The Ithaca College men's basketball team returned to action for its first game of 2022 after a month layoff as IC traveled to Cortland for a non-conference contest and was dealt a 90-58 loss inside Corey Gymnasium on January 4. With the loss, Ithaca is now 4-4 on the season, while Cortland improves to 5-5.
The Bombers jumped out to a hot start on Tuesday by taking a 5-0 lead in the opening two minutes after a pair of made free throws by Andrew Geschickter and a 3-pointer from Liam Spellman.
Cortland then answered with a 6-1 run over the next 1:41 to pull to within a 7-6 deficit, but back-to-back threes from Spellman and a layup from Jack Stern by the 14:58 mark pushed IC back out to a 15-9 lead.
From there, Cortland ran away with the contest as the Red Dragons rattled off a 22-0 run over a near eight-minute stretch to flip that 15-9 deficit to a 31-15 lead with 6:38 remaining in the half. Spellman would end IC's scoreless drought with another 3-pointer with 6:17 to go.
With 4:28 left, Cortland established a 17-point cushion, 36-19, but the Bombers responded with seven-straight to cut the spread down to 10 points, 36-26, with just over two minutes on the clock as Stern scored four points and Geschickter nailed a 3-pointer.
The half would end with a 14-point difference, 42-28, as Cortland closed out the half with a pair of threes and IC scored just before the buzzer on a jumper from Skylar Sinon.
IC managed to pull to within eight points early in the second half, 42-34, on a 3-pointer from Geschickter and three points from Stern, but a three from Cortland's AJ Lawton with 17:09 remaining put the Red Dragons back ahead by double digits for good.
Lawton, who entered the game with just 29 points on the season, scored 30 points on Tuesday afternoon with nine 3-pointers and 10-of-15 shooting overall.
At the 13:37 mark, Cortland re-established a 17-point margin, 63-46, on an Austin Grunder jumper, which was the final basket for either team for more than three minutes. Grunder also caused problems for IC, as he finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds in the contest.
Lawton ended the drought for both teams with 10:34 remaining on another 3-pointer, which catapulted the Red Dragons to outscore IC, 27-12, for the rest of the game.
Spellman led IC with 12 points in the contest on 4-of-9 shooting with five rebounds, while Geschickter tallied 11 points and five boards. Stern also reached double figures with 10 points. Zach Warech added seven points, while Sinon and Noah Downing each finished with six points.
IC shot 21-for-60 overall (35.0-percent) and 10-for-39 (25.6%) from 3-point range. Cortland went 34-for-73 (46.6%) from the floor and 14-for-36 (38.9%) from beyond the arc, and outrebounded the Bombers, 43-34.
Ithaca returns to action on Saturday for a 4 p.m. Liberty League contest against Hobart inside Ben Light Gymnasium. IC was scheduled to play No. 25 RPI on Friday evening, but that game has been postponed.
This story was originally published by Ithaca College Athletics.