a serious blow to Penn's chances to make a run in the Ivy League.


mark twain said...

always a pleasure to see the big red win in the snakepit in the city of no brotherly love. and failing to inbounds the ball in 5 seconds was like a cherry on top of the sundae!!

Anonymous said...

Any chance we get some video highlights from the cornell perspective (or at least a two-sided perspective)?

Anonymous said...

What I've liked the past couple of games is that they've continued to play even when they're trailing big. 2-2 after four games is better than anyone expected; way to go.

Anonymous said...

robert hatter from Texas made an official visit this weekend. seems like a low mid major kid. Based on what Cbb wrote in the forum section, he's probably not a high priority recruit, right?

Anonymous said...

Last two wins - done with FT's (on balance) An easy part to practice. Go Big Red.! (80% plus as a team is good) Drive - make basket or get fouled - make FT's - lots of good things happen - opponent gets into foul trouble, we get to one and one quicker, two FT's after 10 (and puts us in better position at end of game) All of this is very simple, and not "rocket science". Elemental!!

Anonymous said...

I think this is a really good win, despite the close margin and Penn's horrific record. Penn is better than their record would indicate. Also of note: Cornell always seems to have trouble shooting in the Palestra. I think it may be lighting issues. Every time I see highlights of Penn home games, it seems to be really dark in the arena. Next weekend will be key. A sweep with Harvard and Dartmouth with a Harvard loss at Columbia and a Princeton loss to Brown will put Cornell extremely close to a tie for first, but even a split or sweep will be huge.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Hatter is a good kid and a solid player. But he's certainly not a "game changer."

Sounds like we're striking out on the recruiting front for 2013. If Peck doesn't come back for a fifth year, as Delaney hinted, we're going to be really thin at the wing. I'm curious to see who leaves the program at year's end, as CBB has stated.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Was a bit surprised to see Delaney tweet this info since it was supposed to be kept under wraps by those in the know.

Yes, there is a chance Errick does not return. We always knew this to be a possibility.

No, it is not an eligibility issue.

Yes, there is a financial aid concern. We'd be asking Errick to pay his Hotel tuition for 5 years. Not many Ivy athletes do this.

Don't agree that Cornell is thin at wing and this is one loss Cornell can sustain.

Cornell will just play a smaller rotation next year.

Onuorah, Bunce, Lamore, Harmon and Giddens will be able to contribute next year at the 4/5, along with Miller. At the 3 Cornell can start Cressler (or Miller) and use Tarwater behind them.

Scelfo and Cancer are your starting guards.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm concerned about the 4/5 next year. We need a banger to go with Miller.

You had told us that LaMore and Bunce would contribute this year - and there hasn't been any sign of that.

I've only seen a couple of the games on Redcast - but I haven't seen either one of them play a minute.

Anonymous said...

umm...problem is that Courtney has not developed LaMore, Harmon, and Giddens at all...That is asking a lot to be honest.

We are going to have a serious hole at the 3. We lack a prototypical small forward. Miller is good in the post, not out on the wing. 3 guard lineups can't defend...