Sunday, December 7, 2014

GAME RECAP: Cornell 71, UMass Lowell 60

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Senior Shonn Miller and sophomore Robert Hatter scored 18 points apiece as Cornell snapped UMass Lowell's six-game win streak with a 71-60 victory over the River Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Newman Arena. The Big Red climbed over the .500 mark (5-4) with the win to head into a 15-day break for final exams, while UMass Lowell slipped to 6-3.

Miller added five rebounds, three blocks and two steals in the win, while Hatter drilled a season-high five 3-pointers and had four rebounds for the Big Red in the win. Senior Galal Cancer overcame first half foul trouble to score eight points, dish eight assists and grab seven rebounds and classmate Devin Cherry had seven points, four rebounds and three assists. Both Ned Tomic and Darryl Smith had six points and David Onuorah blocked three shots. The Big Red shot 50 percent from the floor in the win and connected on 10-of-21 from 3-point range, including 7-of-11 after halftime. Cornell also hit each of its 13 free throws and held a 31-26 edge on the backboards.

Marco Benegas-Flores notched 18 points for UMass Lowell to lead the River Hawks. Chad Holley added 12 and Lance Crawford scored 10. UMass Lowell turned the ball over just 10 times, but shot under 40 percent. It was hitting 36 percent before hitting its final three shots after both teams emptied their benches.

The game started uneven with a see-saw first 10 minutes as the teams felt each other out. The visitors led 18-17 with 7:42 remaining before the Big Red scored six straight on treys by Hatter and freshman Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof. The River Hawks tied the score at 25-25 when Jahad Thomas beat the Big Red defense for a layup, but after a missed jumper on one end, Cornell used the press to force a turnover. Cherry took the steal in alone from midcourt to give Cornell the lead 27-25 at the break.

Two minutes into the second half, UMass Lowell tied the score at 30-30, but Cornell answered with the game's decisive run. The 10-0 spurt over three minutes was bookended by a pair of Hatter 3-pointers, his second and third of the half, and a putback dunk and vicious blocked shot by Miller to energize the home team. The lead never dwindled lower than eight points over the final 15 minutes.

Cornell built its advantage to as many as 17 (57-40) after a 3-pointer by Hatter with 7:10 left , then again when Darryl Smith cashed in his second trey of the game after excellent ball movement created a wide open look for the sophomore. The reserves hit the floor with just over a minute to play and an 18-point lead and despite seven quick UML points, allowed Cornell to remain unbeaten at home on the season.

The Big Red will have a 15-day break for final exams before returning to action on Sunday, Dec. 21 when it travels to Radford for a 2 p.m. contest. 

Box Score
Box Score (PDF)

ITHACA, N.Y. – The UMass Lowell men's basketball team (6-3) faced a 71-60 setback at Cornell University (5-4) on Saturday afternoon, ending a six-game win streak for the River Hawks.

"Cornell is a very tough team on their home floor," said Head Coach Pat Duquette. "They have some really experienced guards. Shonn Miller might have been the toughest kid we've played all season. He can score in a variety of ways. I don't think we played our best game tonight, but we gave ourselves chances and did a good job defensively in the first half to keep ourselves in the game. We couldn't really find our rhythm offensively in the second half, but credit to Cornell, they played a good game."

Graduate student Marco Banegas-Flores (Boston, Mass.) tallied 18 points, while senior Chad Holley (New York, N.Y.) added a season-high 12 to pace the River Hawks.

The teams traded baskets in the opening minutes and were tied on two occasions, until sophomore Tyler Livingston (Hudson, N.H.) drained a three from the corner to give the River Hawks their first lead of the day at 7-4. Although the Big Red would regain the upper hand by as many as four, a layup from redshirt-senior Kerry Weldon (New York, N.Y.) and a free throw from freshman Lance Crawford (Davie, Fla.) forced two more stalemates, including at 13-13 with 9:39 remaining in the first half.

Banegas-Flores found Holley open for a jumper from beyond the arc to put the visitors on top once more, but Cornell answered with an 8-2 run, pulling away, 23-18, at 5:19. The River Hawks fought back with buckets from Livingston and redshirt-freshman Jahad Thomas (Williamsport, Pa.) in the last minute of the half, tying the score at 25-25, however the home squad notched the last points of the period to take a slim, 27-25 edge into the break.

UMass Lowell scored first in the second half before the Big Red tallied 10 in a row to extend its lead to double-digits at 40-30 with 14:42 left in the outing. Banegas-Flores broke the silence for the River Hawks with a fast-break layup, but the home squad would make it a 14-point game with just over 12 minutes to go.

The River Hawks battled to cut the difference back to 10 at 50-40 thanks to a pair of threes from Holley, but the team would not come any closer, as Cornell used  three more three-point field goals to seal the 71-60 decision.

Holley knocked down a season-best four threes en route to his 12 points. Weldon and Thomas led the team on the boards with four rebounds apiece. UMass Lowell shot 39.6% (21-53) from the floor overall, including 37.5% (9-24) from beyond the arc, and 90.0% (9-10) on free throws.

Shonn Miller and Robert Hatter posted 18 points each to lead the Big Red. As a whole, Cornell shot 50.0% (24-48) from the field, 47.6% (10-21) from three-point territory and 100.0% (13-13) from the line.

Saturday's contest marked the first meeting ever between UMass Lowell and Cornell in the sport of men's basketball. The River Hawks return to action on Wednesday, December 10 when they square off against another Ivy League member, Dartmouth College, in the second game of a doubleheader at Costello Athletic Center at 8 p.m.


BigRed1965 said...

It was truly Miller time,and Hatter and Cherry are explosive, but Cancer having more involvement in distribution of the ball is making a big difference.

Anonymous said...

To BigRed 1965:

This team plays off each other which is very positive situation to have. What would be best though is that Cancer and Cherry both distribute because without both assisting BigRed does not have many assist outside of those two! Cherry is the one who sets up the pass better. BigRed as a team just needs to convert more off of assists to help in games where the opponents defense is better than the teams we have faced!

I've stated in previous post that this backcourt is probably the best in the Ivy when playing there "A" game and that has yet to happen since we seem not to take care of the ball on a consistent basis. That stated that means we have a high ceiling to reach for when we start taking care of the basics.