The Quakers Are 2 – 0 in the League With a 79 – 65 Win Over the Big Red of Cornell
January 7, 2022 –
The University of Pennsylvania and Cornell played league game number two. Both came into the game 1 – 0. It is early in the schedule, but the winner would be in first place in the Ancient Eight. Behind their defense Penn went on an 8 – 0 run in the second part of the second half, and took control for a 79 – 65 win at the Palestra.
Cornell held a one-point lead with just over nine and a half minutes remaining. The Big Red would not score again until 4:52 showed on the clock as they missed seven consecutive shots. Credit the defense of the quintet on the floor.
“We were defending what they were doing,” said Penn Coach Steve Donahue. “That five (the players on the floor at that time) understood it the best. We guarded them pretty well the whole game. We competed without fouling. It was a good defensive effort.”
A jumper by Big Red forward Keller Boothby, who scored 8 points, cut the lead to 63 – 58. Cornell would get no closer.
Penn came into the game off a win over Brown. This would be the second game since December 11 for the Red and Blue. The game had a back and forth pace, which got the Quakers settled in.
“This is a hard game to prepare for,” Donahue said. “In our league they put people on their heels because they play so fast. When you are going against them there is a happy medium between getting sped up forcing yourself into mistakes, and taking advantage of openings and being poised. We did more of that in the second half. We ran some stuff we needed to and got the ball in certain guys hands at certain time. Overall, we made them take hard shots and when they did trap us, we got good shots out of it.”
The tempo saw the hosts get the ball inside while the Big Red wanted to win from the outside. Cornell took 34 three-point shots of the 71 overall shooting 33.8% overall and 12 of 34 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile the Quakers took the ball inside and made just over half of their 57 field goal attempts. From inside the arc Penn was successful on 23 of 39 attempts. The Red and Blue had a commanding 42 – 22 edge in points in the paint.
“They pressure you so much and you end up getting trapped and moving the ball, and at that point you hope you don’t settle,” said Donahue. “I thought we took what they gave us.”
Guard Clark Slajchert scored a team-high 19 points converting 6 of 12 from the floor and 2 of 5 from three-point land. He was perfect on 5 free throws. Guard Jordan Dingle scored 17 points despite being saddled with foul trouble. Forward Michael Moshkovitz contributed 13 points and had a team-best 5 assists. HIs 8 rebounds tied his career-high. Lucas Monroe pulled down a season-high 9 rebounds and added 10 points.
Cornell (9 – 4, 2 – 1) had ten players score. Forward Guy Ragland, Jr. led the team with 12 points.
Penn improves to 5 – 10 but are 2 – 0 in the Ivy League. This is a traditional Ivy weekend as Columbia visits on Saturday. Quick turnaround.
“We can enjoy this for forty-five minutes then we get a film session with Columbia,” Donahue said. “You have to turn it on right now, and forget everything and prepare for Columbia. The teams that win in this league are the ones with the ability to move on to the next game in this situation and that’s what we are going to try to do.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian