What a difference a year makes. Cornell ended the 2002-2003 season tied for fifth while Pennsylvania dominated the league, going a perfect 14-0. But this weekend, the Big Red extended its perfect league record to 4-0 while Penn opened its Ivy season with back-to-back losses. Meanwhile, Columbia, which posted a dismal 0-14 league record last season, took down both Dartmouth and Harvard this Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Brown 92, Pennsylvania 88, OT
Brown head coach Glen Miller sure does not mind working a little extra on the weekends. Two weeks after downing Yale (6-11, 1-3 Ivy) in overtime, the Bears (7-10, 3-1) pulled off another comeback victory over Penn (7-8, 0-2) in extra sessions at the Pizzitola Center.
Brown forward Jaime Kilburn scored a career-high 26 points and guard Jason Forte added another 23 to lift the Bears.
At the end of regulation, Penn appeared to have the game locked up. With 15 seconds showing on the game clock, Quaker guard Jeff Schniffer hit two free throws to put Pennsylvania up 75-71. On the following trip down the floor, Brown forward Patrick Powers missed a 3-pointer. But Kilburn recovered the rebound and converted a quick lay-up with three seconds left.
The Bear captain was fouled on the score, but intentionally missed his free-throw, bouncing the ball off the rim into the awaiting crowd of basketball players. Kilburn’s scheme paid off as teammate Mike Martin came up with the rebound and hit a 13-foot fade-away jumper at the buzzer to push the game into overtime.
In overtime the teams exchanged threes before Brown took advantage of two missed Penn free-throws to take a 86-83 lead with 1:41 remaining. Quaker freshman Mark Zoller pulled Penn within one when he tipped in a missed 3-pointer. But once again, the Bears captain came through. Kilburn put home a lay-up to extend the Brown back to three. Schniffer missed two free-throws, his next trip down the floor to finalize the Bears upset.
The Quakers started the game with a 24-15 lead midway through the first half, but the Bears fought back and entered the second half in the lead 41-38. Tim Begley led the Quakers in scoring with a career-high 25 points, while the other four Penn starters also finished the game with double-figures.
Cornell 68, Dartmouth 62
Cornell (9-8, 4-0) extended its league unbeaten streak to four for the first time since the 1964-65 season with a 68-62 win over the Big Green (3-15, 1-3) in Hanover. The Big Red has already matched its win total from last season.
Big Red guard Ka’Ron Barnes scored a game-high 25 points and guard Cody Toppert chipped in 22 more.
Meanwhile, Cornell limited Dartmouth to 42 percent shooting from the floor and only 19 percent from beyond the arc. Big Green freshman sensation Leon Pattman finished the day with 21 points after missing an entire game the night before due to injury.
A couple of 3-pointers gave Cornell an early 10-2 lead. But the Big Green rallied back with a 14-3 run capped off by a three from captain Steve Callahan, Dartmouth’s first score from beyond the arc in two games.
Leading 35-29 at the break, the Big Red opened the second half with three consecutive stops and a 3-point shot by Toppert to extend its lead to 12. For the next seven minutes Dartmouth could not close the deficit any closer than six points as Toppert responded to every Big Green basket with a basket of his own, scoring 11 points in that seven-minute interval. Dartmouth finally pulled within six on a jumper by Callahan and then within four after five consecutive free-throws by Pattman, but a couple of deuces from the Big Red pushed the home team away again 60-52. But Cornell hung on for the last 3:21 to seal the win.
Columbia 78, Harvard 67
The Lions (6-11, 2-2) overcame a 14-point deficit when entering the second half to win against the Crimson (2-15, 1-3) Saturday night at Cambridge. Columbia’s Dragutin Kravic and Dalen Cuff both scored career highs with 21 and 16 points respectively.
The Cantabs started out strong after hitting five of their first eight shots and built a double-digit lead 29-17, on guard Jason Norman’s 3-point shot. Harvard then pushed the lead to 33-19, its biggest lead of the game, with four minutes left in the half.
But the Lions would not be so easily tamed. Columbia racked up nine unanswered points just before the break to narrow the lead to six, 36-31.
In the second frame, the Lions went to a full-court press, throwing off Harvard’s offensive line, which allowed the Lions to take the lead 41- 40. Both teams exchanged the lead several times before Columbia took the edge for good on a pair of free-throws by Cuff, who was nine-for-nine the line. From then on, Columbia led by as many a 12 on Cuff’s free-throws.