Saturday, February 1, 2014

Game Recaps: Brown 78 Cornell 66




(Video Highlights from ABC6 News, click here)


Despite a halftime lead and a career night from senior Jake Matthews, the Cornell men’s basketball team could not stick with Brown and lost for the 16th time in 17 games this season, 78-66, on Friday night at the Pizzitola Sports Center in Providence, R.I.
Matthews scored a career-high 17 points and junior Devin Cherry had his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Big Red (1-16, 0-3 Ivy League), which lost its ninth straight league game and 22nd straight against Division I competition.
Steven Spieth and Norman Hobbie both scored a game-high 18 points for the Bears (10-7, 2-1), who trailed 33-30 at halftime but shot 58 percent (18-for-31) in the second half en route to outscoring Cornell, 48-33.
Matthews surpassed his previous career best of 10 points, which he set as a freshman. The 6-2 guard from Greensburg, Pa., shot 4-for-7 from the floor, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds, three steals and an assist without a turnover.
The Big Red held a 38-35 rebounding advantage and committed just eight turnovers, but made just 3-of-22 from beyond the arc and was done in by its second half defense.
Nolan Cressler chipped in 16 points and Robert Hatter had eight points.
Brown scoring leader Sean McGonagill netted 15 points, four below his average, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.
The Big Red takes on Yale Saturday night in New Haven, Conn.
  

The men’s basketball team went unbeaten at home over the weekend, defeating Cornell 78-66 before topping Columbia 64-56. The Bears are now in position to claim first place in the Ivy League with a win Friday against Harvard.

Brown 78, Cornell 66
The Bears (11-7, 3-1 Ivy) exploded out of the gate against the Big Red (1-17, 0-4), jumping ahead to a 19-4 lead in the first nine minutes of play. Undeterred, Cornell responded with an 11-0 run and managed to wrangle a 33-30 advantage by halftime. Yet the Bears regained momentum in the second half with a three-point shooting assault — the squad shot 6-of-11 from long distance in the period — to reclaim the lead and earn a 78-66 victory.
“The first five minutes of the game we came out playing really hard,” said  guard Steven Spieth ’17. “We got up 19-4 and we maybe let up when we shouldn’t have, which is something we can’t do in league play. … We just need to put the pedal to the metal and put it away as soon as we can.”
Bruno saw stellar performances from Spieth and fellow first-year Norman Hobbie ’17, each of whom finished with 18 points.
Hobbie’s points came exclusively from beyond the arc, where he shot 6-of-9 on the night.
“They were so consumed with our size inside that that opened up some perimeter shots,” said Head Coach Mike Martin ’04.
Spieth’s 18 points, a career best, came on a near-perfect shooting display. The young forward connected on 5-of-5 from the field and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe.
Though he had a standout performance, Spieth stressed that the focus remained on securing victory for the team.
“We have better scorers than me on this team … and it’s really important to get them going early,” Spieth said. “At the end of the day, it’s about getting the win, and it doesn’t really matter who has the most points.”
Despite Cornell’s struggles this season — the Big Red entered the matchup ranked last in the Ivy League — the program has recently given Brown considerable trouble. Prior to Bruno’s 84-65 victory in Ithaca late last season, the Big Red had won the previous 13 showdowns against the Bears. Friday’s win was the first home victory for Bruno over Cornell since Martin’s playing days.
“Cornell had dominated us recently, so it was good to get that one,” Martin said.
But the Bears still had to survive an unexpectedly tough battle against the struggling Cornell squad.
“We underestimated them a little bit,” Hobbie said. “They’re a lot better than their record shows.”
 

With Ivy League basketball season in full swing, the Bears picked up two crucial wins against the Big Red and the Lions this weekend, elevating them to second place in the conference.
The Bears started the weekend with a convincing 78-66 victory over Cornell. Bruno then took down Columbia 64-56 in a game that remained close until the closing minutes. Here is a look at some of the keys to Bruno’s success.

What’s strong 
Against Cornell, Norman Hobbie ’17 and Steven Spieth ’17 both contributed 18 points, eclipsing teammate and Ivy League leading scorer Sean McGonagill ’14. The next day, Rafael Maia ’15 posted an 18-point outing of his own, and Cedric Kuakumensah ’16 bolstered Bruno’s scoring with 13. Against Columbia, McGonagill scored just third-most on the team for the second game in a row, with 10 points on a tough 2-of-10 night from the field.
Though Columbia kept its focus on McGonagill, other Bears performed well, said Head Coach Mike Martin ’04. “His fellow captains (Maia and Kuakumensah) stepped up and were great. Up and down the lineup we got great contributions.”
“I was wide open a few times (against Cornell) — it kind of shocked me,” Hobbie said. “When I go in the game, I try to take as much pressure off of Sean as I can by getting open.”
Utilizing offensive sources other than McGonagill will be critical to the Bears’ success in the future. If an opponent is able to lock down the All-Ivy senior, other members of the team will have to carry the scoring load. With Columbia and Cornell keying on the team’s star, role players and starters alike stepped up.
The Bears also displayed strong perimeter defense in both games, which has been one of the team’s strengths all season. Bruno held Cornell to 3-of-22, a meager 14 perecent, shooting from beyond the arc. Columbia fared slightly better than Cornell, shooting 6-of-22 from deep — about 12 percent lower than the team’s season average.

What’s wrong
The Bears struggled with free throws throughout the weekend, shooting a combined 27-of-44 over the two games. These numbers are consistent with the team’s performance from the charity stripe this season, where they hold the lowest conversion rate in the conference at about 64 percent.
Bruno also showed some weakness in defending the pick and roll. Columbia and Cornell had success driving past the first Brown defender, often forcing a defensive rotation to help toward the slashing ball carrier. This difficulty stopping a one-on-one drive led to a number of uncontested layups and threes.
Kuakumensah was often called on to protect the paint. The Ivy League’s leader in blocks posted four against Cornell but was unable to turn any shots away against Columbia. Maodo Lo and Grant Mullins, Columbia’s starting guards, got into the paint frequently, eluding Kuakumensah for easy layups and drawing fouls from the big man.
The Bears will have to work harder in future games to fight through picks and stay with the ball handler, instead of switching or simply letting the player drive to the basket.

What’s new
One way to beat a screen offense is to eliminate the pick-and-roll entirely. About five minutes into the second half against Columbia, the Bears switched from their usual man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone. The zone effectively took away the screen and forced the Lions to pass the ball around the perimeter, often making them settle for long jumpers.
Though they stuck with the strategy only for a few possessions, the Bears held Columbia to 4-of-17 shooting after employing the zone. The Lions failed to hit a field goal in almost 10 minutes to end the game.
The zone “may have gotten them out of rhythm,” Martin said. “They had us in some scramble situations when we were playing man in the first half … so I thought the zone was a good change of pace, but our bread and butter is our man-to-man defense.”
Despite its sizable impact against Columbia, don’t expect Martin to turn to the zone frequently. While it flummoxed the Lions momentarily, as they struggled to work the ball inside to their post players — something they had done all game — zones are often easily broken once holes are discovered.
Bruno might go to the 2-3 zone next weekend against Harvard, a team that averages the second-most points in the Ancient Eight. The Crimson do not look to shoot threes — they have the fewest attempts from beyond the arc in the conference. A zone would pack the key and force Harvard to take more perimeter jumpers, which could give the Bears an edge and eventually lead Bruno to first place in the Ivy League.
 PROVIDENCE — A pair of freshmen — guard Norman Hobbie and forward Steven Spieth — led the way for Brown University on Friday night. Each scored 18 points and led the Bears to a 78-66 come-from-behind win over Cornell in an Ivy league game at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Brown improves to 10-7 overall and moves into a second place tie in the Ivy League with a 2-1 league mark. Cornell drops to 1-16, 0-3 in Ivy play.
“Every game in this league is a championship game with no postseason tournament,” said Brown head coach Mike Martin. “Our intensity was better in the second half, and our offense got going in transition. We have to do a better job of utilizing our size inside.”
Hobbie scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half, with all of his points coming on 3-pointers, connecting on 6-of-9 treys overall. Spieth netted a career-high 18 points, connecting on 5-of-5 field goals and 8-of-9 free throws.
Bears’ senior guard Sean McGonagill, the Ivy League’s leading scorer, was held to two points in the opening half with three fouls, but came back with 13 second-half points to finish with 15 points. He also had a team-high eight rebounds and six assists.
Big Red senior guard Jake Matthews came off the bench to score 17 points. Nolan Cressler had 16 points for Cornell and Devin Cherry registered a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Hobbie gave Brown the lift it needed at the beginning of the second half. Trailing, 33-30, at intermission, Brown got back in the game with defense and a 3-point barrage, led by Hobbie’s trey at the 16:43 mark, gave Brown the lead for good, 38-37. McGonagill’s trey at 15:21pushed the Bears’ lead to six points, 43-37.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Hobbie lifted the Bears to a 13-point advantage, 55-42, followed by a lay-up by freshman Leland King to extend the Bears’ lead to 57-42.

Matthews With Career-High, Cherry First Double-Double In Loss At Brown

Box Score I Box Score (PDF)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Senior Jake Matthews scored a career-high 17 points and junior Devin Cherry had his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, but Brown overcame a halftime deficit to capture a 78-66 win over Cornell on Friday evening at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The win improved the Bears to 10-7 (2-1 Ivy), while the Big Red slipped to 1-16 (0-3 Ivy).

Matthews surpassed his career best of 10 points set as a freshman with 17 points on 4-7 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds, three steals and an assist without a turnover. Cherry, meanwhile, had 13 points and a career-best 12 boards to go with four assists and just one miscue. The Big Red held a 38-35 rebounding advantage and committed just eight turnovers, but made just 3-of-22 3-pointers and was done in by its second half defense, allowing the Bears to hit at a 58 percent clip (18-of-31).

Nolan Cressler chipped in 16 points and Robert Hatter had eight points, while Dave LaMore came off the bench to score four points and grab six rebounds for the visitors, whose Ivy skid was extended to nine games.

Steven Spieth and Norman Hobbie each scored 18 points for the Bears, while Sean McGonagill netted 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists. Cedrick Kuakumensah had four rebounds, four blocks and three assists and Leland King scored eight for the Bears. Brown blocked six shots as a team and hit on 55 percent overall, including 8-of-18 from 3-point range (44 percent).

It looked like a lost half early as the home team sprinted to a 19-4 lead as the Big Red struggled out of the gates, making just one of their first 16 shot attempts. Then all of a sudden, Cornell came to life. Dominick Scelfo hit Jake Matthews for a corner 3-pointer, then Robert Hatter found a wide open Dave LaMore for a dunk. Cressler hit a pair of free throws and a runner in the lane. Cornell's pressure, particularly on post feeds, led to a couple steals and run-outs. When Cressler knocked home his first 3-pointer, the game was tied 23-23 and Cornell had answered with a 19-4 run of its own.

Two possessions later, the visitors took their first lead of the game. Cherry hit a pair of free throws, then hit a running jumper in the lane to give Cornell a 27-25 edge. A driving layup by Dwight Tarwater less than a minute later gave the Big Red the lead for good in the half and the team went into the break with a 33-30 edge.

Cornell's lead came despite an 11-of-31 effort from the floor (36 percent) and 2-of-14 shooting from 3-point range. The Big Red committed just three turnovers in the stanza.

Brown took hold of the game midway through the second half with a 12-0 run featuring consecutive 3-pointers by Hobbie that turned a one possession game into a 15-point Bears lead (57-42). Cornell cut it to eight on two occasions, but each time Brown answered with a quick bucket to go back up by double figures. The lead hovered between nine and 14 points the rest of the way, with the Big Red never being able to make a run to get back in it.

The Big Red completes its first full Ivy weekend tomorrow when it visits Yale at 7 p.m. in New Haven, Conn. 




Providence, R.I. – Freshman guard Norman Hobbie and freshman forward Steven Spieth scored 18 points each to lead Brown to a 78-66 come-from-behind win over Cornell in an Ivy league game at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Brown improves to 10-7 overall and moves into a second place tie in the Ivy League with a 2-1 league mark. Cornell drops to 1-16, 0-3 in Ivy play.
"Every game in this league is a championship game with no post-season tournament," said Brown head coach Mike Martin. "Our intensity was better in the second half and our offense got going in transition. We have to do a better job of utilizing our size inside."
Hobbie scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half with all of his points coming on treys, connecting on 6-of-9 treys overall. Spieth netted a career high 18 points with near perfect shooting for the game, connecting on 5-of-5 field goals and 8-of-9 free throws.
Bears' senior guard Sean McGonagill, the Ivy League's leading scorer, was held to two points in the opening half with three fouls, but came back with 13 second half points to finish with 15 points, a team high eight rebounds and six assists.
Big Red senior guard Jake Matthews came off the bench to score 17 points.  Nolan Cressler had 16 points for Cornell and Devin Cherry registered a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Hobbie gave Brown the lift it needed at the beginning of the second half. Trailing 33-30 at intermission, Brown got back in the game with defense and a three-point barrage, led by Hobbie's trey at the 16:43 mark gave Brown the lead for good, 38-37. McGonagill's trey at 15:21pushed the Bears' lead to six points, 43-37.
Back-to-back treys by Hobbie lifted the Bears to a 13-point advantage, 55-42, followed by a lay-up by freshman Leland King to extend the Bears' lead to 57-42 and put the game out of reach.
Brown jumped out to a 19-4 lead in the opening eight minutes, capped off by a basket by freshman Leland King.  In the stretch, Brown held the Big Red to 6-percent shooting (1-of-15) from the field.
Cornell got back into the game with an 11-0 run to pull to within four points, 19-15, on a lay-up by Cressler with 7:42 remaining in the half.
The Big Red kept the pressure up and took its first lead, 27-25, with 4:00 left in the half on a jump shot by Cherry. Cornell's biggest lead came at the half, 33-30, on a lay-up by Dominick Scelfo.
Brown returns to action again Saturday evening, hosting Columbia at the Pizzitola Sports Center.  Game time is 6:00 pm.

Final 1 2 T
Cornell (1-16, 0-3 Ivy) 33 33 66
Brown (10-7, 2-1 Ivy) 30 48 78
Pizzitola Sports Center; Providence, RI
CornellBrown
Pts: Matthews, Jake - 34 Pts: 2 Players (#03, #12 - 36)
Reb: Cherry, Devin - 12 Reb: Sean McGonagill - 8
Ast: Cherry, Devin - 4 Ast: Sean McGonagill - 6
Team StatisticsCornellBrown
Field Goal % 37.5% (24-64 ) 54.7% (29-53 )
Rebounds 38 35
Assists 7 15
Turnovers 8 11
Pts off Turnovers 15 11
2nd Chance Pts 9 4
Pts in the Paint 32 40
Fastbreak Pts 8 7
Bench Pts 27 34



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