Twenty-six hours after fleecing the Cornell Rams at Cornell 85-77, Vikings Men’s Basketball suffered a decisive defeat on Sunday, losing 81-67 to the same Rams. The tape showed Cornell unleashing broadsides of three-pointers and free throws that the Vikings’ middling shooting failed to match. It was a shocking departure from the fabulous shooting and team play of the day before. Lawrence took the lead early, but by the fourth minute of play, was down seven points and never threatened the lead thereafter.
The Cornell attack was balanced and efficient, with their top four scorers in the double-digits and boasting a complementary stat sheet. Conversely, to look at the Vikings’ stats, Brad Sendell seemingly played alone. Sendell was the Vikings’ only double-digit scorer, downing 33 points and leading in assists (4), rebounds (8), and shooting percentage from the field (11-24; 45.8 percent). It is rare for a squad to find success in a team sport like basketball with such an output imbalance between its starting five.
What comes next is a hasty repair of the longboat hulls and patching of the sails, because the Vikings aren’t out of the playoff running yet. With viable aspirations to make the four-team postseason, the Vikings need to conquer Illinois College and Monmouth in the coming week. The first trial-by-ball will be against Illinois, Saturday, Feb 19.