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Despite a sizzling shooting performance, No. 12 seed Cornell’s lead was just seven with under 15 minutes to go, as the Big Red couldn’t shake pesky No. 5 seed Temple.
Then Cornell did. In a big way.
Chris Wroblewski kicked off a 15-4 run with a traditional three-point play and Louis Dale capped it off with a long-range bomb to stake the Big Red to a 66-48 lead with nine minutes left. The Owls would get no closer than 14 until a layup with seven seconds left that trimmed the final margin to 13, 78-65. The Big Red will now take on the another red team, No. 4 seed Wisconsin, in round two.
It was Temple’s worst defensive performance of the year both from an efficiency standpoint and a rebounding perspective. Cornell shot the second-best of any opponent to face the Owls all season.
And that’s how a Temple team, which posted 56.7 percent EFG shooting, wasn’t even remotely close down the stretch, as CBS decided to cut away from the game at the final media timeout.
Despite the one-sided nature of the contest, that doesn’t mean the Big Red doesn’t have concerns heading into round two.
Dale and Jeff Foote each had five turnovers on the game, but fortunately none of the other Cornell players had even one. Against a Wisconsin team that will attempt to limit the total possessions in the contest to about 60, two of the Big Red’s big three can’t give the ball away so much.
Also, Cornell’s bench logged just 32 non-garbage time minutes and just six points in round one. Luckily the Big Red has the back-to-back nature of Ivy play to fall back on, but that’s about half the minutes Cornell was getting from its bench during the regular season. Working in the Big Red’s favor is that the Badgers aren’t a run-and-gun team, so endurance won’t be as much of an issue.
For its part, Wisconsin barely survived its round one matchup with No. 13 seed Wofford. The Terriers and Badgers were tied at 49 with under minute to play, but Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer hit a baseline jumper and Wofford couldn’t respond, as the Badgers snuck away with a 53-49 win.
JOINING CORNELL IN ROUND TWO
Princeton made the right call in paying to host round one of the College Basketball Invitational, pasting Duquesne 65-51 to advance to take on IUPUI in the quarterfinals.
The Dukes held a 23-18 lead with five minutes to go in the first half before the Tigers went on a 25-7 run over the next 15 minutes to grab a double-digit lead, one which they would never relinquish down the stretch.
Ian Hummer, Kareem Maddox and Douglas Davis had 14, 15 and 16 points, respectively.
Princeton continued its stifling defense, holding Duquesne to just 51 points on 63 possessions, the Dukes’ fourth-worst offensive showing of the season.
IUPUI finished second in the Summit League this year and won 74-60 at Hofstra in round one to advance and take on the Tigers in the CBI quarterfinals.
WELCOME TO THE OFFSEASON
Up 32-21 with eight to play in the first half, Harvard seemed very comfortable with everything clicking on the road.
Then Appalachian State kicked it into the next gear and the Crimson had no answer, taking a 22-5 run into the break and racing to a 93-71 win in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
It was Harvard’s worst defensive performance of the season. The Mountaineers quick guards were too much for the Crimson defense to handle on the perimeter and Appalachian State’s beefy center Isaac Butts was an immovable object in the paint.
If anything, the latter highlights something which could be an issue for Harvard next season. With the graduation of forwards Pat Magnarelli and Doug Miller, who only had four and two points in the final games of their careers, respectively, the Crimson will lose two key interior players with no obvious replacements in the rotation. That could lead to a lot more games in 2010-2011 like the one against the Mountaineers.
Jeremy Lin finished out his stellar career with a relatively pedestrian performance, as the guard scored just 12 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Freshman Christian Webster did shed some positive light on the future with 24 points on 7-of-8 shooting.