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HAMILTON, N.Y. – As far as first impressions go, the Colgate Raiders made a good one Wednesday night.
The Patriot League team, which spent the first week or so of its regular season playing in Atlantic Coast Conference country, looked happy to be back in the cozy confines.
Now, the question is whether the home opener can serve as a springboard to a special season.
Murphy Burnatowski and Ethan Jacobs combined for 34 points as the Colgate Raiders easily defeated the Cornell Big Red, 81-58 in non-conference action on Cottrell Court.
The duo scored 21 of Colgate’s 38 first-half points and sparked a pair of runs as the Raiders took a nine-point advantage into the break.
The pair accounted for all the scoring during an 11-0 run as Colgate turned an early deficit into a seven-point advantage.
“They both can shoot the ball,” said third year head coach, Matt Langel. “They’re also committed to going inside so the other guy can go outside a little bit. They’re committed to passing, screening and getting their teammates open.”
Burnatowski started the run when he took a hi-lo pass from Jacobs and used a drop step to finish at the rim. Jacobs and Austin Tillotson combined on the next possession. The 6-0 point guard penetrated the paint in transition and used a drop-off pass to free Jacobs for his first trey of the night. Burnatowski fed Jacobs on the next trip for three. Burnatowski’s three-ball from the right corner capped the spurt and gave Colgate an early 13-6 lead.
“We played great as a team,” Burnatowski said. “Everyone chipped in. I don’t know the last time we were able to blow out a team like that.”
The Big Red scored six straight to regain the lead. Devin Cherry converted a steal and layup. Nolan Cressler nailed a three to give Cornell a 22-21 edge with 7:23 remaining in the half.
But the deficit lasted less than a minute.
Tillotson found Damon Sherman-Newsome for a catch-and-shoot three. Luke Roh finished a running one-hander in the lane. Jacobs capped the run when he combined again with Tillotson on the drop-off pass for his third three of the first stanza. Colgate had its first double-digit lead at 34-24 with 3:33 left before the break.
“When you got a guy Ethan’s size who can shoot the ball the way he does, it’s something that the opposition, no matter how much they prepare for it, they’re not used to it,” Langel commented. Big 6-8, 6-9, 6-10 guys they’re not used to guarding three-point shooters…Ethan has the ability to do it, so it would be foolish not to use him.”
Dominick Scelfo stemmed the tide briefly with a three for Cornell.
Jacobs responded with a pretty spin move on the block, dropstep middle and finish with his left hand.
The 6-11 center started his college career at Ohio University where he played two seasons before transferring to Colgate. The Tipton, Ind. Native sat out last year per NCAA requirements. He came into the game averaging 12 per contest. He scored 13 before halftime.
“I had a lot of energy built up for this game. That’s for sure,” Jacobs stated. “There was a lot of excitement.”
Leading 38-29 at half, the Raiders scored the first nine after the break and never looked back.
Jacobs and Luke Roh traded roles with Jacobs feeding the 6-4 guard for a bucket underneath. Tillotson connected on a jumper when Roh gave him a drop-off pass. Jacobs used a dropstep to get in the lane and finish with his left. At the opposite end, he blocked a Cherry layup attempt.
“He brings a whole other dynamic to the team,” Burnatowski said of Jacobs. “Being able to stretch the floor and shoot the threes. Bigs aren’t used to guarding guys like that. The way he’s been shooting it at the beginning of the year, they’re going to have to get out and guard him. That’s’ just going to open up the key even more for me to post u some guys inside and vice versa.
Jacobs finished with 15 on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Burnatowski scored a team-high 19 hitting 7-of-15 on the perimeter.
“You look at Murphy Burnatowski’s stat line, and he plays 26 minutes and gets 19 points on 15 shots,” Langel explained. “Last year he had to shoot 19, 20, 21 shots at times, and that’s not good.”
Roh (4) and Tillotson (6) combined for 10 assists with just three turnovers.
“Austin and Luke are smart guards.
Cressler led Big Red with 19. Cherry added 12.
Colgate started the season with an 89-78 loss at Wake Forest on November eighth. Eight days later they fell at Syracuse, 69-50.
“Those games are really fun to play in,” Langel said. “It just so happened that the way our schedule fell that we had to play them to start our season. Every year that we’ve been here we’ve challenged ourselves with those kinds of games. That’s what guys who work as hard as our guys do in the off-season and during the season and coming in and doing extra work, they want to play in those games.”
Colgate hit 54.7 percent (29-of-53) from the floor including 47.8 percent (11-of-23) behind the arc.
“We played well,” Langel added. “Usually when you go back and watch the film the opposition had something to do with that as well. But that’s basketball. You got to capitalize on other people’s mistakes when they make ‘em and try and limit yours.
The game was the 125th meeting between the two schools with Cornell now holding a 71-54 lead in the series.
Colgate hosts St. Francis (PA)for 2 p.m. game this Saturday.
Box Score (PDF)
HAMILTON, N.Y. – Sophomore Nolan Cressler scored a game-high 19 points to pace three double figure scorers, but Colgate opened the second half on a 9-0 run and never looked back in an 81-58 win over Cornell on Wednesday evening at Cotterell Court. The Big Red dropped to 0-5 on the season, while the Raiders improved to 1-2.
Cressler added four rebounds and a steal to his 8-of-18 shooting night and has now reached double figures in the scoring column in nine consecutive games. Junior Devin Cherry scored 12 points, dished three assists, grabbed two rebounds and collected two steals, while Deion Giddens hit all five of his field goals en route to a career-best 10 points. Ned Tomic added six points off the bench. The Big Red shot 41 percent from the floor, but was just 4-of-20 from 3-point range and committed 14 turnovers.
Murphy Burnatowski scored 19 points to lead Colgate, while Ethan Jacobs scored 15 and added four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. The big man hit 3-of-4 from 3-point range for the Raiders, who connected on 11-of-23 from beyond the arc as a team.
Cornell took a four-point lead early, but it was Colgate's half thanks to its poise against the Big Red's pressure and its perimeter shooting. The Raiders connected on 6-of-13 from 3-point range (46 percent) to head into the break with a 38-29 lead. Cherry had a team-high 12 points in the first half to go along with three assists, two rebounds and two steals, but also committed four of the Big Red's eight turnovers in the stanza.
After Colgate scored the opening basket, the Big Red scored six straight with Tarwater, Cressler and Giddens all getting baskets. The Raiders answered right back with 11 quick points on four possessions, including a pair of Ethan Jacobs 3-pointers to make it 13-6.
Cornell caught the Raiders with eight minutes to play in the half with a driving layup by Cherry that ended in a three-point play and a Cressler 3-pointer to give the Big Red a 22-21 edge, but Murphy Burnatowski got a great look at a 3-pointer on the other end and cashed in to help the home team regain the lead. Burnatowski's basket triggered a 17-5 Colgate run that put the Raiders up 11 late in the half. The Cornell defense got a stop and Cherry ran out in the closing seconds. He was wrapped up by a defender and a flagrant foul was called. The junior captain hit both shots and Cornell was able to go into the break down 38-29.
The second half was never in doubt, as the Raiders scored the first nine out of the locker room and Cornell could never make a run. Playing with the double figure lead, the Raiders were able to hold off the visitors from making a run.
Cornell won't waste any time before getting back on the court as it will hit the hardwood on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. when it plays host to Siena at Newman Arena. It will be the fourth meeting between the two programs with the Saints leading 2-1.
HAMILTON – Behind a stellar crowd here Wednesday night, the Colgate men's basketball team gave its fans plenty of reasons to cheer.
The Raiders showcased a dominant performance in an 81-58 victory that was the program's largest margin of victory over rival Cornell in 61 years. Not since a 60-34 triumph early in 1952 has a Colgate team won in as convincing fashion over the Big Red.
"It was great to get home after two tough road games and get established in what seems like a new venue," Colgate head coach Matt Langel said. "We have the benches on a new side, we have added beautiful new banners hanging from the rafters and the crowd made it a warm feeling for sure."
Colgate (1-2) reached 80 points against the Big Red for the first time since the 2003-04 season when the Raiders recorded an 84-77 overtime victory. Wednesday's win was the fourth-largest margin for Colgate against its neighboring rival, behind the 26-point game in 1952 and a pair of 25-point victories in 1936 and 1951.
Leading the Raiders was Murphy Burnatowski with 19 points, 11 of which came in the second half alone. Redshirt junior Ethan Jacobs posted his third double figure scoring night in as many games. His career-high 15 points was not the only thing he contributed on the night as he also earned four boards, two assist, two blocks and went 3-for-4 from behind the arc. Luke Roh tallied eight points and led all players with a season-high six rebounds and six assists.
"He's an offensive weapon," Langel added of Jacobs. "Big people aren't used to guarding guys who are as capable of shooting from the outside as he is. And then when he mixes in his interior game he can be a tremendous force."
Cornell (0-5) saw Nolan Cressler notch 19 points and four boards. Devin Cherry also hit double digits with 12 and went 1-for-2 from downtown.
On Big Red's first possession, Jacobs displayed his size when he swatted away a layup attempt from Cressler.
fter earning the game's first basket, Colgate watched Cornell jump out to a quick 6-2 lead, following a layup from Deion Giddens. But an 11-0 run for the Raiders gave Colgate a 13-8 advantage with less than 14 minutes to play in the first half. Jacobs and Burnatowski led the rally with six and five points, respectively.
The Big Red fought back retaking the lead at 22-21 seven minutes later but a trey from Burnatowski put the Raiders back on top by two.
Colgate increased its advantage to 11 points, at 38-27, with less than two minutes to play before half.
The Raiders' 48 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes didn't stop when they came out of the locker room as they went on a 9-0 run to start the second half.
Cornell and Colgate exchanged baskets but an and-1 from Burnatowski created a 21-point deficit between the teams with 13:31 to play in the game.
Colgate continued to extend its lead and was able to get it up to 29 thanks to a good free throw from Chad Johnson. The Raiders finished out the remainder of the game strong to ultimately secure their 23-point victory.
The Raiders shot an impressive 61.5 percent from the floor in the second half, hitting 16 of their 26 attempts. Colgate slightly outrebounded the Big Red 14-12 and held the advantage on points off turnovers 24-14.
Colgate is back on Cotterell Court on Saturday when it hosts St. Francis (Pa.) for another non-conference matchup at 2 p.m.