If Penn and Princeton are the Killer P’s, Columbia and Cornell may be the slaughtering C’s. At least so far for the men’s basketball team.
The pair’s trip to New Haven three weeks ago left Yale with a pair of losses and left a conference-topping Cornell squad running away with the Ivy League. Though the Bulldogs bounced back with a trio of victories, their most recent loss to Penn leaves them little hope of catching the undefeated Cornell.
But the season goes on and the Elis will visit the Big Red in Ithaca, N.Y. tonight before making a pit-stop in the Big Apple for a rematch with Yale head coach James Jones’ brother Joe Jones’ Lions on Saturday.
Cornell’s perfect record is augmented by expert guard Ryan Wittman and forward Alex Tyler who together recorded 22 points against the Bulldogs the first time around.
“We just need play good team defense and limit their second-chance points,” center Matt Kyle ’08 says. “We need to limit their second-chance points and make sure every shot they take is contested and every shot they take is earned.”
Columbia has staunchly held onto third place in the Ivy League for some time and boasts Ancient Eight Player of the Week Josh Baumann who is among the best conference scorers and rebounders.
The Elis, however, are not out of the running. Boosted by strong forwards Nick Holmes ’08, Ross Morin ’09 and Travis Pinick ’09 — members of the Ivy League Honor Roll this week — the Bulldogs grab a slew of boards and sink most of their shots from inside the paint.
“We know we can beat any team in the league and that’s what we go out and try to do every game,” Holmes says. “So, if we execute well on offense and play solid defense we should have a good chance to win.”