The Cornell men’s basketball team returned from a two week break and didn’t miss a beat, rolling past Siena 95-74 on Tuesday evening at MVP Arena. The Big Red improved to 8-2, while the Saint slipped to 2-9 with the loss.
Four Big Red players reached double figures with Isaiah Grayleading the way with 16 points to go along with four assists, four steals and two rebounds. Keller Boothby and Guy Ragland Jr.scored 13 apiece and freshman Jacob Beccles notched 10 with three assists off the bench. Both Cooper Noard and Chris Manontallied nine each. In all, the Big Red had 20 assists and just nine turnovers, collected 12 steals and hit 12-of-32 shots from beyond the arc. The Big Red had big advantages in bench scoring (57-22) and fastbreak points (26-5) in shooting 48 percent from the floor.
Siena got 23 points and 15 rebounds from Sean Durugordon and 10 points from Zek Tekin. Michael Eley scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds, but that came on 3-of-16 shooting. In the decisive first half, Durugordon and Eley shot a combined 5-of-26 from the floor. Siena held a 50-34 edge on the backboards and ripped down 22 offensive boards, but committed 18 turnovers and missed 15 free throws in the loss.
The Big Red rode a first half defense that allowed Siena to shoot just 26 percent from the floor to race out to a 17-point halftime lead, built its advantage to 30 midway through the second half and used its entire roster over the final 10 minutes to even its series with the Saints at 4-4. The win was the 27th consecutive non-league win against non-conference opponents outside of guarantee games.
• The Big Red will welcome five-time defending Patriot League champion Colgate to Newman Arena on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 4 p.m.
• The teams have split the last eight meetings down the middle, with the Big Red winning each of the past two by double digits.
• Overall, Cornell holds a 75-58 edge in the all-time series, including 46-26 in games played in Ithaca.