Nov. 18, 2008
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - Ryan Wittman scored 24 points to lead four Big Red players in double figures and Cornell made seven straight free throws in the final 92 seconds to put to rest a Loyola rally and collect an 82-72 victory in the consolation game of the East Region in the NIT Season Tip-Off Tuesday afternoon night at the Conte Forum.
After Loyola pulled within 73-67 on a three-pointer from junior guard Brett Harvey, the Big Red (2-1) knocked down seven straight from the charity stripe and got a tip-in from Jeff Foote to build an 82-70 lead with under 17 seconds remaining. Harvey's free throws with one tick left closed out the scoring.
The Greyhounds (1-3) opened a 4-2 margin three minutes into the game, but Cornell used a 19-6 run to take a 21-10 lead with 9:33 remaining in the half. Loyola responded with by scoring 12 of the next 16 points, the last six coming from sophomore forward Isaac Reid with a three-pointer and a conventional three-point play. The Big Red closed the half on an 11-3 run to take a 36-25 lead at the intermission.
The six-point differential at 73-67 was as close as Loyola would get in the second half. Sophomore guard Tony Lewis did what he could, scoring 17 of his career-high 23 points in the final 20 minutes.
In addition to Wittman's 24 points, Foote added 19 with eight rebounds and seven blocked shots. Geoff Reeves scored 12 and Alex Tyler chipped in with 11. Harvey tallied 18 for the Greyhounds and Reid collected 13 to go along with eight rebounds.
Loyola will wait until some time on Wednesday to find out which site it will be traveling to for its consolation bracket of the tournament. The Greyhounds will play a pair of yet-to-be-determined opponents next Monday and Tuesday.