Saturday, March 8, 2014

Game Recap: Princeton 91 Cornell 51

(See  also highlights via WBNG)

Box Score I Box Score (PDF) I Game Highlights

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Princeton hit six 3-pointers without a miss in the first five minutes of the game and ran out to a 25-0 lead en route to a 91-51 victory over Cornell on Friday evening at Newman Arena. The Tigers improved to 18-8 (6-6 Ivy) with the victory, while the Big Red slipped to 2-25 (1-12 Ivy).

Nolan Cressler scored 16 points to lead the Big Red, while Devin Cherry had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists against just one turnover in the loss. Senior Dwight Tarwater, playing in his second to last collegiate game, netted 12 points with five rebounds. Fellow senior Jake Matthews had a career-best four steals. The Big Red shot 33 percent from the floor overall and 26 percent (5-of-19) from beyond the arc.

Princeton had three players in double figures, led by Will Barrett. The senior hit all eight of his field goal attempts, including a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc, as part of a 21-point effort. he added four assists, three rebounds and two blocks to the cause. Classmate T.J. Bray also notched 21 points and chipped in eight rebounds and five assists. Rounding out the trip was Clay Wilson with 16 points. Spencer Weisz had seven points, a career-high 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals as the Tigers outrebounded the Big Red 33-26. As a team, the visitors had 23 assists on its 34 baskets and turned the ball over just 11 times.

Princeton shot 53 percent from the floor overall (16-of-30) and an impressive 63 percent from 3-point range (10-of-16) in the first 20 minutes, but got even hotter after halftime. The Tigers made 78 percent of their shots in the second half (18-of-23) to end the contest at a blazing 64 percent for the game.

The visitors looked right at home early, hitting 3-pointers on six of their first seven possessions to carve up the Cornell defense over the first 4:49. The Big Red settled down, but only after the lead grew to 25-0 when Wilson drained a trey with 11:34 on the clock. Cressler connected on a left corner 3-pointer to get the Big Red on the scoreboard, which lit a fire for the home team.

Cornell was able to whittle the game down to 14 points (30-16) after a second 3-pointer by Cressler, but Princeton answered with a bucket and then Cressler was called for a charge that wiped away a fastbreak basket. The closest Cornell would get the rest of the way was 16 points.

The Big Red was able to cut the Princeton lead to 50-34 with 17:56 remaining, but the Tigers began stretching the lead shortly after, Gradually the reserves pushed the margin beyond 30 points as both teams emptied their benches in the final minutes.

Cornell will close out the 2013-14 season tomorrow when it meets Penn at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena. You can watch the final home game for seniors Jake Matthews, Dominick Scelfo and Dwight Tarwater live on the Ivy League Digitial Network.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's games like this one which make me uncomfortable with broad statements by CBB that the 2010 Cornell team was the "best" Ivy team of the AI era based largely upon huge wins against Temple and Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament.

Basketball teams which emphasize the three-point shot work hard to get open looks. If the offensive teamwork is "good," they get those open looks. Sometimes the shots go in, sometimes they don't.

Judging any team which shoots a lot of threes by one or two games can be very misleading. If the perimeter shots go in, the team is not necessarily "great." If the perimeter shots don't go in, the team is not necessarily bad, especially if the shots were solid, open looks.

Judging by one or two games, if they included this blow-out against Cornell, this year's Princeton team would appear to be among the "greatest" teams of all time.

A thoughtful analysis must include a larger sample size. That's why the season-long averages favored by the statisticians whom CBB disparages ultimately have the winning hand in their debate.