ITHACA, N.Y. — The Cornell crowd set the tone and the Big Red men’s basketball team did the rest, blitzing the Tigers for a 30-5 first half run en route to an 83-68 victory over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon at Newman Arena. The Big Red improved to 15-3 (4-0 Ivy), while the Tigers lost for only the second time this year (15-2, 3-1 Ivy).
The Big Red shot 58 percent from the floor, limited Princeton to 32 percent shooting and dominated the matchup for first-place in the Ivy League. Junior Nazir Williams scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds while hitting all four of his 3-pointers, while senior Chris Manon had 16 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks to electrify a Newman Nation crowd of better than 3,600. Both AK Okereke and Sean Hansen had 12 points apiece to round out four double figure scorers.
The Tigers, the defending Ivy champ and 2023 NCAA Sweet 16 squad, entered the game just outside the national rankings, but had just one double figure scorer – Xaivian Lee with 17 points on 3-of-13 shooting. Caden Pierce was 3-for-13 en route to eight points, 11 rebounds and four assists, while Zach Martini and Dalen Davis had nine points each. Princeton connected on 25-of-33 free throws as the Tigers did much of their work at the charity stripe, as Princeton drew 25 fouls to just 12 for the Big Red.
On a day where both coaching staffs were wearing suits and sneakers for Coaches vs. Cancer Week, it was the Big Red who were buttoned up right from the beginning. Cornell held a 37-32 edge on the glass and had decisive edges in points in the paint (44-26) and on fast breaks (19-8). Despite playing without the services of starting guard Isaiah Gray, Cornell didn’t miss a beat on either side of the floor.
MORE INFO TO COME
- Cornell continues its three-game Ivy League road swing when it visits Harvard on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge, Mass.
- The contest will be broadcast live on ESPN+.
- Cornell leads the all-time series 96-87, though the Crimson have won three straight and five of the past six against the Big Red.
- The Big Red hasn’t won in Cambridge since the 2018-19 season, a 67-61 victory.
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