Saturday, February 13, 2010
Cornell's Loss to Penn Sets up Showdown with Princeton
Big Red rolled into Philadelphia's Palestra Friday night confident and, at 6-0, atop the Ivy League standings, a game ahead of 4-0 Princeton. With a scheduled trip to Jersey to play the Tigers on Saturday, al Cornell needed to do was knock off the pushovers from Penn, a team without much hope, 2-2 in the Ivy, but 3-15 overall.
What happened next was unthinkable and maybe the upset of the season, as Jack Eggleston and Zack Rosen went off for 24 and 22 points, respectively, propelling the Quakers to a blowout, 79-64 victory. Eggleston was 8-for-12 from the field, including 4 of 5 3-pointers. Rosen was 6-for-12 (3-5 on threes) and hit 7 of 9 free throws. The Quakers shot 56% for the game, hitting 11 of 21 three-pointers (51%).
The loss pushed Cornell into second place as they prepare to face Ivy-unbeaten Princeton Saturday night. The Tigers downed Columbia on Friday, 55-45, and will have the home court edge for the showdown with Big Red. Ivy league games usually don't get much attention, but this one's a big one. A Princeton win would put them head and shoulders ahead of the pack, whereas a loss would have them 1/2 game behind Cornell. A subsequent meeting of the two Ivy powerhouses is scheduled for Feb. 26 at Cornell.
Notable: It took three overtimes, but the Pitt Panthers finally held home court in the backyard brawl, downing West Virginia, 98-95. The loss won't matter much in the larger scheme for the Mountaineers. They're still looking at being a #2 or #3 seed come tourney time, but the win for Pitt was big, their third straight win and second over a ranked opponent this season. Pitt is the only team to have beaten Syracuse. So now, at 8-4 in the Big East and 19-6 overall, the Panthers are a lock to get an invite to March Madness.
Some nice games on tap for Saturday, including Michigan St. at Penn St. (noon), Maryland at Duke (1:00 pm), Georgia Tech at Wake Forest (8:00 pm) and Tennessee at Kentucky (9:00 pm).