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Cornell can’t get it going offensively in 69-57 loss to Yale

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

Cornell’s high-octane offense couldn’t ignite and Yale took full advantage, knocking off the Big Red 69-57 on Saturday afternoon at Levien Gymnasium in the semifinals of the Ivy League Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Bulldogs advance to face Brown in the final on Sunday at 12 p.m., while the Big Red will await a possible NIT bid when selections are announced on Sunday evening.

The Big Red shot just 33 percent from the floor and 29 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (10-of-34) while getting outrebounded 44-34. Cornell cut a 19-point second half deficit to six with 5:44 remaining, but couldn’t get closer as Yale pulled away again late.

Senior Chris Manon scored 10 points with four rebounds, two assists and a steal for the Big Red, while Jake Fiegen notched 10. Cooper Noard netted nine points, while Nazir Williams had seven rebounds and three assists, both team highs. Cornell assisted on 15 buckets against just seven turnovers.

Danny Wolf led Yale with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while August Mahoney had 16, including hitting 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. Matt Knowling chipped in 12 points with seven boards and John Poulakidas rounded out four double figure scorers with 11 points, four assists and three board. Bez Mbeng, the two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, had 10 rebounds and two drawn charges in the win.

Cornell chipped away at the lead in the second half despite going down 19 less than four minutes into the second half. The partisan Big Red crowd that filled Columbia’s home gymnasium was on its feet several times, but couldn’t will Cornell closer than six. Trailing 56-50 with under five minutes to play, Cornell got three shots at the basket attempting to cut into the lead. Then, down seven, Cornell twice had possession, but again couldn’t get closer than six. 

The Big Red couldn’t get much going in the first half, trailing by as many as 14 and going into the break with a 37-25 deficit. Cornell made just 33 percent of its shots, including 5-of-17 from 3-point range, and struggled finding a rhythm against the stingy Bulldogs’ defense. 

Keller Boothby hit a pair of early 3-pointers and Noard hit two others, but Yale held a dominant 20-8 edge in the paint and shot 50 percent, including four first half 3-pointers by Mahoney. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Big Red 24-13 in the first 20 minutes.

NEXT UP

• Cornell will await word on a possible NIT bid on Saturday evening.. 
• Barring that, the 2023-24 season would conclude after the Big Red posted 22 wins – tied for the second-most in school history in a single season. 
• The Big Red would return to practice in October of 2024.