Columbia (4-11, 0-2 Ivy) let a 13-point first-half lead slip from its grasp as Cornell (7-8, 2-0) rallied back to gain a second win in Ancient Eight play. Dartmouth (3-13, 1-1) could not prevail against Hartford despite freshman point guard Leon Pattman’s second career-high scoring of 29 points.
Cornell 66, Columbia 53
The Big Red outscored the Lions 44-18 in the second half to regain the lead and effectively shut-out Columbia. Cornell guards Ka’Ron Barnes and Cody Toppert both led the Big Red’s offensive drive, scoring a combined total 27 second-half points. Cornell sophomore guard Lenny Collins and junior center Eric Taylor both pitched in 13 and 12 points respectively. Columbia’s leading scorer, Matt Preston, finished the day with 17 points.
After a few 3-pointers from Preston and forward Matt Land, the Lions pulled off an early 17-11, stopping Cornell from scoring over a four-minute period, and extending their lead into double digits. The Big Red’s offensive line showed no signs of improvement as it connected on only seven of 21 field goals and finished the first half trailing 22-35.
Halftime gave the Big Red men the opportunity to get their bearings straight and they went on an 11-0 run in the first 2:26 of the second half. Barnes scored eight of his 18 points for the day, helping Cornell trim the Lions’ lead to one (47-46) with 11:42 left in the game. The Big Red continued the rally and held the Lions scoreless for four-and-a-half minutes to gain an intimidating 58-50 lead with only four minutes remaining in regulation. Columbia was only able to shoot 20 percent from the floor in the second half, while Cornell shot 56 percent. In the end, Cornell’s seven-of-10 free-throws in the last 1:12 sealed the victory for the Big Red.
Dartmouth 68, Hartford 78
For two consecutive games, Dartmouth’s Pattman finished the day with a career-high 29 points. Pattman’s 58 points in his last two contests — the first 29 were scored against Vermont the previous Wednesday — are the most scored in back-to-back games by any freshman in Dartmouth basketball history. Sadly, the Big Green were not able to turn either of those two games into victories.
Junior David Gardner also scored a career-high 20 points on the day, 15 of which he scored in the first half. Junior Mike McLaren chipped in 11 points. He was four-for-five from the floor and a perfect three-for-three from beyond the arc. At the midway point of the second half, the Big Green held a narrow 56-55 lead until Hartford struck with a 14-2 run. Hartford’s Aaron Cook scored his fifth 3-point basket of the night to give the Hawks a 69-58 advantage with less the six minutes left in the game. Beyond that point, Dartmouth could not get within five points.
The Big Green played this game without the aid of junior point guard Steve Callahan, who is nursing a knee injury.