Cancer, Onuorah Lead Big Red to Second Ivy Win Over Brown
Ithaca, NY — The Brown Bears came into Cornell’s Newman Arena winless in the Ivy League, and would remain winless following a Big Red 57-49 victory. The Big Red, coming off a win at Columbia, were looking to capture a crucial win and crack the .500 win percentage mark. Cornell, the 4.5 point favorite, looked good early on, despite being down 3 after the first half of play. With solid interior defensive play, Cornell managed to hold Brown to 27 first half points. Cornell struggled from the field, scoring only 24 first half points.
The Big Red ended up forcing 13 turnovers versus their 5 turnovers, which might’ve ended up being the difference. Darryl Smith was an explosive presence off the bench and helped Cornell exploit Brown’s interior by getting to the paint, going 3/3 from the field with 6 points in the first half. Recently named to Mid-Season Watch List for 2014-2015, Shonn Miller found himself in foul trouble early on – committing 2 fouls within the first 9 minutes of play. He sat the remainder of the first half and ended the game with 8 points on 3/10 shooting to go along with 3 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Brown guard, Tavon Blackmon, posted a solid 14 points on 14 field goal attempts. The Bears struggled to get open looks due to Cornell’s hounding and harassing defense. Brown would have to settle for the long ball, but it wasn’t their night as they ended up shooting 20% from beyond the arc on 4 of 20 shooting.
David Onuorah, the co-MVP of tonight’s game was an absolute monster on the defensive end. He finished the game with 7 blocks and 2 steals, which had Newman Arena in a frenzy, and a block early in the 2nd half that led to a Galal Cancer layup gave Cornell their 1st lead at 30-28 with 18 minutes to play. Onourah’s clutch defense and timely rebounds (8) would prove to be a huge component of Cornell’s victory.
The second half was dominated by the Big Red’s guard play and defensive efficiency. Cancer looked very dialed in, getting to the basket with ease. His facilitation, coupled with Devin Cherry’s impressive night (11 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists) helped Cornell gain much momentum late in the 2nd half. The turning point of the game was a Cancer-to-Miller alley oop, which made the electric crowd get on their feet. The Bears would remain relentless, however. They began to climb back after a series of offensive possessions led by guard, JR Hobbie – he hit two 3 point attempts and assisted another 2-point attempt in a 5 minute span which knotted the game up at 44.
It’d come down to which team would make the big plays down the stretch. Cornell’s defense continued to look sharp making important stops while securing the defensive boards, not allowing Brown any second chances. Galal Cancer looked sharped getting to the basket and drawing contact, and after a series of free throw makes, Cancer secured the win (putting Cornell up 53-49) with an enormous steal and finish at the other end putting Cornell up for good. Cancer was the MVP of tonight’s game; his official stat line included 11 points on 8 field goal attempts, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. The final score at Newman was 57-49, and the Big Red find themselves at 10-9 before another home game against the talented 14-6 Yale Bulldogs.