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Cornell Ties 2013-14 Win Total with Comeback Victory Over Colgate

Newman Nation was rocking as the Cornell Big Red overcame a slow first half and a 17-point deficit against Colgate with a furious second half rally to pull ahead and ultimately defeat the rival Raiders 58-52 on Tuesday night. Led by senior guards Devin Cherry, who tallied 21 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals, and Galal Cancer who added 8 points and 4 rebounds, the Big Red (2-1) claimed their second victory of the year, matching their total number of wins from last season. Colgate was led by Damon Sherman-Newsome who scored 19 points and had 5 rebounds. Austin Tillotson and Luke Roh also scored in double digits for the Raiders with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Cornell started the game ice cold, shooting only 29.6% in the first half, and Colgate used the Big Red’s inability to score to take a 23-6 lead to start the game. With 7:11 left in the first half, and Cornell shooting only 2-17 from the field, the future looked bleak for the Big Red; every time the team looked to get back into the game, inconsistent shooting held them back while Colgate was able to put up points consistently and take a large lead. The lack of offensive prowess can be credited to the Raiders who played a solid defensive game, keeping the lanes closed and making sure Cornell couldn’t drive to the basket for the easy put-ins.

With 4:34 remaining in the first, Cornell sophomore guard JoJo Fallas hit a three-point shot to bring the Big Red within thirteen, and following an Ethan Jacobs missed three for Colgate, Cherry drove in for a layup, marking the first time of the night that Cornell had scored in back-to-back possessions. For the rest of the half, Cornell outscored Colgate 10-6, and by the intermission Cornell was within nine, down only 31-22.

The Big Red came out in the second half looking revitalized and ready to score. Led by Robert Hatter’s unrivaled intensity, Cornell looked like a new team for the first few minutes, keeping Colgate’s offense quiet and making a few key shots, but like the Raiders, the Big Red quickly became unable to make baskets. From 14:39 until 10:53 the score remained 41-30 in favor of Colgate as both teams traded turnovers and missed shots in a show of sound defenses.

As late as 9:20 left in the game, Colgate held a thirteen point lead over the offensively struggling Big Red, but a furious ten-point rally over the next three minutes brought Cornell within three points of the lead with over six minutes left. At 5:17, a pair of Hatter free throws tied the game and then put Cornell ahead, and the Big Red never looked back, leading for the rest of the game. A once-silent crowd at Newman Arena had been awoken, and for the last ten minutes, Cornell suddenly looked dominant over a very good opponent, outscoring Colgate 22-9 to ultimately win by six.

After being named the Ivy League Men’s Basketball player of the week, Shonn Miller followed up a dominant first two games with a quiet third, shooting only 2-9 from the field. Though he did wind up with 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Darryl Smith and Will Bathurst also played key roles in the comeback win. With the victory, Cornell moves to 2-1 on the season, good for first in the Ivy League. They next play on Thursday at 7:30PM against South Carolina in the first round of the Charleston Classic.

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