Lions’ magic runs out in Ithaca



Columbia (10-5, 1-1 Ivy)

The magic of Columbia’s emergence as the unexpected league powerhouse took a substantial hit Saturday night with a humiliating blowout at the hands of the Cornell Big Red. Exactly a week after the Lions slipped past Cornell 70-61 on home turf in Manhattan, the two teams headed upstate for their highly anticipated rematch, in which the Big Red manhandled Columbia, 77-47. The Lions’ effort was hopeless from the outset, with Cornell jumping out to a 17-4 advantage and holding a 21 point lead by halftime. Big Red forwards Eric Taylor and Ryan Rourke combined for 24 points, but the story of the night was the futility of Columbia’s field goal shooting. The team shot only 28 percent from the floor in the first half, and ended up sinking a mere 2 of their 15 attempts from behind the three-point line. Team points leader Matt Preston managed only 12 points, 11 less than his 23 point effort five days before in the Lions’ 69-63 win over Navy. The New Yorkers have a week to rebound from Saturday’s blowout before hosting Dartmouth and Harvard at home next weekend.



Princeton (8-5, 0-0 Ivy)

The Tigers’ prolonged break from play comes to an end tonight, after 19 days off for exams and reflection on their 59-46 loss to No. 5 Duke Jan. 5. Division III Haverford crosses the Delaware to take on Princeton this evening in the Tigers’ final non-league “tune-up” game before hosting 7-7 Brown and 4-10 Yale in their first foray into league play next weekend.



Brown (7-7, 0-0 Ivy)

The Bears round out the list of Ivy teams playing .500 ball or better, breaking even in their fourteen non-league games. This weekend’s blizzard delayed Brown’s first venture into Ivy League play, as Saturday night’s game against the Bulldogs in New Haven was postponed and was rescheduled for Feb. 22 at Payne Whitney. The Bears, riding high after an 87-39 pounding of Maryland Eastern Shore Jan. 14, now have two weeks to prepare for their Friday trip to Princeton. Their matchup against the Tigers next weekend kicks off a two-week stretch of road games before the Bears return to Providence to face Harvard Feb. 11.



Pennsylvania (6-7, 0-0 Ivy)

The Quakers’ lone game this past week against Lafayette proved to be a tally of impressive milestones for the team. In their easy 85-63 win in Easton, Pa., emerging sophomore guard Ibrahim Jaaber netted a personal best 24 points, including 12 from behind the three-point line. Though he scored an uncharacteristically low three points, Tim Begley, the Quakers’ leading scorer, set an all-time Penn record with 13 assists. Eric Osmundson added 20 points in the high-scoring affair, in which both teams shot well over 50 percent from the floor in the first half. The Quakers, inconsistent for most of the season thus far, won their second straight road game after losing their first six. Crosstown rival and last season’s surprise team St. Joseph’s comes to West Philadelphia tomorrow night before Penn squares off against the Bulldogs at home on Friday night.



Cornell (6-9, 1-1 Ivy)

Saturday night’s blowout over Columbia may have been the jolt the Big Red needed as they prepare to square off against Harvard in Ithaca Saturday night. Senior Eric Taylor, tied for fourth in Ivy League scoring with 14.7 PPG, continued to impress with a double-double against the Lions (11 points, 10 rebounds), and now sits comfortably in first place in field-goal shooting at a 61.1% clip. The Big Red stay at home for a while, with the Crimson and Big Green visiting this weekend and the Bears and Bulldogs following suit Feb. 4-5.



Harvard (6-9, 1-1 Ivy)

The Crimson, still in the midst of a 17-day finals break, pop back into action Friday night against Cornell. With a career-high 21 points against Sacred Heart Jan. 12, seven-foot junior center Brian Cusworth bolted into a fourth-place tie with Cornell’s Eric Taylor with 14.7 PPG. Meanwhile, Cusworth and fellow junior Matt Stehle occupy the first and third spots in Ivy League rebounding, with 9.7 and 8.9 rebounds per game, respectively. After facing the Ivy League’s two New York state entries this weekend, Harvard returns home to face Pennsylvania Feb. 4.



Dartmouth (4-11, 1-1 Ivy)

At 4-11 overall, Dartmouth holds the only record worse than Yale’s and is the only other Ivy League team with double digit losses. Coming off a woeful 1-8 run, in which their only win came in a low-scoring 49-46 win against Harvard, the Big Green tried to reverse their fortunes against Colgate at home last Monday. Dartmouth blew early leads against the 6-10 Raiders and never led after the halfway mark of the 1st half, eventually succumbing, 69-61. Bright spots included team points leader Matt Lang’s 20 points, and a personal best 19 points for junior forward Calvin Arnold. Dartmouth rounds out its non-league stretch of the season with a 3-10 record against teams outside the Ivy League, and heads to New York Saturday to square off against first-place Columbia.

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