Cornell (8-1) already has more wins than it did in its previous season and will try to add to that with a victory over a Power Five team when it visits Virginia Tech (6-3) in a nonconference game Wednesday in Blacksburg, Va.
Granted, two of the Big Red’s eight wins are against non-Division I competition, but so were two of the seven victories Cornell had when it went 7-20 in 2019-20, the last time the Ivy League schools played before sitting out 2020-21 because of COVID-19 concerns.
Cornell coach Brian Earl is pushing the pace this season because of a rotation that features 10 players averaging at least 12 minutes and five averaging at least nine points.
“We were able to keep the pace up, which is what we’ve been trying to do this year,” Earl told the Cornell Daily Sun following an 85-74 loss to Penn State, the only other power-conference team Cornell has faced, on Nov. 22. “We made a few runs and were able to tire them out a little bit.”
Cornell was down by two with four minutes left before being outscored 12-3 down the stretch.
“I think that that’s where we have to improve — how to win a game in the last couple of minutes,” added Earl.
Jordan Jones (14.0 points) and Kobe Dickson (6.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists) lead the Big Red.
The Hokies are seeking to bounce back from an 80-61 home loss to Wake Forest in their ACC opener on Saturday. Coach Mike Young called it an “atypical Hokie performance” defensively after the visiting Demon Deacons shot 63.5 percent overall. Conversely, Tech shot 29.6 percent (8-for-27) from three-point range, an offensive area which has been a point of emphasis for Young since his days at Wofford.
One problem has been that guard Storm Murphy, a super senior who this year followed Young from Wofford, is shooting only 32.4 percent from beyond the arc after making 41.7 percent for the Terriers.
“Storm has got to come on for us — (he) will,” Young said.
–Field Level Media