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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Friday, February 4, 2011

Yale pulls off miracle comeback

Yale coach James Jones said Friday's come-from-behind win reminded him of a game against George Washington several years ago when his team trailed by 10 points with a minute left in overtime.
Yale missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in that game and the Colonials went on to the win.
They didn't need overtime on Friday and came out with a remarkable win against Cornell 71-70.
Yale trailed by 10 points with 1:58 remaining but Jones still had a sense of belief.
“I said to myself, “Self, we’re going to win this game,’” Jones said. “I’m not going to know how it’s going to happen, but I swear I said it to myself but we did, and I still don’t know it happened.”
A couple of minutes later the silence grew into a roar as Austin Morgan’s three-point play with 12 seconds left capped a memorable comeback and Yale defeated Cornell 71-70 at the Lee Amphitheater.
“It’s one of those miracles that you witness and you’re happy to be a part of,” Jones said. Porter Braswell scored 18 points and Morgan had 17 including seven in the last 1:15 as Yale finished the game on a 10-2 run. The Bulldogs improved to 10-9 overall and 3-2 in the league.
Cornell led 68-61 after a pair of free throws by Errick Peck but Braswell hit a 3-pointer and after Chris Wroblewski hit a pair of free throws Morgan began driving to the basket at will.
He hit two free throws to cut the deficit to 70-66 with 50 seconds left. After Peck missed a pair of free throws Greg Mangano scored on a putback to close the gap to two points. Mangano then deflected a Cornell pass at midcourt with 16 seconds left giving Yale possession and setting up Morgan’s game-winning drive to the basket.
Morgan drove through traffic, made the shot, and was fouled by Miles Asafo-Adjei. Morgan hit the free throw to give Yale the lead. Peck then had a shot by Reggie Willhite with 4 seconds left. Cornell got the ball back but threw away the inbounds pass.
Still the game wasn’t over.
Braswell was fouled with 1.7 seconds left and missed both free throws and Peck grabbed the rebound but his heave from 70 feet away fell short sending the Yale bench into mayhem.
“It’s huge,” Jones said. “You don’t want to go to 2-3.”
Said Morgan: “Basketball’s a funny game. Our coaches always say to keep playing because you never know what’s going to happen. You never want to lose at home and fortunately we got some bounces and got this thing done.”
Cornell (4-15, 0-5) which has won the last three Ivy League titles has now lost nine games by seven points or less. Friday they looked listless in the opening minutes of the game but then played with desperation and pride the rest of the way.
“I told the team in the locker room that Cornell deserved to win,” Jones said. “They frustrated us and took us out of rhythm. But I’m happy to be on the winning side.”
The Big Red got a major jolt of emotion from backup center Eitan Chemerinski who grabbed five rebounds on one possession.
Trailing 20-9, Chemerinski got inside for a layup but was blocked three times. All three times he got his own rebound and missed the follow up. Chemerinski then grabbed the loose ball and attempted three more layups. He finally hit the last one and was fouled and turned it into a three-point play.
The Cornell bench erupted after the series and the Big Red then hit their next three 3-pointers to get back into the game.
Yale again built a 30-23 lead following a powerhouse jam by Reggie Willhite but Cornell responded with an 11-0 run and took a stunning 36-32 lead into the break.
Yale turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and despite shooting 52 percent was trailing at the half for the third straight game.
“You wonder why we were losing and that’s it,” Jones said. “We turned the ball over 18 times. We shot 49 percent and we were losing.”
Cornell got 18 points from Drew Ferry and 16 from Peck.

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