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Binghamton Rally Sinks Cornell, 89-79

Cornell had 20 assists and just nine turnovers, but Binghamton turned the ball over just six times, held a decisive 27-9 edge at the line.
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Nolan Cressler scored 19 points and Devin Cherry added 17, but the Cornell men's basketball team wasn't able to hold on to a second half lead and Binghamton rallied for an 89-79 victory on Wednesday evening at Newman Arena. The Bearcats improved to 1-2, while the Big Red fell to 0-3.

Joining Cressler and Cherry in double figures was senior guard Dominick Scelfo, while Deion Giddens had eight points and freshman David Onuorah notched nine points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. Freshman Robert Hatter, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, had six points, six assists and five rebounds. The Big Red blocked eight shots as a team and made 10 3-pointers and a 37 percent clip.

Cornell had 20 assists and just nine turnovers, but Binghamton turned the ball over just six times, held a decisive 27-9 edge at the line and connected on 56 percent of its 3-pointers (14-of-25), including an impressive 8-of-12 after halftime.

The Bearcats had three players scored at least 23 points, as Marlon Beck (27 points), Jordan Reed (25 points, 14 rebounds) and Nick Madray (23 points) combined for 75 of the Bearcats' 89 points. Binghamton scored on each of its final 18 possessions in the game to rally from a 16-point deficit with 10 minutes to play.

The Big Red scored the game's first seven points, led by as many as 18 in the first half and 19 early after halftime while playing some of its best basketball of the season. A pair of Cressler 3-pointers to open the second half pushed Cornell's lead to 19 (49-30), and a dunk by Giddens off a great feed by Scelfo made it a 61-42 Big Red advantage with just under 13 minutes remaining.

Beck started the rally for Binghamton with a free throw followed by a 3-pointer, with Madray answering that with a 3-pointer of his own and Reed scoring consecutive buckets.The lead was back into single digits after a pair of free throws by Reed, and Binghamton took its first lead of the game on a conventional three-point play with 1:53 left. After a Robert Hatter layup attempt was blocked by Reed, Beck hit hit sixth 3-pointer of the game with 70 seconds left to push the lead to five. The Bearcats wouldn't look back in snapping their 13-game losing skid.

Cornell was outstanding over the first 20 minutes, with Cressler opening the game the same way he would the second half - with consecutive 3-pointers. Seven minutes in he hit a running jumper to push the lead into double figures (15-5), and consecutive baskets by Giddens, including an alley-oop from Scelfo, made it 13. A basket by Ned Tomic and consecutive 3-pointers by Darryl Smith and Devin Cherry were sandwiched around an Onuorah dunk. The freshman fouled out with 1:53 left and Cornell couldn't get anything going on either end of the floor in the final two minutes.

The Big Red will meet its biggest challenge of the season when it meets defending national champion Louisville on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. in a game that will be televised by ESPN3.

(Cornell Athletics)
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