ITHACA, N.Y. — Cornell’s Joel Davis hit two free throws with 24.8 seconds to play, and Dartmouth could not get a shot to fall before the buzzer as the Big Red (8-10, 2-3 Ivy) overcame a five-point deficit in the final minute to defeat the visiting Big Green (4-14, 0-5 Ivy), 86-85, in front of 1,149 fans at Newman Arena on Friday night. The loss spoiled the night for senior Miles Wright, who became the 29th Dartmouth player to score 1,000 points in a career.
Matt Morgan, the nation‘s seventh-leading scorer, hit two buckets in the final minute — one a 3-pointer — and had 28 points for Cornell, while Stone Gettings added 20 more. But it was Davis, a 60 percent free throw shooter on the season, who came through in the end by hitting those two foul shots for the game-winning points. Davis finished the night with 16 points, going 9-of-10 at the charity stripe.
Dartmouth had five players in double figures, led by Johnson with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting with a triple and a perfect 6-of-6 at the line. He was looking to make it 27 with an off-balance shot from the right elbow, but he only found the front iron, and the Big Red’s Terrance McBride snared the rebound with the buzzer sounding shortly thereafter.
Cornell led for most of the first half, beginning with one of Gettings’ three 3-pointers on the night just 15 seconds into the game. Sistare gave the Big Green their first lead of the night at with a shot from downtown after nearly five minutes of action, then added a layup to make it a 14-11 Dartmouth advantage. But the Big Red ripped off the next 11 points on four buckets down low before Kyle Brown canned a long ball for an eight-point lead, 22-14.
Three more times Cornell had an eight-point edge, but Jackson kept the Big Green in the game, scoring all 12 of his points in the opening period. A Gettings dunk with 2:32 left in the half gave Cornell its largest lead of the half, 38-29, but Jackson countered with his second triple, and Johnson bookended a Gettings layup with two of his own in the final minute to send Dartmouth into the locker room down just four, 40-36.
Four minutes into the second stanza, the Big Red had extended their lead to a game-high 10 points as Gettings popped a trey and a short jumper in the paint. After a Dartmouth timeout, the Big Green offense started rolling, hitting eight of its next nine field goals, including back-to-back buckets from Wright in a 12-second span, the first of which brought him to his milestone. The last basket in that run came courtesy of Sistare, who laid in his own free throw miss trying to convert a three-point play for a 59-57 lead with more than 11 minutes remaining.
McBride quickly tied the score, and Gettings put Cornell back on top by hitting 1-of-2 foul shots, but Emery responded with his second three-point play in three minutes. Dartmouth went up by five after Morgan and Sistare traded 3-pointers and the latter hit the second of two freebies at the line. The Big Red, however, scored on their next five possessions with Steve Julian scoring in the lane to once again give the home team a one-point lead, 73-72, with five minutes remaining.
After Emery hit two free throws to put Dartmouth back on top, Gettings was whistled for an offensive foul, his fifth infraction, with 3:52 still to play. Johnson provided eight of the next 10 Big Green points, six coming at the foul line, as Dartmouth extended its lead back to five, 84-79, with 57.9 seconds to play.
Morgan hit a quick jumper, and Emery hit the second of two free throws before Morgan rained a 3-pointer to quickly make it a one-point game with 33.6 seconds left. After a timeout, the Big Red defense forced an errant pass, and Wright was called for a foul going after the ball, sending Davis to the line, where he gave Cornell the lead and eventually the win.
Dartmouth blistered the nets in the second half, shooting 59.3 percent (16-of-27) with Johnson scoring 21 of his 25 points after the intermission. For the game, the Green knocked down 30-of-54 field goals (.556) — its second-highest percentage this year — including 6-of-17 (.353) behind the arc, plus 19-of-27 at the foul line (.704).
On the other side of the court, Cornell was 27-of-55 from the floor (.491) and 7-of-17 from the perimeter (.412) while converting 25-of-29 (.862) of its free throws. Morgan finished the night 9-of-16 overall and 8-of-9 at the line, while Gettings was 7-of-14 from the floor with his three treys, plus 3-of-4 at the line.
Cornell held a small edge on the glass, 30-28, with Julian leading all player with 10 rebounds. Jackson and Sistare paced the Big Green on the boards with six apiece, while the Dartmouth defense blocked six shots, two for each of Wright and Johnson, the latter’s first two this year.
Dartmouth will play at Columbia (5-13, 2-3 Ivy) on Saturday night in a 7 p.m. game televised in New York by SNY and streamed live on the Ivy League Network, now available on Apple TV, Roku and the ILN app for Android and Apple devices. The Lions are coming off an 83-76 win over league-leading Harvard tonight.
Notes: Dartmouth has lost eight straight games, though three of the last four have been by two or fewer points or in overtime … Big Green opponents are now shooting 79.1 percent from the charity stripe for the year, the highest percentage against any Division I team … Johnson leads Dartmouth with three 20-point games this year and has four in his career … oddly enough, the Big Green have lost all three game this season when shooting at least 55 percent from the floor … of the 19 Ivy League games played thus far, the road team has won just three times. All three wins have been claimed by Harvard.