Sunday, February 23, 2014

Game Recaps: Brown 81 Cornell 75 (OT)

(Click here for NBC Sports highlights)

The Cornell men’s basketball team got a welcoming ovation from the home crowd as the team gathered into a pump-up huddle prior to the start of its matchup against Yale Friday night. Cornell won the tip and scored on the first possession, which led to a strong start on both ends of the ball. The team pressed on defense, forcing the Bulldogs to turn the ball over in the opening minutes.
Despite coming out strong, the Red was left shorthanded against the Bulldogs. Four of the team’s major contributors all season in freshman guard Robert Hatter, senior guard Dom Scelfo, junior.
forward Deion Giddens and sophomore center Braxton Bunce, did not suit up for the game.
“We all have really different injuries, and I hope we can come back. I just hope I can get back before Senior Night,” Scelfo said, who was wearing a walking boot during the game.
Yale was quick to capitalize on the Red’s diminished bench as the game progressed. Sophomore forward Justin Sears, who leads the Bulldogs in scoring and is a strong contender for Player of the Year honors in the Ivy League, exploited the Red’s zone coverage, hitting seven of 12 shots from the field.
Yale sophomore Jack Montague, who filled in for the injured junior guard Javier Duren, shot the ball very efficiently off of the bench. The 6’0” guard had a career-night, scoring 18 points on five three-pointers, despite only owning a season average of 2.1 ppg.
At halftime, the Red trailed the Bulldogs 45-31.
Cornell came out of the locker room with renewed intensity. The team pressured on defense and made shots from the outside, including three-pointers by sophomore guard Nolan Cressler and junior guard Devin Cherry within the first four minutes of the half.
However, the Red relied heavily on outside shooting in the half, as it struggled to get the ball into the paint. When the final whistle blew, the Red had put up 30 three-point attempts, connecting on 10 of them.
Cornell struggled with the Bulldog’s ability to draw fouls as Yale consistently drove to the basket and grabbed offensive rebounds, resulting in 34 free throws for the Bulldogs.
Despite the Red’s 82-65 loss, Cherry had a career night with 29 points. He put together a well-rounded attack, also dishing out two assists and grabbing three rebounds, and was able to score with the long range shot, as well as in the paint.
Yale moved to 8-1 in the Ivy League with the win, putting them at the top of the Ancient Eight alongside Harvard. The Red fell to 1-8 in the Ivy League after the loss, but had to shift its focus to the following night’s contest against Brown.
Brown entered Newman Arena on Saturday led by senior guard Sean McGonagill, who leads the Ivy League in scoring. The evening’s matchup was broadcast nationally on NBC sports and the Red had plenty of support from its home crowd.
In the previous meeting between the two sides, the Red suffered a loss in Providence.
“We played them before and we know what they are comfortable with,” Scelfo said. “McGonagill is a great scorer and we respect that. We need[ed] to do the right things to stop him.”
The Red put on a show for the home fans as the team’s offensive pace and efficient shooting had the team ahead for the majority of the game. Towards the end of regulation, with the Red leading by two with just 35 seconds left, Brown tied the game on a clutch lay-up from sophomore forward Cedric Kuakumensah.
The Red got the ball back with 23 seconds on the clock, and Cherry held it for the final shot. He was able to shake his defender off at the top of the key with a step-back jumper, but it hit front iron and time expired, pushing the game into overtime.
The Bears took over after the end of regulation, going on a 5-0 run to start overtime. The Red fought back to within three after two free throws by Cressler, but a three-pointer by McGonagill — who had previously been quiet on offense — gave the Bears a lead from which the Red was unable to recover.
Cressler had another strong offensive performance, scoring a career-high 34 points, grabbing five rebounds in the process. Cherry was just three rebounds short of Cornell’s first ever triple-double. He scored 17 points, dished out 10 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds.
On the other end of the floor, the Red was able to shut down McGonagill. The star senior only made two shots from the field. However, Brown’s big men stepped up to fill that void. Kuakumensah had a career night in the paint, recording 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks. Freshman Leland King also chipped in with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 4 assists
Although the Brown game slipped away from Cornell, the team did show that it can match up against Ivy League contenders, according to Scelfo.
“[We] are really proud to be on this team, even though we haven’t had a great season. Everybody brings their all to each game and we always try to come out with a win,” he said.
With four games to go in the season, the Red returns to the road next weekend for a rematch with Harvard and Dartmouth.

ITHACA — Sophomore Nolan Cressler scored a career-high 34 points and junior Devin Cherry almost recorded the first triple-double in Cornell history, but Brown held off the Big Red for an 81-75 overtime victory on Saturday night at Newman Arena in a game nationally broadcast on NBCSN.

The Big Red dropped to 2-22 overall and 1-9 in the Ivy League. The Bears improved to 14-10, 6-4.

Cressler shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range and made 10 of 14 free throws en route to his big night. Cherry had 17 points, a career-high 10 assists and seven rebounds while committing one turnover in 45 minutes. The Red shot 39 percent from the floor, but hit nine 3-pointers and held a 42-39 edge on the backboard against one of the Ivies’ top rebounding teams.

Dave LaMore scored a career-best eight points off the bench for the Big Red, and freshman David Onuorah had four points and eight rebounds. Senior Dwight Tarwater chipped in three points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

Cedric Kuakumensah led Brown with 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks, and hit a driving lay-up with 23 seconds to play in regulation to force overtimme. Leland King added 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

Sean McGonagill had nine points, but the Big Red defense held the Ivy League’s leading scorer to 2-of-12 shooting, though the senior did bury one of the game’s biggest shots, a stepback 3-pointer to put Brown up six with 50 seconds to play.

Cornell travels to Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend, the wraps up the season at home on March 7-8 against Princeton and Pennsylvania.

 Box Score I Box Score (PDF)

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Sophomore Nolan Cressler scored a career-high 34 points and junior Devin Cherry just missed the first triple-double in school history, but Brown was able to hold off the Big Red for an 81-75 overtime victory on Saturday evening at Newman Arena. The Big Red dropped to 2-22 (1-9 Ivy), while the Bears improved to 14-10 (6-4 Ivy).

Cressler buried 6-of-9 3-pointers and 10-of-14 from the free-throw line, while Cherry notched 17 points, a career-high 10 assists, seven rebounds and just one turnover while playing all 45 minutes. The Big Red shot just 39 percent from the floor overall, but hit nine 3-pointers and held a 42-39 edge on the backboards against one of the Ivy's top rebounding teams.

Dave LaMore scored a career-best eight points for the Big Red off the bench and David Onuorah had four points and eight rebounds. Dwight Tarwater chipped in three points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots and Darryl Smith had six points and five rebounds.

Brown got 30 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks from Cedric Kuakumensah and 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists from Leland King. Sean McGonagill had nine points, but the Big Red defense held the Ivy League's leading scorer to 2-of-12 shooting, though the senior did bury one of the game's biggest shots, a stepback 3-pointer to put Brown up six with 50 seconds to play.

It was a thriler from the tip with neither team leading by more than seven points in regulation. Most of the way the two teams were spearated by two possessions or less in a contest that featured eight ties and 16 lead changes. It made for high drama, particularly in the final minutes.

Brown led by four points with 2:31 remaining before Cherry hit Cressler for a 3-pointer and then took it himself in transition for a conventional three-point play to flip the script and give Cornell a two-point lead just over a minute later. Kuakumensah answered with a short jumper in the lane to tie it, but Cressler went to the line twice sandwiched around a key offensive rebound by Darryl Smith after a missed free throw. The sophomore put the Big Red up 67-65 with 35 ticks left. Just 12 seconds later, Kuakumensah again tied it up when Tavon Blackmon found him for a layup to knot it at 67-67. The Big Red got a last opportunity, with Cherry missing a jumper from the top of the key as time ran out and the teams went back to the bench for overtime.

The Bears scored the first five points of overtime and Cornell couldn't get all the way back despite all efforts. Cressler hit a pair of free throws to cut a Bears lead to three for the second time, but McMonagill hit his second trey of the night and only the second for Brown in 45 minutes of action to effectively seal the visitors win.

The first half saw the Big Red take its second halftime lead over Brown this season due to the heroics of Cressler, who had 17 points. Kuakumensah effectively kept the Bears within striking distance with a dominant 16-point, 10-rebound, four-block effort in 18 minutes of court time, while King had 15 points and five rebounds, The rest of Brown's lineup, including McGonagill, had three points on 1-of-13 shooting. The home team led by as many as seven points with 99 seconds left in the first half, but the visitors scored five points before the final buzzer, with King hitting a layup and Kuakumensah finishing off a three-point play as Cornell went into the break leading 36-34.

Cornell will play its final road contests of the season next weekend when it visits Harvard and Dartmouth on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1, respectively.

Ithaca, New York - Sophomore Cedric Kuakumensah scored a career high 30 points and freshman forward Leland King added a career high 23 points to lead Brown to an 81-75 overtime win over Cornell in an Ivy League game at Newman Arena.

Brown improves to 14-10, 6-4 in the Ivy League, while Cornell falls to 2-22, 1-9 in league play. The Bears are in sole possession of third place in the Ivy standings.

Cornell held a 67-65 lead late in regulation when Kuakumensah scored on a lay-up with 23 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime, 67-67.

The overtime period remained scoreless until Brown freshman Tavon Blackmon connected on the second of two free throws with 3:07 left to play, giving Brown the lead for good, 68-67. Freshman Steven Spieth's lay-up off an inbounds pass gave the Bears a 70-67 lead, and Blackmon hit two free throws with 1:48 remaining to extend the Bears' lead to 72-67.

Brown led, 74-71, after Nolan Cressler hit four free throws for Cornell and Spieth scored on a fast break lay-up. Senior Sean McGonagill, who struggled shooting the ball all day, gave Brown control of the game with 50 seconds remaining, 77-71, with a long trey.

Kuakumensah scored his 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the field and completed the double-double with a game high 14 rebounds. He had a school record seven blocked shots against the Big Red and set a new single season Brown record with 70 blocked shots, breaking his own mark of 66 blocks set last year.

King also posted a double-double for the Bears, adding 12 rebounds to go with his 23 points. Spieth and McGonagill finished with nine points each for the Bears.

Cressler led all scorers with 34 points for the Big Red on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, 6-of-9 from beyond the three point arc and 10-0f 14 shooting from the free throw line. Devin Cherry chipped in with 17 points and 10 assists.

The Bears were sluggish defensively in the opening 20 minutes and trailed by as many as six points, 33-27, on a trey by Darryl Smith with 3:20 left. A late Brown run kept the score close at the half, trailing 36-34 at intermission. Kuakumensah and King combined for 31 of Brown's 34 first half points.

Brown continues its four-game road trip, traveling to Philadelphia, PA on Friday, February 28 to battle Penn at the Palestra in a game nationally televised by NBC Sports (7:30 pm), and then on Princeton, New Jersey to face Princeton on Saturday, March 1 at 6:00 pm.

Final 1 2 OT T
Brown (13-10, 5-4 Ivy) 34 33 14 81
Cornell (2-21, 1-8 Ivy) 36 31 8 75
Ithaca, N.Y. (Newman Arena)
Pts: Cedric Kuakumensah - 30 Pts: Cressler, Nolan - 34
Reb: Cedric Kuakumensah - 14 Reb: Onuorah, David - 8
Ast: Leland King - 4 Ast: Cherry, Devin - 10
Team StatisticsBrownCornell
Field Goal % 45.0% (27-60 ) 38.5% (25-65 )
Rebounds 39 42
Assists 11 14
Turnovers 7 12
Pts off Turnovers 16 7
2nd Chance Pts 20 8
Pts in the Paint 44 24
Fastbreak Pts 8 4
Bench Pts 3 11


Anonymous said...

This was one of the better games I've seen this year. Finally a game where Cressler and Cherry were clicking together all game.

This game was actually one shot, one free throw or one defensive stop away from victory.

Congrats to BigRed for that never quit attitude which will carry you to the next level next year.

If there were any doubts regarding are Point Guard position
next year I'm here to tell you not to worry, looks to me that we
are in great shape!

Statistically Cressler and Cherry
are holding their own as the new dynamic duo of Ivy League play.


Anonymous said...

On 2 late possessions with the ball, the Brown coach called timeouts to set up 2 plays, one an out of bounds play underneath their hoop and the other was Brown's last possession in regulation. Both plays resulted in lay ups, the last of which tied the game. But why? Sean McGonigal leads Ivy in scoring? Why not just isolate him one on one?

Brown's coach was shootin fish in a barrel.

Old Grad said...

I have to agree with Anon. about the guys and their never quit attitude. I am still confused about BC's subbing strategy. Jake is a nice guy and a good shooter (at times), but not really a big offensive threat and not the defender you need against a bigger team. I don't understand the major minutes he is getting. Where is Ned ? He would have been a big help in the last ten minutes. Still way too much switching on defense and it is hurting under the basket.

Anonymous said...

There exist a strong case for a Cornell Player to be Co-Player of the week!

This is How The Two Top Performers match up after this weekends games.

Cedric Kuakumensah:
42pts 16rebs 2assist 13blks 2stls

Devin Cherry
46pts 10rebs 12assist 2 stls
8-10 free throws assist/to 3.0

Anonymous said...

I was there for both games. They don't quit. But they play under the pressure of just trying to get a win, and that is when the basketball just falls of the wrong side of the rim. What they need, from all the people on the blog, is not comment from afar but go to games especially if they play near where you live.

Anonymous said...

Cherry and Cressler are definitely the focal points of the offense - nearly every possession is run to get one or the other a perimeter shot, but only if we can't get an out of control shot in transition. That strategy actually seems to be by necessity at this point as there are no options inside.

Old Grad, even after Brown's Bigs scored 31 of Brown's 34 first half points, Courtney didn't go to Tomic in the second half. So what does that tell you about what Courtney must see in practice every day? Courtney is not going to play two 5s at the same time, let alone Tomic as an undersized 5 against the talented tall and strong 4s and 5s we are seeing in league play. Undersized Tarwater is pretty much his only option at the 4, with Cressler playing way out of position at the 4 from time to time. You can join the club to cut Matthews' minutes (as if that is the answer to this team's 2-22 record), but Matthews isn't getting "major minutes". He is averaging 20 mins per game in league play and 15 mins per game overall - hardly "major minutes". And, ironically, Matthews is the team's 3rd leading scorer in Ivy League play at 6.5 ppg in just 20 mins per game.

If you are honestly looking for an explanation for this disaster, try combining no inside game on O or D with a predictable stand around perimeter offense. And, for good measure, throw in absolutely no creativity or adjustments whatsoever from the sideline, and then it's not hard to understand why this team's games all look the same.

Andy Noel seems to bolt from Newman Arena faster and faster after every game.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Old Grad!!!
I would have like to see Tomic play. While LaMore played good, its not like our bigs (LaMore and David O.) shut down the Browns inside game. In fact its the opposite.

Playing Tomic would have offset some inside scoring and potentially eased the pressure on the guards and created some easier points. We just don't get easy points like other teams.

Yes Tomic is an undersized 5 but why not play him some min as the 5 and play him as a 4 and allow Tarwater to play a 3/4 and Cressler to play 3/2.

Anonymous said...

Dartmouth picks up a nice big man in Alex Wolf. We are not winning the Ivy recruiting war, folks. That's the simple truth.

Harvard, Penn, Columbia, and arguably Brown are beating us to the punch. Arguments that Courtney is an elite recruiter is simply inconsistent with the product on the court.

Anonymous said...

I got to watch the Brown game on TV, which was my first viewing expereience in some time. The offense does not seem static; there seems to be a lot more motion and screens than what I remembered or would expect from reading comments to the blog. I also thought the post players did a nice job of finishing on O. I think the biggest weakness was interior defense. Quite simply, several times on defense, the bigs (as a group) would make the wrong decision in how to guard a situation, and Brown would capitalize (including on the last Brown offensive posssession in regulation). Clearly, Shonn will help to remedy that problem. But in general, I hope the team is re-evaluating everything they do re: post defense. It seems like it is something that should be fixable.

I also agree with the other comments that the team does not quit, and I greatly admire them for that.

Old Grad said...

Anon. I don't know what Courtney sees in practice, but I can't believe Ned is not pulling his weight. I realize he's small for a 5, but give him a shot. He might surprise you. I know Jake can score,but he is weak on defense and can't help with rebounding and 20 minutes is half a game. I go to all of the games and give 100 percent support to the guys. I want a win as badly as they do. Maybe this weekend. One can only hope.

Anonymous said...

This has to be one of the biggest blunders of picking an Ivy League Player of the Week I've witness recently!

Its not even close, niether Rosenberg or Chambers should have been selected as Co-Players of the week. Rosenberg averaged 20.5points and 5 rebounds while shooting a pct of .375. Chambers shot a pct of .333 and averaged 11points and 9 assist and 2 steals.
both efforts slightly over ther average and well below the performances of numerous others specifically Devin Cherry and Cedric K from Brown.

Maybe the award is becoming a slightly above average performance as long as your team wins award. Or how about a popularity contest for whom the Ivy offices choose as ther flavor of the week!

Anyway, Congrats to Both Nolan and Cherry for giving us memorable performances which obviously noticed by the Ivy offices but not Respected enough to achieve even a share of the player of the week award.

Kids work hard to achieve all sorts of accolades during the time as an undergraduate, to be denied by what appears to be a political decision instead of a merit base decision to me is SHAMEFUL, nothing more nothing less.

What respect I thought I should have had for the Committee who makes those decisions has been greatly reduced