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Men's Basketball Rallies to Defeat Cornell, 71-67
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  12/22/2008

Dec. 22, 2008

Box Score

PHILADELPHIA--Ahmad Nivins scored a season-high 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Saint Joseph's to a come-from-behind 71-67 victory over Cornell at The Palestra. With the win, the Hawks even their record to 5-5.

Nivins hit on 10 of 13 shots for the Hawks, while Darrin Govens added 15 points and Idris Hilliard had his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

Ryan Wittman had 16 points and Louis Dale 15 for Cornell (5-6), which has lost four of its last five games.

Saint Joseph's fell behind 13 points in the first half, which was the largest deficit overcome for a win this season. Trailing 20-7, the Hawks went on a 19-8 run to close to within 28-26 with 2:50 left in the hafl. SJU took the lead, 32-31, on a tip-in by Nivins at :42, but Cornell's Ryan Wittman hit a jumper at :04 to give the visitors the 33-32 lead at halftime.

Cornell, which shot 56 percent in the first half, led 44-38 in the early going of the second half. Saint Joseph's trailed 44-38 with 15:46 to play, but Nivins sparked a 20-7 run to give the Hawks a 58-51 lead. The Big Red then scored nine straight points, capped by two free throws by Dale, to move ahead 60-58.

Saint Joseph's then ran off 10 unanswered points, six by Hilliard, to take a 68-60 lead. Cornell rallied to within 70-67 on a free throw by Alex Tyler with 10.5 seconds to go, but Nivins made one of two free throws a second later to seal the victory.

It was the Hawks' first game since the December 11 loss to Villanova because of the break for final exams. SJU now breaks for the holiday and returns to action hosting Siena at The Palestra on December 28 at 7 p.m.