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Second half blitz rallies Cornell past Penn 77-60

Cornell posted an 8-0 run to start the second half and hit 10 second half 3-pointers to lift the Big Red to a 2-0 Ivy League start after topping Penn 77-60 on Monday afternoon at Newman Arena. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day matinee lifted the Big Red to a 12-3 mark (2-0 Ivy), while the Quakers fell to 9-8 (1-1 Ivy).

Senior Chris Manon opened the second half with a pair of 3-pointers in the first 50 seconds as Cornell made 8-of-10 at one point to turn a three-point Penn halftime lead into an eventual 22-point Big Red advantage. Manon finished with a game-high 18 points along with eight rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocked shots in the win. Guy Ragland Jr. added 16 points and Nazir Williams and Isaiah Gray chipped in 10 to round our four double figure scorers. Williams added five assists and Gray tallied five rebounds and three helpers. Keller Boothby drained 3-of-5 3-pointers for nine points. In all, the Big Red hit 14-of-39 from beyond the ar and assisted on 22 baskets with 10 steals. The Big Red defense limited Penn to 43 percent shooting overall and forced 17 turnovers.

The Quakers got 15 points off the bench from Reese McMullen, while Nick Spinoso had a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Sam Brown was the third double figure scorer with 11 points. Penn held a 35-32 rebounding edge, but was outscored 17-2 in transition and 23-6 off turnovers.

The first eight minutes saw a back-and-forth affair, as the Big Red and Quakers combined to shoot just 9-of-21, with four of those makes coming from behind the 3-point arc. The tug of war continued until 5:06 to go in the opening 20 minutes when the visitors jumped ahead by four.  Manon would be the answer for the Big Red, scoring consecutive baskets as part of a 6-0 run to take a two-point advantage.

Cornell’s offense went cold down the stretch to close the opening 20, as the Quakers’ defense forced a 0-of-5 showing over the final 2:47. Penn matched the defensive shutdown with a 5-0 run on the shoulders of Brown and Spinoso to head into the halftime break up 31-28.

The Big Red shot just 36 percent overall and made 4-of-18 from beyond the arc over the first 20 minutes and Penn made 6-of-13 from 3-point range to put it into the lead.

The Big Red shook off its offensive struggles to end the first half, racing out to an 8-0 run with six of those coming from Manon to flip the script and grab a five point lead at 36-31. Penn would cut it back to three with 14:57 to go before Cornell’s offense put its foot on the gas pedal, outscoring the Quakers 25-5 over the span of 7:11 with seven of those buckets coming from 3-point range to stretch its lead up to its highest of the game at 22 (69-47) and the lead never went below the final score of 17.


• The Big Red hits the road for the first time this season in Ivy League competition when it visits Brown on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
• Cornell leads the all-time series 83-56 and have split the series each of the past four seasons.
• The Bears hold a narrow 35-34 edge in the series in games played in Providence, and has won three of the past four.
• Brown earned an 80-66 victory at home last season, leading by as many as 30 points.