Friday, March 19, 2010

Cornell trips Temple for Ivy League's first NCAA win in 12 years

By Michael Rushton

Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale combined for 41 points and paced a menacing Cornell three-point attack as the Big Red earned the Ivy League's first NCAA Tournament victory in 12 years with a 78-65 first-round win over the Temple Owls.

Dale posted 21 points, hitting 3-of-7 from three-point range, and Wittman scored 20 points after connecting on 4-of-6 from behind the arc. The 12th- seeded Big Red, this year's Ivy League champions, hit 39.1 percent of their three-pointers as a team and shot 56.3 percent from the floor overall in winning for the first time in six all-time NCAA Tournament games.

Cornell (28-4) also become the first Ivy League school to claim victory in the tournament since Princeton's first-round defeat of UNLV in 1998.

Jeff Foote added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Dale also finished with seven assists as the Big Red won their eighth straight game.

The fifth-seeded Owls, who were coming off their third straight A-10 championship, received 14 points each from Ryan Brooks and Juan Fernandez but saw their 10-game winning streak end. Temple (29-6) has not made it out of the tournament's first round since 2001.

Lavoy Allen had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists for Temple, which lost by 13 points despite shooting 51.9 percent from the floor.

Cornell will next face the winner between fourth-seeded Wisconsin and 13th- seeded Wofford.

The Big Red were on point for most of the game, as the squad didn't miss its first shot from inside three-point range until 6:10 remained in the first half. That didn't stop Cornell from taking its chances from beyond the arc.

Wittman hit his first three attempts from long range to begin the second half, with the last one giving Cornell a 51-42 advantage just under five minutes into the frame.

A layup and free throw by Chris Wroblewski gave Cornell a double-digit advantage less than a minute later and a three-pointer from Dale made it a 61-48 contest with 11:33 to go.

Dale stretched the Big Red's lead to 18 points with a trey around three minutes later before Temple tried to make a game of it. Allen hit a layup with 7:26 to go to pull the Owls within 68-54, but Jon Jaques answered with yet another three-pointer with 6:16 to play.

That essentially sealed it, as Cornell hit seven of its 16 three-point attempts in the second half.

Cornell took the advantage early in the game with a 13-4 run that spanned 5:02 and gave the Big Red a 15-9 edge. Allen stemmed the tide with a layup with 12:58 left in the half, but Cornell responded with another seven straight points, helped along by three Owl turnovers, for an 11-point edge.

Temple finally got going as a Fernandez three-pointer with 8:57 remaining in the first half started a 7-0 run that pulled the Owls within four at 22-18.

Cornell again started to pull away before a three-pointer and a trio of free throws from Brooks got Temple to within 29-24, but the Big Red never allowed the Owls to get any closer than five for the rest of the half and netted six of the frame's final nine points for a 37-29 advantage at the break.

Game Notes

This was the first-ever meeting between the two schools...Jacques was 2-for-7 from three-point range and had four rebounds...Temple ended 5-for-17 from behind the arc in the game...Cornell matched the 1970-71 Penn Quakers for the most wins in a season by an Ivy League squad with 28...Temple head coach Fran Dunphy fell to 1-11 in NCAA Tournament games, with nine of those contests coming as the head coach at Penn. Cornell head coach Steve Donahue was formerly an assistant coach with Dunphy at Penn.
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