Cornell Men’s Basketball Barely Slides by Columbia
The Cornell Big Red men’s basketball team picked up its first conference win of the season on Saturday, defeating the Columbia Lions 82-81. The Big Red was led by juniors Matt Morgan and Stone Gettings who contributed 29 and 25 points respectively in the one-point victory. This win comes after a 0-3 Ivy League start, including a 26-point loss at Columbia last weekend.
The Big Red victory comes thanks in large part to a huge all-around effort in the second half in which Cornell connected on 63% of field goals and 91% of free throws while holding Columbia to under 40% shooting. Trailing by four heading into half-time and by as much as 11 late in the first half, the Big Red managed a comeback due in part to tremendous efficiency from Matt Morgan, who his all four of his three-point attempts and nine out of 10 free throws, including all six attempts in the final 2 minutes and 3 seconds. Morgan, who entered the game as the seventh-leading scorer in the nation, now has scored in double figures in 40 consecutive games and moves into fifth on Cornell’s all-time scoring list with 1,418 points. Junior Stone Gettings continued to demonstrate his all-around game by grabbing seven rebounds and five assists to contribute his 25 points on nine of 19 shooting. His 25 points mark the fifth time this season he has scored at least twenty points and the 12th time he’s reached double figures.
Coach Brian Earl also enjoyed key contributions from freshmen Jimmy Boeheim and Brian Knapp off the bench in the second half, after initially being outscored 17 to zero by Columbia’s bench in the first. Boeheim spun in an and-one layup to put the Big Red up 53-50 midway through the second half and later drilled a corner three to put the team up 66-64 with seven minutes remaining.
Sophomore Josh Warren provided 28 minutes of quality defense and rebounding to go along with six points for Cornell, while freshman Terrance McBride tied his career high with give assists. Cornell certainly demonstrated its tremendous offensive potential in this victory while also showing tremendous defensive improvement, as it held Columbia to just seven successful threes compared to the 16 the team gave up last weekend. Cornell returns to competition as it looks to gain ground in the Ivy League with home games against Dartmouth (0-4) on Friday, and Harvard (4-0) on Saturday.