|Points||Luke Petrasek (31)||Two tied with 14|
|Rebounds||Jeff Coby (10)||Troy Whiteside (6)|
|Assists||Mike Smith (5)||Stone Gettings (8)|
|Steals||Two tied with 2||Troy Whiteside (3)|
|Blocks||Jeff Coby (2)||Three tied with 1|
ITHACA, N.Y. – Senior Luke Petrasek netted a career-high 31 points as the Columbia men’s basketball team topped Cornell, 79-75, in both teams’ Ivy League opener Saturday. The Lions (7-7, 1-0) picked up their third consecutive victory and have now won five straight games at Newman Arena.
With the game deadlocked at 67-67, Petrasek’s old-fashioned 3-point play with 3:01 remaining gave Columbia the lead for good, but the Big Red (3-12, 0-1) did not go away quietly. Trailing by six with 1:15 on the clock, Cornell found ways to get to the free throw line in its next three possessions to pull within 75-74 with 28 seconds remaining.
The Big Red then forced a held ball with control of the arrow to get the ball back, but Rodney Hunter came up with a steal with four seconds remaining. Petrasek knocked down a pair of foul shots with 2.5 to go to ice the game.
Despite Columbia holding the Ivy League’s leading scorer Matt Morgan off the scoresheet in the first half, the Big Red drilled eight 3-pointers in the first half and Stone Gettings scored 12 points to keep Cornell in the ballgame.
A 10-0 run, capped by a Mike Smith layup, gave the Lions an early 12-5 cushion four minutes into the contest. After Cornell pulled within 17-15 less than three minutes later, Luke Petrasek’s 100th career 3-pointer restored Columbia’s seven-point lead with 9:44 left in the first half.
Jack Gordon sparked a Big Red rally with a pair of treys and Gettings converted from downtown to put Cornell in front, 32-30, at the 2:49 mark of the frame. Smith quickly gave Columbia the lead back with a deep triple from the top of the key and Petrasek and Patrick Tape converted from the post to put the Lions ahead 37-32 at halftime.
The Big Red netted the first 11 points of the second half to leapfrog the Lions and take its largest lead of the night, 43-37, at the 18:03 mark of the second half. From there, Columbia outscored Cornell 14-3 over the next five-plus minutes to regain control. A pair of free throws from Petrasek gave the Lions a 59-50 cushion with 9:23 to play before the Big Red mounted one last rally.
Morgan scored 14 points after the break and was tied for the team lead with Gettings.
Jeff Coby recorded 10 rebounds and has posted three consecutive double-figure rebounding games.
Columbia will wrap up the home-and-home set with Cornell next Saturday, January 21 in Levien Gymnasium. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting GoColumbiaLions.com/Tickets or by calling 888-LIONS-11.
- Columbia improved to 128-99 all-time against Cornell.
- The Lions are now 30-31 in Ivy League openers and 13-21 when beginning Ancient Eight play on the road.
- The Lions outscored the Big Red, 42-18, in the paint.
- Lukas Meisner returned to the floor after missing the last five games due to injury.
- Rodney Hunter earned his first career start, replacing Jake Killingsworth (injury).
- Head coach Jim Engles picked up his first career Ivy League victory.