Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cornell Holds On To Nip Quinnipiac, 73-70

ITHACA, N.Y. – In a classic game of gunslinger basketball, Cornell and Quinnipiac went shot for shot in the second half in a final 20 minutes that saw 10 ties and 16 lead changes. In the end it was reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Lous Dale who made two great defensive plays in the final minute to lift the Big Red to a 73-70 victory over the Bobcats at Newman Arena. The Big Red improved to 7-6 on the season and 3-0 at home, while the Bobcats dropped to 6-6 with the loss.

Dale who finished with a season-best 23 points, three assists and three steals, blocked a shot with 29 seconds left off a Bobcat player's leg to get possession back for the Big Red, then answered with what proved to be the game-winning free throws with 10 seconds to play after drawing a foul in the lane. With Quinnipiac looking to regain the lead, Dale tied up James Feldeine in the low post with four seconds left for a steal to give Cornell possession back. After Ryan Wittman hit a pair of free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining, a desperation heave from Quinnipiac's Bryan Geffen fell short and the Big Red escaped with the victory.

Along with Dale's best performance of the season, classmate Ryan Wittman posted a game-high 25 points and added three assists and three rebounds to join Dale as the lone double figure scorers. Jeff Foote added nine points and five rebounds but was hounded into a 3-of-11 shooting day. The Big Red hit on 53 percent of its shots overall, including 6-of-13 from beyond the arc, while the Bobcats hit on 46 percent of their efforts. The visitors were 2-of-12 from beyond the arc, including 0-of-5 in the first half.

Chris Wroblewski added a pair of 3-pointers for six points and three assists off the bech and Adam Wire had four points, five rebounds and two steals.

Quinnipiac (6-6) was led by Feldeine with 18 points, while Louis Brookins and James Johnson tallied 13 and 12 points, respectively. The Bobcats did damage on the offensive glass, grabbing 18 errant shots and outscoring the Big Red 20-6 on second chance points. Overall, the visitors had a 33-28 edge on the backboards.

Despite missing second-leading scorer Justin Rutty, Quinnipiac came out smoking, jumping out to a 20-8 lead seven minutes in, but consecutive 3-pointers by Wroblewski and Wittman brought Cornell back into the contest. The Bobcats maintained a lead, though Cornell methodically came back, cutting the edge to one at 26-25 with 5:06 left on a Wittman trey, then finally knotting the score at 30-30 on a Dale 3-pointer. Dale tied it again on the next possession with a driving layup before the home team took its first lead since the initial basket of the game when Alex Tyler found a wide open Wroblewski for his second trey of the half to make it 35-34 with just under a minute to play. Cornell got a pair of defensive stops down the stretch to take that lead into the break.

Neither team led by more than five in the second half, and it was a one-point game for the final five minutes of action and for all but 35 seconds in the final 10 minutes.

While the game went back and forth, the Big Red was up for the challenge. Wittman hit four shots that gave Cornell the lead in the final 14 minutes, and both Foote and Dale also made killer plays down the stretch. Foote's short jumper in the lane gave Cornell a 69-68 edge with 55 seconds left before the seven-footer swatted away an initial shot on Quinnipiac's ensuing possession that led to Dale's block seconds later. The home team ended the afternoon with eight blocked shots.

The Big Red will attempt to extend its home win streak to 12 games when it meets Division III power Ursinus on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 3 p.m. in Newman Arena. The Bears, ranked No. 13 in the country and coming off a Final Four appearance a season ago, will welcome Cornell head coach Steve Donahue, a 1984 graduate.

Cornell Edges Quinnipiac 73-70


Cornell Edges Men's Basketball, 73-70
QuinnipiacBobcats.com

ITHACA, N.Y. – James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) scored a team-high 18 points, but the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team was defeated by Cornell, 73-70, Wednesday afternoon at Newman Arena. Louis Dale made both ends of a one-and-one with 10.7 seconds remaining to give Cornell the lead, 71-70, and the Big Red forced a held ball with the possession arrow in its favor with 2.2 seconds remaining. After Ryan Wittman made two free throws, Bryan Geffen’s (Queens, N.Y.) three-quarter-court shot wouldn’t fall, making Cornell victorious.

Louis Brookins (Silver Spring, Md.) scored 13 points and added a game-high nine rebounds, while James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) had 12. Ryan Wittman scored a game-high 25 points, while Louis Dale added 23 for the Big Red. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 6-6, while the Big Red improves to 7-6.

Cornell extended its home winning streak to 12 games by defeating the Bobcats. Quinnipiac played without leading rebounder and second-leading rebounder Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.), who missed the game following the passing of a family member.

Neither team could create separation in the second half with the largest lead being Cornell’s five-point advantage twice early in the stanza. Steve Robinson’s (New York, N.Y.) three-pointer with 10:46 remaining knotted the game at 48-48, while Eric Coggins’ (Syracuse, N.Y.) free throw gave the Bobcats their first lead of the second half, 51-50, with 9:19 left. Neither team could muster a lead of more than three points the rest of the way.

Trailing by one with Cornell in possession and the shot clock turned off, Feldeine made a steal and converted a runner in the lane to give the Bobcats a one-point lead, 70-69, with 19 seconds left. On the other end, Dale was fouled and made both free throws with 10 seconds left, to put Cornell up, 71-70.


Cornell knocked the ball out of bounds with five seconds remaining and Quinnipiac was left to inbound the ball underneath its own bucket. But the Cornell defense collapsed as Feldeine received the inbounds pass eight feet from the bucket. The Big Red forced the alternate possession with 2.2 seconds left, after which Wittman was fouled with 1.7 seconds left. He knocked down both chances from the charity stripe to account for the final difference.

For the game, the Big Red outshot the Bobcats, 52.9 percent (27-51) to 45.8 percent (27-59) from the floor, 46.2 percent (6-13) from three-point range, and 76.5 percent (13-17) from the free-throw line. Quinnipiac outrebounded Cornell, 33-28, including 18 offensive boards to the Big Red’s 10. The offensive rebounding discrepancy led to a 20-6 Bobcats advantage in second-chance points.

After the Big Red scored the game’s first bucket, Quinnipiac went on an 8-0 run thanks to two jumpers apiece from Feldeine and Johnson to take an early 8-2 lead. The lead would extend to 12 points on Brookins put-back at the 13:03 mark of the first half. Cornell scored eight straight points to cut the deficit to four at 20-16 with 10:46 remaining in the initial half.

The Bobcats’ lead increased twice to eight points, but Cornell scored another seven straight points to cut the Bobcats’ lead to one with 5:06 left. Cornell eventually took the lead on Chris Wroblewski’s three with 51 seconds remaining, 35-34. Neither team could score in the final 50 seconds and the Big Red retained the one-point lead at halftime.

Brookins led the Bobcats with nine first-half points and five rebounds, while Johnson and Feldeine contributed eight and seven points, respectively. The Bobcats shot 51.7 percent (15-29) in the first half to the Big Red’s 50.0 percent (12-24). Wittman led Cornell with 12 points while Dale added 10.

The Bobcats return to Northeast Conference play Saturday, when they travel to Hackensack, N.J., to take on Fairleigh Dickinson. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Rothman Center.

News and Notes: Around the Ivy League

Cornell Big Red 2008-2009 Results
7-6 Record Through January 1


Fri, Nov 14 South Dakota W 79-69



Mon, Nov 17 at St. John's L 75-86



Tue, Nov 18 at Loyola (MD) W 82-72



Sat, Nov 22 at Siena L 56-74



Mon, Nov 24 Loyola Chicago W 78-53



Tue, Nov 25 East. Michigan W 67-54



Sun, Nov 30 at Indiana L 57-72



Wed, Dec 3 at (16) Syracuse L 78-88



Sat, Dec 6 at Minnesota L 54-71



Sat, Dec 20 La Salle W 79-70



Mon, Dec 22 at St. Joseph's L 67-71



Mon, Dec 29 Boston U. W 89-59



Wed, Dec 31 Quinnipiac W 73-70


IVY LEAGUE STANDINGS

as of 1.1.09

Cornell 0-0 7-6
Harvard 0-0 6-6
Brown 0-0 5-6
Columbia 0-0 4-7
Pennsylvania 0-0 2-7
Yale 0-0 2-8
Princeton 0-0 2-8
Dartmouth 0-0 2-9

Here are the upcoming games around the Ivy League and recent results...

Tuesday, December 30

Dartmouth 41 UC Davis 72 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 53 Lafayette 54 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 56 Hampton 58 (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 78 Campbell 67 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, December 31
Harvard 54 William and Mary 67 (Box Score - Recap)
Quinnipiac 70 Cornell 73 (Box Score)

Friday, January 2
Santa Clara at Harvard, 7 pm
Brown at American, 7:30 pm
Columbia at Lehigh, 4:30 pm
Yale at Bryant, 4 pm

Saturday, January 3
Ursinus at Cornell, 3 pm
UNC Greensboro at Princeton, 2 pm
Army at Dartmouth, 7 pm
MIT at Yale, 7 pm

Monday, January 5
Columbia at American, 7:30 pm

Tuesday, January 6
Brown at Virginia, 7 pm
Lafayette at Penn, 7 pm
Bucknell at Cornell, 7 pm

Alumni News: Eric Taylor '05 Update




















Eric Taylor (class of '05), a former All -Ivy League center for the Big Red was interviewed during halftime of the Quinnipiac game by Barry Leonard of Cornell Redcast/ESPN Radio. Taylor, a native of Albany, New York, is currently living in Ithaca and working in the financial services industry with Thompkins County Trust. Taylor played professional basketball in France for two seasons.

(Taylor, pictured above, shoots over Georgia Tech's Luke Schenscher at Newman Arena on November 23, 2003.)

Live Updates of Cornell v. Quinnipiac from the Ithaca Journal (Cornell Wins, Final Score 73-70)


By Brian Delaney
Ithaca Journal

ITHACA - Good afternoon and happy new year from Newman Arena, where Cornell will complete a memorable 2008 in men's basketball with a 1 p.m. tip-off against Quinnipiac. Check back regularly for live updates.

The visiting Bobcats, 6-5 on the year, will be playing shorthanded today, Cornell's Sports Information Director, Jeremy Hartigan, just informed me. Starting forward Justin Rutty has left the team temporarily due to a death in the family. Rutty, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound sophomore forward, is second on the team in scoring (16.5 ppg) and first in rebounding (8.1). He shoots 68 percent from the field and is second in minutes played per game (31.1). Certainly a big loss for the Bobcats, who already are facing a tough task this afternoon.

Cornell (6-6) is coming off its most complete performance of the year, an 89-59 win over a Boston University team that left its mojo in Beantown. Quinnipiac lost at Brown on Monday, 89-73. More to come...

Starting lineups:
Quinnipiac
Louis Brookins (Has seen action in only four games this season, including 16 minutes Monday against Brown. Had 11 pts and 16 boards vs. Cornell last year.)
Ed Zajac
James Johnson
Bryan Geffen
James Feldeine

Cornell
Ryan Wittman
Alex Tyler
Jeff Foote
Geoff Reeves
Louis Dale

15:44 left in 1H
Quinnipiac leads, 12-6.

Defensively, Cornell has looked a step slow so far. All six Bobcat field goals have come from about 12 feet and in. When the lead got to 8-2, Donahue called a timeout but so far the defense hasn't improved. Quinnipiac is 6 of 9 from the field, Cornell 3 of 8. Cornell's had open looks, they aren't falling yet.

Defensively, Cornell has looked a step slow so far. All six Bobcat field goals have come from about 12 feet and in. When the lead got to 8-2, Donahue called a timeout but so far the defense hasn't improved. Quinnipiac is 6 of 9 from the field, Cornell 3 of 8. Cornell's had open looks, they aren't falling yet.

11:47 left in 1H
Quinnipiac leads, 20-14.

Q's lead got up to 20-8 on a Louis Brookins offensive rebound and putback, but Chris Wroblewski and Ryan Wittman hit back to back 3's to cut that deficit in half right before the timeout. Wittman's 3 was beautiful execution. Dale dribbled left off a high screen by Alex Tyler, who then turned and screened James Feldeine on the foul line. Wittman popped to the top of the key and knocked down the triple in rhythm.

6:12 left in 1H
Quinnipiac leads, 26-18.

Cornell is simply getting outhustled right now, which is rarely the case. Bryan Geffen just drove by Wroblewski for an easy duece, and James Johnson drove on Dale and hit a one-handed runner along the baseline. Lots of stuff off the dribble for Q, which is shooting 52.4 percent from the field. Conversely, Cornell is 7-18 from the floor (.389). One good thing for the hosts is that Ed Zajac, Q's 6-10, 250-pound center, has three fouls.

3:30 left in 1H
Quinnipiac leads, 28-25.

Wittman scored seven straight points and now has 12. He hit two free throws, a turnaround jumper on the baseline and a 3 from in front of Q's bench. That last one brought Cornell to within one, but Louis Brookins scored on the other end in the paint. Crowd wanted a charge call, but didn't get it.

47.3 left in 1H
Cornell leads, 35-34.

Wroblewski drains a 3 from the left corner to give Cornell its first lead since it was 2-0. Tyler credited with the assist.

HALFTIME
Cornell leads, 35-34.

15:47 left in 2H
Cornell leads, 42-39.

Wittman scored five straight points, on a long 3 from the top of the key, set up by a Wroblewski dribble handoff, and a fadeaway two over his defender from the right wing. He now has 17 on 6-of-9 shooting. Feldeine has four points this half for Q. Louis Dale is on the bench with three fouls.

11:18 left in 2H
Cornell leads, 48-45.

Zajac picked up his fourth foul at the 14:23 mark, but Q doesn't seem fazed. They're playing Cornell very tough, very physical, and that's given CU some trouble. Alex Tyler just got a much needed offensive rebound and putback for Cornell.

2:41 left in 2H
Cornell leads, 65-64.

It's been a series of big shot answering a big shot, lead change answering a lead change over the last several minutes. Lou Dale threw a half-court alley-oop to Wire, who stuffed a two-handed dunk home. But James Feldeine knocked down a 3 to answer, igniting another round of competitive shot-making. Q will shoot 1-and-1 out of this media timeout.

10.7 left in 2H
Cornell leads, 71-70.

In what has been a terrific final 15 minutes of offensive basketball, Lou Dale just knocked down two free throws to put Cornell back in front. The way this game has gone, I wouldn't be surprised if both teams score again in the final 10 seconds. Q has the ball out of the timeout.

FINAL SCORE

Cornell wins, 73-70.

Dale came up with a big steal with less than 5 seconds left, and Wittman sank two free throws to salt away the win with 1.7 left. Cornell improves to 7-6 on the year against a Quinnipiac team that fought for every inch. More to come...


Game Day!!!

Get all the information you need about the Cornell's game vs. Quinnipiac this afternoon with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Also, let us know your thoughts on the game by visiting The Cornell Basketball Blog's Community Forum and Message Board (click here, FREE membership).

Cornell RPI Watch: Big Red at No. 97

For the second consecutive season, The Cornell Basketball Blog monitors Cornell's RPI as part of our series, The Cornell RPI Watch.

The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. Created in 1981, the RPI is a tool used in selecting and seeding the 65 teams for the NCAA Men's basketball Division I tournament

Big Red Brackets

The Cornell Basketball Blog monitors the Big Red's bracket projections until the 2009 NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday.

Below are links to projections of the 2009 NCAA Tournament brackets.

For The Cornell Basketball Blog's prior "Big Red Brackets" posts, click here.

Cornell-Quinnipiac Preview from the Ithaca Journal

By Brian Delaney
The Ithaca Journal
December 31, 2008

Today's matchup: Quinnipiac (6-5) at Cornell (6-6), 1 p.m.

Radio: WPIE-AM (1160)

Live updates: www.ithacajournal.com

Tickets (game-day prices): $8 adults, $7 seniors, $5 children 12 and under and CU staff; $3 for students.

Quinnipiac's last outing: Brown knocked down an incredible 14 of 17 three-point attempts en route to an 89-73 victory Monday afternoon over the Bobcats at the Pizzitola Center in Providence.

Probable starters: Edward Zajac (6-10, 250, Soph., C), James Johnson (6-0, 183, Fr., G), James Feldeine (6-4, 190, Jr., G), Justin Rutty (6-7, 240, Soph., F), DeAndre Bynum (6-6, 200, Fr., G).

Statistically: Feldeine is averaging 28.7 points per game over his last three games, including a 31-point outing in the Brown loss. Last year, in Cornell's 86-84 overtime win over the Bobcats, Feldeine scored 19 on 7-of-10 shooting. ... Quinnipiac is 4-1 in road games this year. ... Quinnipiac is outrebounding opponents by a marging of 8.5 boards per game. ... Rutty is second on the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game, but has two assists on the season to 30 turnovers.

Cornell's last outing: Jeff Foote posted his second double-double of the season, and Cornell shot 64 percent from the field — making 12 of 22 3-pointers — in an 89-59 rout of Boston University on Monday at Newman Arena.

Probable starters: Louis Dale (5-11, 180, Jr., G), Geoff Reeves (6-4, 180, Jr., G), Ryan Wittman (6-6, 215, Jr., F), Alex Tyler (6-7, 235, Jr., F), Jeff Foote (7-0, 245, Sr., C).

Statistically: Wittman, who netted 12 against BU, leads Cornell in scoring at 20.6 ppg, followed by Foote (13.9), Reeves (11.6) and Dale (10.5). ... The Big Red has won 11 straight games at home. ... Cornell's .642 shooting percentage Monday night was the highest in the nine-year Steve Donahue era. ... Cornell has hit at least one 3-pointer in 545 straight games.

Outlook: Quinnipiac is a very beatable team, considering Cornell's home record and the thoroughly dominating nature of Monday night's 30-point win. The Bobcats' wins have come against Hartford, Army, Maine, Monmouth, Wagner and Dartmouth — not an impressive resume by any measure. In Zajac, Quinnipiac does have a big body to bang with Foote, who has dominated two smallish frontcourts recently in BU and La Salle. Foote's effectiveness on the low block opened the floodgates, setting up Tyler for several buckets as well as Cornell's perimeter shooters. Collectively, Cornell's snipers enjoyed their best performance of the year, as four different players hit at least two 3's. On the season, Quinnipiac's opponents are shooting about 40 percent from beyond the arc. That could spell major trouble for the visitors.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Quinnipiac

* Game notes vs. Quinnipiac
* Buy tickets to the game online
* Live stats
* Watch the game online (Redcast subscription required)

GAME INFORMATION
Game #13:
Quinnipiac at Cornell
Tip off: Wednesday, Dec. 31, at 1:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2008-09 Records: Quinnipiac (6-5, 2-0 Northeast); Cornell (6-6, 0-0 Ivy)|
Series Record: Quinnipiac leads 2-1
Last Meeting: Cornell won 86-84 (OT), Dec. 31, 2007 in Hamden, Conn.
Radio: 1160 ESPN Radio, WPIE (Barry Leonard)
TV: None
Live Stats: available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR

HEAD COACH STEVE DONAHUE
Cornell head coach Steve Donahue is in his ninth season at Cornell (102-129, .442) ... Donahue became the fourth Robert E. Gallagher ‘44 Coach of Men’s Basketball at Cornell on Sept. 6, 2000.


ITHACA, N.Y. — After its most complete effort of the season, the Cornell men’s basketball team will look to continue the momentum into the new year when it meets Quinnipiac on Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. at Newman Arena at Bartels Hall. Live video of the New Year’s Eve game is available as part of the RedCast subscription service, while Barry Leonard will provide the call locally on 1160 ESPN Radio.

The Big Red had a breakout win over preseason America East favorite Boston University on Monday evening, blowing out the Terriers 89-59. Cornell shot 64 percent from the floor and limited BU to 32 percent overall in extending the team’s home win streak to 12 games. Cornell scored te first 11 points of the game and led by double figures for the final 37 minutes in capturing the easier than expected victory. The Bobcats, meanwhile, fell on the road to fellow Ivy foe Brown by a score of 89-73 that same afternoon despite 31 points from James Feldeine.

The All-Ivy trio of juniors Ryan Wittman (20.6 ppg., 3.8 rpg.) and Louis Dale (10.5 ppg., 3.0 apg.) and senior Jeff Foote (13.9 ppg., 7.1 rpg., 2.9 apg., 2.6 bpg.), as expected, continue to lead the Big Red offensively. Foote had 19 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in the win over Boston University on Monday, while Wittman and Dale combined for 22 points.

Juniors Geoff Reeves (11.6 ppg.) and Alex Tyler (7.5 ppg., 4.8 rpg.) have also started all 12 games during the non-conference season and have had outstanding efforts in preparation for league play. Freshman Chris Wroblewski, sophomore Adam Wire and seniors Brian Kreefer and Jason Battle have also played key roles off the bench in the early going.

ABOUT QUINNIPIAC: The Bobcats are off to a 6-5 start that includes a 2-0 record in Northeast Conference play after falling at Brown 89-73 on Monday afternoon. Quinnipiac has excelled on the road with a 5-1 record, dropping its first contest away from home with its defeat in Providence. James Feldeine leads four double figure scorers at 19.9 points per game, a mark that improves to 29.0 points in his last three games. Justin Rutty (16.5 ppg., 8.1 rpg.) and Jeremy Baker (12.7 ppg., 9.0 rpg.) and James Johnson (10.9 ppg.) also are posting at least 10 points per game, though Baker has missed the team’s last eight games. Quinnipiac is outrebounding its foes by 8.3 rebounds per game (38.5-30.2), but are allowing 46 percent shooting and are shooting just 60 percent from the free-throw line. Head coach Tom Moore has a 21-20 record in his second year at Quinnipiac and has posted a 97-79 mark in six years as a head coach.

CORNELL VS. THE NORTHEAST CONFERENCE: The Big Red holds an 8-10 all-time record against current members of the Northeast Conference including a 1-2 mark against Quinnipiac. The Big Red has faced Long Island (0-2), Robert Morris (2-0), Sacred Heart (1-1), St. Francis (N.Y.) (0-2), Saint Francis (Pa.) (3-3) and Wagner (1-0), while never meeting Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth or Mount St. Mary’s. This is the only scheduled game against an NEC opponent this season.

A WIN OVER QUINNIPIAC WOULD ...
• end Cornell’s 2008 record at 7-6.
• even the all-time series record at 2-2.
• move Cornell’s win streak at Newman Arena to 12 games, the longest all-time in the building, while making the team 4-0 at home this season.
• be the 1,131st in school history.

SEASON’S GREETINGS: Cornell’s effort in the win over preseason America East favorite Boston University was outstanding on both ends of the court. Here are some notes on the win:
• Cornell’s home win streak improved to 11, the longest winning stretch in Newman Arena history.
• The 30-point win was the team’s biggest since the Ivy-clinching 86-53 victory over Harvard on March 1, 2008.
• The .642 shooting percentage (34-of-53) is the highest in nine seasons under head coach Steve Donahue.
• The 30-point loss for Boston University was its worst since dropping a 64-34 decision to Georgetown in the 2005 NIT, while the 89 points allowed was the most since Cincinnati poured in 90 in a 90-52 win in the first round of the 2002 NCAA tournament.
• Jeff Foote led four double-figure scorers with 19 points to go along with a career-high 12 rebounds and five assists. Alex Tyler chipped in with 14 points and a career-best four blocked shots.
• Cornell assisted on a season-high 21 baskets.
• The Big Red bench outscored its Terrier counterparts 26-13.
• Cornell jumped out to a 13-0 lead and led 28-5 just eight minutes into the contest.

HOME SWEET HOME: Cornell finished the 2007-08 season with a 12-1 record at home, including eight straight triumphs in front of the Newman Nation crowd. The Big Red fans came out in droves to support the team, averaging 3,992 fans for conference games and posting crowds of more than 4,000 in four of the final five home games, including sell-outs for wins over Penn (2/9) and Harvard (3/1). Cornell extended its home win streak to 11 with victories against South Dakota, La Salle and Boston University to open this season.

AND BACK WHERE THEY BELONG: Cornell’s win over Alvernia on Jan. 10, 2008, started the team’s current 11-game home win streak. The longest home win streak for the Big Red is a 14-game strecth that started on Dec. 3, 1983 with a win over Cleveland State and culminated in a Jan. 9, 1985 loss to Canisius.

WHERE IT STANDS: The team’s 11-game win streak is the longest since a 12-game stretch that started with a 75-74 overtime win over Harvard on Feb, 17, 1989 and ended with a 60-54 loss to Princeton on Feb. 3, 1990. The streak included wins in two buildings, with the first six wins taking place in Barton Hall and the final six happening at Newman Arena.

TREY BIEN: The Big Red has hit at least one 3-pointer in 545 straight games entering the Quinnipiac contest. Cornell surpassed the 500-game plateau when the Big Red connected on six treys at Princeton on Feb. 16, 2007. The last time Cornell did not hit a 3-pointer was against Denison in the 1988-89 season opener (0-for-2). Since the 3-point shot came into effect in NCAA play during the 1986-87 season, Cornell has hit at least one shot behind the arc in 596 of 600 games, connecting on 3,469 treys, an average of 5.78 per game. The Big Red has hit a 3-pointer in all 231 games coached by Steve Donahue.

TOUGH ROAD: The Big Red’s six losses include five teams from the Atlantic 10, Big East or Big Ten, as well as the preseason Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference favorite and defending league champion. Those six opponents have posted a cumulative record of 50-21 (Indiana 5-7; Minnesota 12-0; Siena 7-4; St. John’s 9-3; Saint Joseph’s 5-6; Syracuse 12-1). According to realtimerpi.com, the Big Red’s strength of schedule is ranked as the 66th-most difficult in the country (as of Dec. 30).

NIT SUCCESS: Cornell posted a 3-1 record in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off, earning consecutive victories over Loyola (MD) (82-72), Loyola-Chicago (78-53) and Eastern Michigan (67-54) after opening the tournament with a loss to St. John’s (87-75). Of the 16 teams in the tournament, Cornell joined a who’s who of college basketball programs that includes Arizona, Davidson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Purdue and St. John’s, as well as the winner of Boston College and UAB, all of whom earned at least three wins in the tournament.

CENTURY MARKED: Head coach Steve Donahue picked up his 100th career coaching victory with a 67-54 triumph over Eastern Michigan in the final contest of the 2008 NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Nov. 25. The 2007-08 USBWA and NABC District Coach of the Year has a 102-129 overall record in nine seasons at Cornell, but is 44-24 (.647) in his last three seasons, including last year’s Ivy League title. His teams have matched or surpassed its win totals overall and in league play each of the last six seasons (only school in the country) and has finished in the top three of the Ancient Eight standings for four straight years.

UNLUCKY 13: Cornell’s 13 3-pointers as a team against Syracuse is tied for the fourth-highest total in school history and ranks behind only the 15 it hit against the Orange on Dec. 20, 2004 and the 14 it made against Ithaca College on Dec. 3, 2001 and Alvernia on Jan. 10, 2008. It was the fifth time the Big Red hit 13 in a game with the last coming against Hartford on Nov. 26, 2005.

THREE SPREE: Junior forward Ryan Wittman enters the Quinnipiac game with 212 career 3-pointers and became the third Big Red player to record 200 treys in a career with his four first-half makes from beyond the arc against Minnesota.

ANOTHER THREE SPREE: Junior forward Ryan Wittman hit nine 3-pointers against Syracuse, matching the single-game school record by Alex Compton at Yale on Feb. 24, 1996. The 19 attempts from beyond the arc set a school record, surpassing the 16 attempts by Cody Toppert against Duquesne on Feb. 6, 2004. The nine makes were one shy of a single-game Ivy League and Carrier Dome record.

RARE 30: Junior Ryan Wittman’s 33 points against Syracuse was the most by a Big Red player since Ray Mercedes notched 37 in a 93-84 loss to Harvard on March 3, 2001. It was the first 30-point effort by any Cornell player since Lenny Collins had 30 in a 72-67 loss at Marist on Nov. 19, 2004.

WITTMAN’S SCORING GRAND: Junior forward Ryan Wittman became the 23rd player in school history to score 1,000 career points when he posted a career-high 28 against Indiana on Nov. 30. He entered the contest with 979 points in his first 62 games and delivered his 1,000th point on a jumper with 9:10 left in regulation. He has since moved to 16th on the all-time list with 1,107points.

BIGGER, STRONGER WITTMAN: Junior Ryan Wittman has come back for his junior season with a vengeance, opening the year with five 20-point efforts in the team’s first 12 games and is averaging a team-high 20.6 points. In the 2008-09 season-opening win over South Dakota, Wittman poured in 25 points, the most by a Cornell in a season opener since Eric Taylor notched 30 points on 14-of-16 shooting in a 78-72 victory at Buffalo to open the 2002-03 campaign. He responded by again matching that high of 25 in the loss to St. John’s and putting up 24 more in the win over Loyola (MD). Wittman scored 28 points against Indiana in before answering that with a career-best 33 against Syracuse. Wittman gained 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason allowing him to get to the free-throw line more often and finish with contact.

LINE ‘EM UP, KNOCK ‘EM DOWN: Junior Ryan Wittman has made 38-of-44 shots from the free-throw line so far this season, good for an .864 percentage through 12 contests. Wittman had the rarity of missing consecutive free throws against La Salle, only the sixth time in 68 career games he has missed more than one free throw in a game.

MORE THAN JUST THE SCORING: While his 20.6 points per game is spectacular, so are junior Ryan Wittman’s other contributions through 12 games. The 6-6 forward is averaging 3.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals and has posted a 1.6:1 assist-turnover ratio while playing 36.2 minutes per game. All of those numbers are career highs except for his rebounding average, which was at 4.2 rpg. a season ago.

ADDING ANOTHER FOOTE: Senior center Jeff Foote has turned into a dominating force in the paint this season, ranking second on the team in scoring (13.9 ppg.) and pacing the squad and the Ivy League in rebounding (7.1 rpg.), blocked shots (2.6 bpg.). He also ranks second on the team in assists (2.9 apg.) while shooting 57 percent from the floor, also a team-best.

BRING IT ON, NIT: The NIT Preseason Tip-Off was the coming out party for senior center Jeff Foote, who ripped through both St. John’s and Loyola (MD). In those two games, Foote averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 blocks and 2.0 assists while getting to the line 18 times. He set a career-high with 20 points and five blocked shots to go along with seven rebounds and three assists against the Red Storm, then answered with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks against the Greyhounds. In his four games in the preseason NIT, Foote averaged 16.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 blocked shots and 2.8 assists while shooting 61 percent from the floor in Cornell’s 3-1 tournament run.

BLOCK TO BLOCK: Senior center Jeff Foote has blocked 31 shots in just 12 games after posting 30 blocks a season ago in 22 contests. After just 34 varsity contests, he already ranks sixth on the career list with 61 blocked shots.

AND THOUGH HE’S A SENIOR: Senior center Jeff Foote will be eligible to compete again in the 2009-10 season after sitting out a full season after transferring to Cornell from St. Bonaventure in the winter of 2006. A former walk-on for the Bonnies, he never played a varsity contest in his year-and-a-half with the program.

WELCOME BACK: Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Louis Dale is back after missing the first eight games of the 2008-09 season with a hamstring injury, and so far the returns have been excellent. The junior is averaging 10.5 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game.

MOST IMPROVED?: Few players in the country have seen a bigger scoring jump that junior Geoff Reeves this season. The 6-4 guard is averaging 11.6 points in the team’s first 12 games a year after posting an average of 3.5 points per game. A 44 percent shooter thus far, Reeves has connected on 29-of-67 shots from beyond the arc (44 percent) and is also among the team leaders in assists (27) while averaging 31.8 minutes per game.

20-20: Junior Geoff Reeves has already posted a pair of 20-point games this season, including a career-best 26 points in a win over Loyola-Chicago. He made 10-of-14 shots overall, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc in the contest. The 26 points were the most by an active Cornell player at the time and the most since Lenny Collins netted 27 points against Long Beach State on Dec. 30, 2005. Reeves also scored 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting and 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc.

SMART BOMBER: While classmate Ryan Wittman entered the season with much of the publicity of being one of the nation’s top shooters, junior Geoff Reeves is out to prove he is fully capable of joining Wittman atop that list. Reeves has made 29-of-67 3-pointers this season (2.4 per game, 43 percent) and is now hitting 44 percent from beyond the arc for his career (57-of-129), tops on the school’s career list.

TYLER MORE: Junior Alex Tyler has been his strong, steady self in the first 12 games of 2008-09, as the two-year starter at power forward is averaging 7.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots while playing 23.0 minutes per game. Tyler has reached double figures in scoring three times and posted a season-high 10 rebounds in the season opener against South Dakota. He had a season-best 14 points and a career-high four blocked shots to go along with six rebounds in the win over Boston University.

TYLER MAKING CAREER MOVES: Senior Alex Tyler ranks among the school’s career leaders in field goal percentage (12th, .516) and blocked shots (16th, 31).

COMING IN WIRED: Sophomore Adam Wire didn’t play in the team’s first two games of the year, but made quite an impact off the bench since. Wire has averaged 3.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals while playing 16.4 minutes in 10 appearances. The 6-6 forward corralled seven rebounds, including five on the offensive end, and added two points and two steals in 15 minutes of action against Loyola (MD) for his breakout game. In all, 23 of his 45 rebounds on the season have been on the offensive end and he leads the team lead with 18 steals. Over his last four games, Wire is averaging 5.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.5 assists in 24.8 minutes per contest.|

ROBO-POINT GUARD: When Ivy League Player of the Year Louis Dale went down with an injury in the preseason, freshman Chris Wroblewski was forced to take over running the offense from the point guard position and so far has been outstanding. He averaged 6.6 points, 2.9 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game in the team’s first nine games, including six starts.The freshman posted a 1.4:1 assist-turnover ratio (26a, 18t). He is currently third on the team lead in assists (30) and is averaging 5.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game.

BATTLE, KREEFER PLAYING KEY ROLES AS CAPTAINS: Old stalwarts Jason Battle and Brian Kreefer have played outstanding basketball in the first 12 games of the season while providing excellent leadership. Battle has started two contests and is averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game. Battle had six points and three rebounds in a win over Loyola (MD). Kreefer has played 15.6 minutes per game off the bench and has picked up 3.7 points and 3.5 rebounds while making 49 percent of his shots from the field. Kreefer had a career-high six assists in the win over Loyola-Chicago

DONAHUE NAMED COURT COACH FOR U-18 NATIONAL TEAM TRYOUTS: This summer, Cornell head coach Steve Donahue spent a week in July as a court coach for the U.S. Under-18 national team tryouts in Washington, D.C. The team, under the direction of Davidson’s head coach Bob McKillop, also featured VCU’s Anthony Grant and Georgetown’s John Thompson III as assistant coaches. The team won the silver medal at the 2008 FIBA U18 championship in Formosa, Argentina, falling to the host team 77-64 in the gold medal game.

WITTMAN NAMED ALL-DISTRICT BY USBWA AND NABC IN 2007-08: Sophomore Ryan Wittman was named to the USBWA All-District 2 team and to the NABC All-District 2 second-team. Wittman is the 10th player in school history to be honored by the NABC and the first since Ka’Ron Barnes was also a second-team pick in 2004.

WITTMAN NAMED ONE OF NATION’S TOP 10 SHOOTERS BY ESPN.COM: Junior Ryan Wittman was named one of the nation’s top 10 shooters in a special article about the NCAA 3-point line being moved back from 19-9 to 20-9 this coming season according to ESPN.com college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla. Fraschilla placed Wittman No. 10 on his list that also included Davidson’s Stephen Curry, Notre Dame’s Kyle McAlarney, Miami’s Jack McClinton, Texas’ A.J. Abrams, Drake’s Josh Young, UAB’s Robert Vaden, Cal State Fullerton’s Josh Akogmon, American’s Garrison Carr and Rhode Island’s Jimmy Baron. In two seasons, Wittman has connected on 171 3-pointers at a 44 percent clip. His total of 93 as a freshman set a school record and the 6-6 sophomore has paced the Ancient Eight in 3-pointers made in each of his first two years. He already ranks fourth on the school’s career 3-point list and is first in career percentage.

DALE NAMED HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICAN: Louis Dale capped off an outstanding sophomore season in 2007-08 by earning honorable mention All-America accolades by the Associated Press. Dale is the first Cornell player to earn All-America honors from the AP since Ken Bantum was also an honorable mention pick in 1985. Prior to Bantum, Cornell hadn’t had an All-American since Robert Gale was named to the second team by Helms in 1948. Dale is the Big Red’s seventh All-American, with Gil Halstead earning first team honors twice (1913 and 1914).

DONAHUE NAMED NABC, USBWA DISTRICT COACH OF THE YEAR: Cornell men’s basketball coach Steve Donahue was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District II and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the Year in 2007-08. Donahue was chosen in a vote by his peers by the NABC and was one of 16 coaches who were finalists for the NABC National Coach of the Year. The USBWA also named him the top coach and was one of nine candidates for Coach of the Year. Additionally, Donahue was named the Ivy League Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com and was a finalist for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year.

GETTING UP THERE: Cornell head coach Steve Donahue entered the 2008-09 campaign with the second-longest tenure at the helm of their current team in the Ivy League. Only James Jones at Yale (10th year) has been at his current school longer than Donahue has directed the Big Red (nine years).

TALL IVY: Over the last four seasons, Cornell’s 39-17 record is second-best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn claimed the previous three Ancient Eight titles and has posted a 43-13 mark in conference over the same span.

2008-09 CAPTAINS: Cornell’s four-year senior class of Jason Battle, Adam Gore, Brian Kreefer and Conor Mullen will represent the Big Red as team captains for the 2008-09 season. It will be the second year as captain for both Battle and Gore and the first for Kreefer and Mullen.

BIG RED PICKED TO REPEAT IN PRESEASON POLL: After capturing its first Ivy League title in 20 years, the Ivy League media picked the Cornell men’s basketball team to repeat as Ivy League champions by a unanimous vote in the 2008-09 preseason poll. The Big Red is the first team in the League’s storied history not named Penn or Princeton to garner a unanimous first-place selection. Cornell returns four starters and seven of its top eight scorers from last season’s 22-6 squad that ran through an undefeated league campaign (14-0) en route to its third NCAA tournament appearance in program history. Directly behind Cornell is traditional Ivy League power Penn, who received 110 votes as a near-unanimous second-place choice for the 16 voters. Each of the eight schools had two media representatives who cover Ivy League basketball eligible to vote. Yale (80 points) was picked third, followed by a resurgent Harvard squad (77 points) led by coach Tommy Amaker. Brown, last year’s runner-up, was close behind the Crimson with 75 points for fifth place. Rounding out the poll was Columbia (45), Dartmouth (33) and Princeton (28).

BIG RED ON THE RADIO: For the second straight year, the Cornell University men’s basketball games will be broadcast live on WPIE-1160 AM out of Elmira, N.Y., with Barry Leonard on the call. A half-hour pregame show and postgame analysis will enable Big Red fans to follow Coach Steve Donahue’s team throughout the season.

LIVE VIDEO: The Big Red’s home contests will all be broadcast live with streaming video as part of the RedCast subscription service. Visit www.CornellBigRed.com for all the latest information on Cornell broadcasts.

LIVE STATS: Cornell will use SIDEARM Live Stats for each of the Big Red’s home games in 2008-09. Visit www.CornellBigRed.com for all of the official statistics.

NEXT UP: The Big Red will continue its four-game home slate with a matchup against 2007-08 Division III NCAA semifinalist Ursinus on Saturday, Jan. 3, at 3 p.m. at Newman Arena. Donahue will be coaching against his alma mater and will look to build on his 8-0 record against non-Division I teams.

Quinnipiac Visits Newman Arena

From the hunter to the hunted. Now begins the critical nonconference stretch for Cornell against mostly anonymous but dangerous opponents. The Big Red are no longer looking for upsets against BCS teams and preseason conference favorites. Instead, Cornell is now expected to win and win big in each of its remaining eighteen games, including the four remaining nonconference games against the likes of Quinnipiac, Ursinus, Bucknell and Bryant.

Cornell wins these four remaining nonference games and the Big Red enter Ivy play with a solid 10-6 record and with a chance to improve upon last season's 22 overall wins.

The final stretch begins tomorrow with Quinnipiac, a tough team to decipher. The Bobcats are 6-5, but only boast an RPI of 259. Among the Bobcats' wins is a squeaker over Ivy League cellar dweller, Dartmouth. The Bobcats were also blown out by teams like Brown and Binghamton and have not played a single team from any of the power conferences (ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 10, A-10, Conference USA, Mountain West, or WAC). Quinnipiac was also kind enough to hand Bryant (1-12) its only Division I win of the season.

On the positive side for the Bobcats, Quinnipiac has won four of five games it has played on the road this season. The Bobcats defeated Hartford, Maine, Wagner and Dartmouth in the opposition's gym before falling last night at Brown. So, expect Quinnipiac to visit Ithaca unintimated and with revenge on its mind.

Bobcat guard, 6'4" James Feldeine was the MidMajority.com's Player of the Week earlier this month and leads the Bobcats' charge into Newman Arena. He averages 19.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Get all the information you need about the Cornell's game vs. Quinnipiac on December 31, 2008 with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Also, let us know your thoughts on the game by visiting The Cornell Basketball Blog's Community Forum and Message Board (click here, FREE membership).

Quinnipiac Athletics Game Notes for Bobcats at Cornell



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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (6-5, 2-0 NEC)
at Cornell University Big Red (6-6, 0-0 Ivy League)
Monday, Dec. 31, 2008
1 p.m. Newman Arena – Ithaca, N.Y
.

Cornell Before Conference Play

The Quinnipiac University men’s basketball team returns to action Wednesday, when it travels to Ithaca, N.Y., to challenge Cornell. The contest represents a final tune-up prior to the earnest start of Northeast Conference play. The Bobcats look to snap a two-game losing skid, having fallen to Vermont and Brown. The Big Red scored a decisive victory Monday against Boston University, 89-59, at Newman Arena. Quinnipiac owns a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series.


Scouting the Cornell Big Red

Forward Ryan Wittman leads four Cornell scorers averaging in double figures at 20.6 points per game. Seven-foot center Jeff Foote is tied with Wittman for the team assists lead at 2.9 dimes per game, while also leading the Big Red in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and blocks (2.6 bpg). Guards Geoff Reeves (11.6 ppg) and Louis Dale (10.5 ppg) round out Cornell’s double-figure scorers. The Big Red is unbeaten at home, having won all three of its games at Newman Arena.


On The Air

Wednesday’s game can be heard live on the Bobcats Radio Network. Eli Olken-Dann will have the play-by-play call with Greg Ott on color. Cornell’s live video webcast will also be available for $5.95.


Last Time Against Cornell

DeMario Anderson scored 20 points and James Feldeine added 19 but the Bobcats fell to Cornell in overtime, 86-84, Dec. 31, 2007, at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Louis Brookins also added a double-double of 11 points and 16 rebounds. Five Cornell players finished in double figures, led by Ryan Wittman’s 22. Louis Dale contributed 15 points and seven assists. Alex Tyler had 13 points, while Jeff Foote and Jason Hartford scored 10 points each.


Last Time Out Against Brown

Brown scorched the nets at 64.2 percent (34-53), including 82.4 percent (11-14) from three-point range, to defeat the Bobcats, 89-73, Monday at the Pizzitola Sports Center. James Feldeine scored a career-high 31 points and Justin Rutty pitched in with 22. Adrian Williams scored a career-high 29 points to lead three Bears with more than 20 points.


Road Warriors

Quinnipiac has won four of five games it’s played on the road this season. The Bobcats defeated Hartford, Maine, Wagner and Dartmouth in the road blue jerseys before falling at Brown.


Rutty Reaches Elite Status

Justin Rutty ranks in the top five in the NEC among scorers (16.5 ppg, 4th) and rebounders (8.1 rpg, 3rd), becoming the only player in the league currently ranked in the top five of both categories. In addition, his 4.5 offensive rebounds per game rank first in the NEC by a 1.35 offensive rebounds per game margin.


James Feldeine...En Fuego

James Feldeine has scored at least 26 points in each of the last three games, most recently establishing a new career high with 31 at Brown. He started the streak with 29 at Dartmouth before scoring 26 against Vermont.


Giveth, But You Can’t Taketh Away

James Johnson is second in the Northeast Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.69. He’s dished out 59 assists (5.4 apg, 3rd-NEC) while turning it over just 35 times.


Feldeine Fillin’ It Up

While the Bobcats lost DeMario Anderson to graduation and his personal double-digit points streak ended at an NEC-record 48 games, James Feldeine has taken over Anderson’s role as a consistent double-figure scorer. Feldeine has reached a 10th point in each of the Bobcats’ 11 games this season.


Floor General Johnson

James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. After posting modest statistics while playing a key role in Quinnipiac’s 2-0 start, Johnson has averaged 11.8 points, 5.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals, while shooting 55.0 percent (11-20) from three-point range. He’s started his first 11 collegiate games, becoming just the fourth Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.


On the Rebound

The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.55 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 30.2 rebounds per game (1st-NEC) and a +8.4 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).


Fine To Be Feldeine

James Feldeine currently ranks among the Northeast Conference’s best in several categories. He’s first in scoring at 19.9 points per game and 10th in rebounds (6.9). His 5.3 defensive rebounds per game rank seventh and 50.3 field-goal percentage is 10th. He’s also tied for fifth in three-point field-goal percentage (43.8) and is 14th in free-throw percentage (73.1). His 1.91 three-point field goals made per game ranks seventh. His 1.5 steals and 2.4 assists per game rank fifth and 18th, respectively.


Regular For Rutty

Justin Rutty has shot 67.5 percent (83-for-123) this season (1st-NEC), besting his Northeast Conference leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.


Can’t Touch C-T

The rest of the Northeast Conference is currently looking up in the standings at the league’s three schools from Connecticut. Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart sit atop the league at 2-0, while Central Connecticut is 1-0. The rest of the league has at least one conference loss.


2-0 Moore For QU

Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore has led the Bobcats to a 2-0 start in NEC play in each of his first two seasons at the helm. Prior to his arrival, the Bobcats won their first two league games just once, when the 1999-2000 reeled off five straight.


On Deck

The Bobcats begin Northeast Conference action in earnest when they travel to Hackensack, N.J., to take on Fairleigh Dickinson. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the Rothman Center.