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Cornell improves to 3-0 in Ivy play for first time since 2010, tops Brown 84-83

Cornell used late game defense and rebounding after a first-half 3-point barrage to close out Brown 84-83 on Saturday afternoon at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The Big Red improved to 13-3 (3-0 Ivy) with the victory, improving to 3-0 in Ivy play to start a season for the first time since 2010. The Bears slipped to 5-13 (1-2 Ivy).

Cornell placed five in double figures and connected on 12 3-pointers, including eight consecutive during one 6:33 span in the first half, then held off the Bears late. Seniors Chris Manon (16 points, nine rebounds, four assists, four steals) and Isaiah Gray (16 points, three assists) led the way for Cornell, while Keller Boothby netted a season-best 13, Nazir Williams added 12 with seven boards and Guy Ragland Jr. scored 10 before fouling out late. The visitors held a 36-31 edge on the glass and overcame a 28-17 foul disadvantage, with three of Brown’s fouls coming in the final 47 seconds to put Cornell at the line. The Big Red was 4-of-6 at the stripe in the final seconds, including a pair by Manon to put the game away with six seconds left.

Brown’s Nana Owusu-Anane led the way for the Bears with 21 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while Kino Lilly Jr. added 16 points and five assists. Brown shot 49 percent from the floor, but was just 6-for-21 from beyond the arc, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer that cut Cornell’s two-possession lead to one at the horn. Fleix Kloman (13 points) and Kalu Anya (12 points) also reached double figures.

After a listless first three minutes that saw both teams go scoreless, the Big Red took control after Brown knotted the game at 20-20. Maon hit a trey, his second straight and the third in a row as part of eight consecutive Big Red makes beyond the arc. When Nazir Williams hit the eighth straight, the Cornell lead was 15 (47-32) with 3:15 left before halftime. It would also be the final time Cornell added points before the break as the Bears clawed back within 49-42.

Cornell made 9-of-19 3-pointers, including seven consecutive makes at one point. Boothby led the Big Red with 10 points, while Manon had eight points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. The Bears, meanwhile, struggled from 3-point range at 1-for-11, but held a 24-14 edge in paint points. Owusu-Anane had 12 points, three rebounds, three steals for the home team after 20 minutes.

The Bears got back within five early in the second half, but Cornell immediately pushed its lead back to 12. The visitors maintained a two-possession lead nearly the entire game until Brown cut it to 82-80 with six seconds left. Manon answered with two free throws, and a meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer made for the final total.

NEXT UP

• The Big Red plays its final non-conference game of the season when Division III foe Wells College visits Newman Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.
• The contest will be broadcast on ESPN+.
• Cornell won the only previous meeting between the programs, a 107-48 decision on Nov. 19, 2021.
• All 16 Big Red players that dressed scored as Cornell improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1961.