Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network, which provides excellent Cornell sports coverage throughout the year for alumni, parents, students and fans everywhere.
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Ithaca, N.Y. — Newman Nation was rocking as the Cornell Big Red overcame a slow first half and a 17-point deficit against Colgate with a furious second half rally to pull ahead and ultimately defeat the rival Raiders 58-52 on Tuesday night.
Led by senior guards Devin Cherry, who tallied 21 points, 5 assists, and 3 steals, and Galal Cancer who added 8 points and 4 rebounds, the Big Red (2-1) claimed their second victory of the year, matching their total number of wins from last season.
Colgate was led by Damon Sherman-Newsome who scored 19 points and had 5 rebounds. Austin Tillotson and Luke Roh also scored in double digits for the Raiders with 11 and 10 points respectively.
Cornell started the game ice cold, shooting only 29.6% in the first half, and Colgate used the Big Red’s inability to score to take a 23-6 lead to start the game. With 7:11 left in the first half, and Cornell shooting only 2-17 from the field, it looked bleak for the Big Red; every time the team looked to get back into the game, inconsistent shooting held them back while Colgate was able to put up points consistently and take a large lead. The lack of offensive prowess can be credited to the Raiders who played a solid defensive game, keeping the lanes closed and making sure Cornell couldn’t drive to the basket for the easy put-ins.
With 4:34 remaining in the first, Cornell sophomore guard JoJo Fallas hit a three-point shot to bring the Big Red within thirteen, and following an Ethan Jacobs missed three for Colgate, Cherry drove in for a layup, marking the first time of the night that Cornell had scored in back-to-back possessions. For the rest of the half, Cornell outscored Colgate 10-6, and by the intermission Cornell was within nine, down only 31-22.
The Big Red came out in the second half looking revitalized and ready to score. Led by guard Robert Hatter’s intensity, Cornell looked like a new team for the first few minutes, keeping Colgate’s offense quiet and making a few key shots, but like the Raiders, the Big Red quickly became unable to make baskets. From 14:39 until 10:53 the score remained 41-30 in favor of Colgate as both teams traded turnovers and missed shots in a show of sound defenses.
As late as 9:20 left in the game, Colgate held a thirteen point lead over the offensively struggling Big Red, but a ten-point rally over the next three minutes brought Cornell within three points of the lead with over six minutes left. At 5:17, a pair of Hatter free throws tied the game and then put Cornell ahead, and the Big Red never looked back, leading for the rest of the game. A once-silent crowd at Newman Arena had been awoken, and for the last ten minutes, Cornell suddenly looked dominant over a very good opponent, outscoring Colgate 22-9 to ultimately win by six.
After being named the Ivy League Men’s Basketball player of the week, Shonn Miller followed up a dominant first two games with a quiet third, shooting only 2-9 from the field. Though he did wind up with 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Darryl Smith and Will Bathurst also played key roles in the comeback win. With the victory, Cornell moves to 2-1 on the season, good for first in the Ivy League. They next play on Thursday at 7:30PM against South Carolina in the first round of the Charleston Classic.