- Cornell Athletics recapped Cornell's defeat to Georgia Tech last night as follows:
ATLANTA, Ga. -- When freshman Matt Morgan hit his second 3-pointer in the span of 10 seconds early in the second half to cut what once was a 17-point Georgia Tech lead to two with 19 and a half minutes to play, Cornell had all the momentum. For a moment at least. Seven Yellow Jackets reached double figures and the home team opened the season with a 116-81 victory over the Big Red on Friday evening at McCamish Pavilion.
Georgia Tech made turnarounds, long 3-pointers and shots off the glass at a 60 percent clip, doubled up the Big Red on the glass (48-24) and wore down the visitors in outscoring them 59-32 after the break to ruin a fine offensive performance by a Cornell team that struggled on that end of the floor a year ago.
There were plenty of bright spots in a game that was fiercely fought offensively for the first 25 minutes before a deep Georgia Tech team that featured three high profile transfers and a returning 1,000-point scorer that expects to make a big move in the ACC this season. Morgan scored 20 points and grabbed four rebounds in his first collegiate game, while classmate Stone Gettings scored 11 points and also ripped down four boards. Junior Robert Hatter, Cornell's leading returning scorer from a season ago, added 19 points, five assists and three rebounds while classmate JoJo Fallas had nine points. Junior David Onuorah battled foul trouble in a return to his hometown, but still had eight points and three rebounds to go along with an impressive early dunk to set the tone for the Big Red's early challenge.
Charles Mitchell hit 10-of-11 shots as part of a 21-point, 11-rebound effort in just 21 minutes of action, while Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 17 points. James White (14 points, 11 rebounds) also had a double-double while missing one shot (6-of-7) and Adam Smith (13), Quinton Stephens (13), Nick Jacobs (12) and Tadric Jackson (11) all reached double figures in the scoring column.
Georgia Tech scored the game's first five points, led 9-2 and was up 17 points (48-31) with 4:38 to play in the first half before Cornell rallied behind eight points by Gettings and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Morgan to get within 57-49 at the break.
Hatter had 13 points and four assists and Gettings had 11 of his points before the break, connecting on 3-of-4 3-pointers, but Tech shot 56 percent and had 16 points from Mitchell for the lead.
The game was played fast and clean, as the teams hot a combined 54 percent and turned the ball over a combined five times in the first 20 minutes.
The Big Red got the ball to open the second half and Morgan drained a 3-pointer, then Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof stole the inbounds and handed it off to Morgan, who pulled again from the wing to shock the Tech crowd of more than 6,000 fans in attendance on opening night to get Cornell back within 57-55. It was a two-point game three minutes later after Gettings nailed his fourth trey to make it 66-64.
A 19-1 run over just 5:26 ended any Big Red thoughts of an upset. Cornell went without a field goal for nearly six minutes, and when Morgan scored on a layup with just over 10 minutes left, it cut the visitor's deficit to 18. Georgia Tech ballooned the lead to as many as 35 points in the closing seconds after hitting the 100-point mark with 7:07 left in the game.
Notes to Know
• Matt Morgan's 20 points were the most by a Big Red freshman in his first game since Nolan Cressler also scored 20 points against Western Michigan in the 2012-13 season opener.
• Robert Hatter's 19 points pushed him over the 500-point plateau for his career. He ended the night with 514 points.
• The Big Red made 13 3-pointers in the contest, more than in any game a season ago.
• Sophomore Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof and freshman Matt Morgan earned their first career starts.
• Cornell is now 75-42 in season openers, including 8-3 over the last 11 seasons.
• The Big Red hasn't defeated a team from the ACC since knocking off Wake Forest 58-51 during the 1951-52 season.
• Georgia Tech is a perfect 4-0 all-time against the Big Red.
• Big Red freshman Troy Whiteside also scored his first collegiate points, scoring four on 2-of-3 shooting.
• Cornell's 13 3-pointers on Friday the 13th ranks 13th in a single game all-time omn the school's charts.
• Abdur-Ra'oof had a pair of steals, matching a career high.
• JoJo Fallas also matched an all-time high with his three 3-pointers.
• Georgia Tech's 116 points is the most allowed by a Big Red team in a game since Syracuse scored 120 in a 120-85 victory during the 1965-66 campaign. Cornell went 15-9 that season.
• Cornell will be back in action when it visits Central New York rival Colgate on Monday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in Hamilton, N.Y.
• Cornell leads the all-time series 72-54, including a 58-52 victory over the Raiders last season in Ithaca.
• The Big Red opens its 13-game home schedule against Binghamton on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. at Newman Arena.
• The game will be part of a doubleheader with the women's team, which meets Colgate at 8:30 p.m.
• Cornell holds an 8-3 advantage in the all-time series.
- See the Vanderbilt Athletics recap of their season opener with Nolan Cressler.