Cornell 95, Brown 76
Cornell is back in the NCAA tournament for the third straight
year. This time, the brainy bunch plans to hang around for a
“We want to win. We want to advance,” coach Steve Donahue
said. “I think we have the talent to do that.”
The Big Red became the first team this season to earn an NCAA
bid, clinching its third consecutive Ivy League championship by
beating Brown 95-76 on Friday night with a record-tying display of
Cornell (26-4, 12-1) made 20 of 30 attempts from 3-point range
and held Brown to 30 percent shooting in the second half while
cruising to their 24th victory in 26 games.
Cornell matched an Ivy League record for 3s in a game and
increased its season total to 292, also a conference mark. In doing
so, the Big Red wrapped up their fourth Ivy League title – securing
the fifth NCAA tournament berth in school history.
But they’re still looking for their first win in the NCAAs.
Cornell has lost in the first round as a No. 14 seed in each of
the last two seasons. The Big Red aspire for a stronger showing
this year after setting a school record for wins and nearly
upsetting then-No. 1 Kansas on the road Jan. 6.
“We know what to expect going into this tournament,” said Ryan
Wittman, the school’s career scoring leader. “But experience alone
isn’t going to allow us to advance.”
Donahue said this squad has shown it can compete with the top
teams in the country in a way none of his clubs has before. This
year’s team, he said, is Cornell’s deepest and most talented
“I’m going to try for the rest of my coaching career to get a
group like this, and I may never get there,” he said. “I’m pretty
sure I won’t.”
The Big Red will have a chance to tie the conference record for
wins in their final game of the regular season Saturday at
Jon Jacques led Cornell with 20 points and seven rebounds. Louis
Dale added 18 points and eight assists, and Wittman had 16 points,
seven rebounds and five assists.
All five Big Red starters scored in double figures.
“Everyone was on at the same time,” Wittman said. “We just
got in a rhythm offensively tonight, and it started going down for
Peter Sullivan had 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting to lead the
Bears (11-19, 5-8).
Cornell led 51-47 at halftime, establishing its 3-point shooting
early in a frenetic first half. The Big Red made 11 of their first
13 attempts from beyond the arc, including eight in a row at one
“We have to practice 3s more than any team in the country,”
said Jacques, who shot 6 of 8 from 3-point range. “Practice makes
But Brown found success on the offensive end as well, shooting
59 percent from the field in the first half to keep the game
Cornell started the second half on a 14-4 run, however, and
Brown never got within single digits again.