Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
On a night in which the 2009-10 Cornell men’s basketball team was honored with its Ivy League and NCAA Sweet 16 banner raising ceremony, the 2010-11 edition of the Big Red continued to build on the tradition with a 75-61 victory over Delaware at Newman Arena.
With the win, Cornell improves to 2-1, while the Blue Hens fall to 0-2.
A pair of regulars on last season’s squad, Max Groebe and Chris Wroblewski, finished with 13 points apiece with Groebe adding a team-high six rebounds, while Wroblewski handed out four assists.
Senior Anthony Gaitlin put on a shooting clinic, finishing the night perfect from the floor, going 4-for-4 overall, 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 1-for-1 from the charity stripe for a season-high 12 points. Included was a four-point play that energized the crowd as the Big Red pulled away after halftime.
Devon Saddler led the Blue Hens with 15 points and six rebounds, while Jamelle Hagins posted 14 points, seven boards and six blocked shots. Cornell’s defense limited Delaware to 1-of-13 shooting from 3-point range while making 8-of-19 themselves.
Delaware brought the energy early, with a putback dunk by Hagins was followed up by a 12-foot jumper by the big man as the energized Blue Hens jumped out to a 7-2 lead three and a half minutes in.
When Kelin McNeil hit a laup with 14:05 on the clock, Delaware regained a five-point lead, but it would be all Big Red from there on out. Gatlin energized the crowd with a pair of 3-pointer within a minute of each other to knot the game at 10-10.
Miles Asafo-Adjei hit a trey midway through the half to give the home team its first lead (15-12) before Groebe put the Big Red ahead for good with a layup with seven minutes to play in the first (19-18). A steal by Wroblewski and an excellent find to Mark Coury for a layup extended the lead to three, then Groebe grabbed an offensive board and put it back to extend it to 23-18.
Groebe extended the lead to as many as nine (31-22) after Groebe hit a quick-trigger 3-pointer from the right corner with just under three minutes to play and settled for a 33-28 edge when Drew Ferry's acrobatic layuip went in off glass with 0.2 seconds left in the half.
The second half lead was cut to three of three separate occasions, but each time Cornell responded, the last time with an 8-0 run to turn a 45-42 lead into a 53-42 one. It all started with Wroblewski finding Gatlin for a 3-pointer off glass after being hacked by Hakim McCullar. The transfer from Centenary converted the tema's first four-point play since Cornell's all-time leading scorer Ryan Wittman converted one against Yale last February when he hit the free throw. Consecutive baskets by Aaron Osgood and Wroblewski extended the edge to double figures, a lead that would grow to as many as 17 late as the Big Red offense kept its poise and picked apart the Blue Hens' defense over the final 10 minutes, not allowing the visitors to go on a run. After more than 37 minutes of play, Delaware's Alphonso Dawson connected on a desperation 3-pointer, the team's only shot from beyond the arc all day. Cornell was able to clear its bench in the final minute as the crowd of more than 3,300 stayed in their Newman Nation jerseys to honor Cornell's victory, the first at home under first-year head coach Bill Courtney.