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No Shame In That Game: Cornell Challenges, But Can't Top Kentucky

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SarahSpain

Sports reporter, sarcastic smartass, music lover, funny gal.

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Kentucky 62, Cornell 45

The final score doesn't reflect the challenge Cornell gave No. 1 Kentucky Thursday night, but anyone who watched the game saw a team full of non-scholarship players give a bunch of future NBA first-round picks all they could handle. Kentucky's athleticism, speed and length were ultimately too much for the Big Red, who were never able to get into a good rhythm offensively.

After jumping out to a 10-2 lead, Cornell let DeMarcus Cousins and UK capitalize on high-percentage shots in the paint to go on a 30-6 run. A 16-point halftime deficit was simply too much for the Ivy Leaguers to overcome, despite much improved play in the second half. Had adjustments been made earlier, the Big Red might have had a chance.

Kentucky's defense shut down Cornell's number one weapon, their three-point shooting, and the Big Red didn't take advantage of what was given to them. Kentucky was double-teaming the ballhandler on screens, leaving the man rolling to the hoop wide open, but it was obvious to the Wildcats--and everyone watching--that the Big Red weren't looking for that second option. Stymied beyond the arc, the Cornell players were taken out of their rhythm and weren't able to create off the dribble or get aggressive in the paint.
On defense, Cornell managed to hold a team averaging 95 points per game in the tourney to just 62, but it wasn't enough to get the win. Cousins proved to be too much to handle in the lane and the Big Red weren't quick enough to defend the Wildcats on the drive. Cornell managed to cut Kentucky's lead to six points with under five minutes to play, but the Wildcats turned it on in the end to advance to the Elite Eight.

It was a great run while it lasted, and it goes without saying that the Cornell Big Red had a year that went beyond all expectations. Let's just hope the program can continue its streak of NCAA appearances despite losing key seniors Ryan Wittman, Jeff Foote, Louis Dale and Jon Jacques. Oh and here's hoping Coach Steve Donahue doesn't get lured away by a big program, either.

Fortunately for Cornell fans, the dream isn't over for the hockey team. Tomorrow the Big Red take on New Hampshire in the First Round of the NCAA Championships. Frozen Four, here we come!   


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1 Comment

The Langer said:

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If your blog wasn't PC, it would have read "Cornell had too many white college guys to have a prayer against Kentucky's black NBA studs." Word.

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