Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rise Newman Nation!

Brown on January 30. Yale on January 31. Newman Arena. Rise Newman Nation!

(oringally published 1.26.09)

Game Preview Center and Viewing/Listening Options

Get all the information you need about Cornell's games this weekend vs. Brown and Yale with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center (click here).

Also, discuss the game with fans at The Cornell Basketball Blog's Community Forum and Message Board (click here, FREE membership).

As for viewing/listening options, Slope Media apologizes about the technical failures with last night's video broadcast. The internet connection that they had access to was not strong enough to hold the live video. At this point they are going to stick with the radio broadcasts until they are able to find a stronger connection. Tonight's FREE audio-only broadcast will be available at Slope Media 's website (just click here).

Of course, Redcast Video and Audio will once again be available via the Cornell Athletics Department. See the below links:

*Live stats from Cornell Athletics (Free)
* Redcast--Watch the game online (requires payment)

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

GAME INFORMATION
Game #20:
Yale at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Jan. 31, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2008-09 Records: Yale (7-10, 2-1 Ivy League); Cornell (13-6, 3-0 Ivy League)
Series Record: Cornell leads 104-100
Last Meeting: Cornell won 85-65, Feb. 22, 2008 in Ithaca, N.Y.
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 (109-129, .458) ... Donahue became the fourth Robert E. Gallagher ‘44 Coach of Men’s Basketball at Cornell on Sept. 6, 2000.


ITHACA, N.Y. — After a dominant 80-58 victory over Brown last night, Cornell will look to bounce back against the only other conference team with at least two league victories when Yale visits Newman Arena at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31. The Big Red (13-6, 3-0 Ivy) will face a Yale (7-10, 2-1 Ivy) team desperate to keep pace at the top of the standings after losing to Columbia last night.

Cornell was dominant over the final 35 minutes last evening, methodically picking the Bears apart with 54 percent shooting offensively, while limiting the Bears to 42 percent from the floor and dominating the backboards, 43-25. Louis Dale had a game-high 23 points in just 22 minutes to lead three double figure scorers. Senior Adam Gore also made his return after missing the first 18 games with a torn ACL. He scored three points in 10 minutes of action.

The victory increased its win streak to eight games overall, including a perfect 6-0 in 2009. Cornell has also won 16 consecutive home games and 18 straight Ancient Eight contests.

ABOUT YALE: The Bulldogs dropped their first Ivy League contest of the season last night in a 53-42 loss at Columbia after sweeping travel partner Brown. Yale enters tonight’s contest with a 7-10 overall record (2-1 Ivy) after having its five-game win streak snapped. Alex Zampier (13.7 ppg.) and Ross Morin (13.5 ppg., 6.1 rpg.) are both averaging double figures, while Travis Pinick (9.7 ppg., 6.3 rpg.) falls just short. Yale has struggled shooting the ball from beyond the arc (28 percent), but has outrebounded opponents throughout the season. Ninth-year head coach James Jones is the longest tenured head coach in the Ivy League and has posted a 110-131 mark. His team returns one starter and nine letter winners from last season’s 13-14 squad that finished fourth in the Ancient Eight at 7-7.

WELCOME HOME: Senior Adam Gore made his triumphant return to college basketball in last night’s 90-58 victory over Brown. Just four and a half months after suffering his second torn ACL in two years, Gore played 10 productive minutes, scoring three points, grabbing two rounds and dishing off an assist.

THIRTY IS NICE: Cornell’s 32-point win over Brown last night is the biggest margin of victory in its series with the Bears since the 1964-65 Big Red earned a 96-61 contest in Barton Hall.

MORE THIRTY: The Big Red has now won two of its last three Ivy league home contests by more than 30 points, including drilling Harvard 86-53 on March 1, 2008 to wrap up its first Ivy League title in 20 years. Prior to those games, Cornell had not won a league game by 30 points since defeating Columbia 77-47 on Jan. 22, 2005 in Newman Arena. That was the first time the Big Red had collected a league win of 30+ points since the 1985-86 campaign.

LEAGUE GAME TRENDS:
• Since entering halftime of the Ivy League opener against Columbia trailing by five, the Big Red has outscored its opponents in all five halves with four coming by double figures.
• Cornell has shot at least 49 percent in each of its three games.
• The Big Red has outrebounded all three opponents by an average of 8.0 rebounds per game.
• Louis Dale is shooting a remarkable 72 percent from the floor (18-of-25), 67 percent from 3-point range (6-of-9) and has hit all 14 free throws. He is averaging 18.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in just 23.7 minutes per game.
• Four players are averaging double figures in scoring with a fifth at 9.3 ppg.

WITTMAN’S TREY BIEN: Junior Ryan Wittman hit three 3-pointers in last night’s win over Brown, giving him 230 for his career. That pushes him into the top 10 in Ivy League history, surpassing Yale’s Ed Petersen (229). Next up for Wittman is fellow Cornellian Brandt Schuckman ‘96, who hit 231. Also within reach is eighth-place Damon Huffman of Brown (232) and Princeton’s Sean Jackson in seventh (235). The Big Red’s school record is 237 by Cody Toppert ‘05, who ranks sixth in Ivy history.

CLIMBING ON UP: Junior Ryan Wittman moved into ninth place on the school’s career scoring list with his 13-point effort last night against Brown. With 1,225 points, he surpassed Louis Jordan ‘59. If he can reach double figures for the 20th straight game to open the year, he will move into eight place ahead of Cody Toppert ‘05, who had 1,232 points in his four seasons. Also immediately ahead of him are Chuck Rolles ‘56 in seventh with 1,253 points and Shawn Maharaj ‘92 with 1,257 points in sixth place.

ROBO COMING ON: Freshman Chris Wroblewski has picked up his shooting since returning from Christmas break, and while playing an outstanding floor game all season, has become a major offensive threat. Wroblewski has connected on 56 percent from the floor (19-of-34) overall and 55 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (12-of-22) in his last eight games as the Big Red have gone unbeaten. His 7.3 points per game over that span also punctuates a nearly 2:1 assist-turnover ratio (22 assists, 12 turnovers), while his 22.5 minutes per game over that span ranks fifth on the team.

MOVING ON UP: Head coach Steve Donahue won his 57th Ivy League contest in last night’s triumph over Brown, moving into 17th place on the all-time Ivy League coaching wins list. He ranks second among Cornell coaches with only Sam MacNeil’s 77 wins from 1959-68 ranking ahead.

EVEN STEVEN: With a victory tonight against Yale, head coach Steve Donahue will even his career Ivy League record at 58-58. It would be the first time in his career that he has a .500 Ivy League record overall since taking over the program in 2000-01.

STREAKING: During Cornell’s eight-game win streak, the Big Red has outscored foes by 22.0 points per game (81.1-59.1) and have connected on 53 percent of its shots overall. Maybe more impressive, however, has been the defense. The Big Red is limiting teams to 36 percent shooting from the floor overall and a paltry 29 percent from beyond the arc. Cornell has also outrebounded opponents bu more than seven boards per game (38.5-31.1).

TALL IVY: Over the last two seasons, Cornell’s 26-5 record in the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn, who claimed the 2006-07 title, is second at 22-7, followed by Yale (19-12) and Brown (17-14). Other Ivy teams include Columbia (15-16), Harvard (9-22), Dartmouth (8-23) and Princeton (6-23).

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES: Cornell head coach Steve Donahue has a 16-12 record all-time against the Jones Brothers. The Big Red mentor is 10-2 against Joe Jones’ Columbia teams and is 6-10 against Yale with James Jones on the sidelines.

NEXT UP: Cornell will hit the road for its first true Ivy League road weekend when it visits Princeton (Friday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.) and Penn (Saturday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.). The Big Red will attempt to sweep the weekend against the Tigers and Quakers for the second straight year, becoming just the fifth squad to defeat both teams on the road since round-robin play began in 1957-58.


(post modified 1.31.09, originally published 1.27.09)

Sports Network Preview of Yale at Cornell

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 31st, 7:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 4-1, Cornell 8-0. Away Record: Yale 3-9, Cornell 2-5. Neutral Record: Yale 0-0, Cornell 3-1. Conference Record: Yale 2-1, Cornell 3-0. Series Record: Cornell leads, 104-100.

GAME NOTES: Ivy League foes will collide in Ithaca tonight, as the Cornell Big Red play host to the Yale Bulldogs. Yale led Columbia by nine points at intermission last night and appeared to be in position to move to 3-0 in Ivy play. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs only scored 15 points over the final 20 minutes en route to a 53-42 defeat. They are now 7-10 overall and carry a 3-9 record in true road games into tonight's clash. As for Cornell, it crushed Brown by a 90-58 final last night to remain unbeaten in league action. The Big Red extended their school-record home winning streak to 16 games, and they have won 18 in a row over Ivy League opponents. Cornell has won its last eight outings overall and figures to enter tonight's tilt with a wealth of confidence. The Big Red own a 104-100 edge in the all-time series with Yale, which includes an 85-65 triumph over the Bulldogs in the most recent meeting last season.

Heading into last night's clash with Columbia, Yale's Alex Zampier (14.3 ppg) and Ross Morin (14.1 ppg) owned very similar scoring averages. Clearly, those two players were counted on heavily to be productive against the Lions, and the fact that both finished with only four points was both surprising and disappointing. Garrett Fiddler led the way in the setback with a mere eight points, and the Bulldogs connected on a lowly 35.3 percent of their field goal attempts, including 1-of-12 from three-point range. They turned the ball over 20 times and posted a total of only four assists. All of the negatives overshadowed a strong defensive effort as Columbia shot just 38.6 percent from the field.

Ryan Wittman is considered the go-to guy at the offensive end for Cornell, and he carried an average of 19.6 ppg into last night's battle with Brown. Louis Dale (14.4 ppg) and Jeff Foote (12.2 ppg) both carried strong scoring averages into Friday's game as well, and the trio certainly got the job done against the Bears. Dale stole the show with a 9-of-11 effort from the floor, as he finished with 23 points in only 22 minutes of action. Wittman tallied 13 points, while Dale ripped down nine rebounds. The Big Red earned a 43-25 rebounding advantage, including 13-5 on the offensive boards, and they connected on 53.7 percent of their field goal attempts, including 11-of-22 from three-point range.

Considering that Yale lost to Columbia on the road by double figures last night, there is no reason to believe that the Bulldogs will be able to upset Cornell.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 81, Yale 66

News and Notes: Around the Ivy League

Cornell's Adam Gore (pictured above) had a successful return to the court last night against Brown.

Cornell Big Red 2008-2009 Results
13-6 Record Through January 31, 2009


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



Sat, Jan 3 Ursinus W 99-45



Tue, Jan 6 Bucknell W 75-64



Mon, Jan 12 at Bryant W 69-46



Sat, Jan 17 at Columbia W 71-59



Sat, Jan 24 Columbia W 83-72



Fri, Jan 30 Brown W 90-58



Date Opponent Time



Sat, Jan 31 Yale 7:00 pm



Fri, Feb 6 at Princeton 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 7 at Pennsylvania 7:00 pm



Fri, Feb 13 Harvard 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 14 Dartmouth 7:00 pm



Fri, Feb 20 at Yale 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 21 at Brown 7:00 pm



Fri, Feb 27 at Dartmouth 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 28 at Harvard 7:00 pm



Fri, Mar 6 Pennsylvania 7:00 pm



Sat, Mar 7 Princeton 7:00 pm


IVY LEAGUE STANDINGS
Through January 31, 2009

Cornell 3-0 13-6
Princeton 1-0 6-8
Pennsylvania 1-0 5-10
Yale 2-1 7-10
Harvard 1-2 9-8
Columbia 1-2 6-11
Dartmouth 1-2 3-14
Brown 0-3 6-11

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

Friday, January 30
*Yale 42 Columbia 53 (Box Score - Recap)
*Brown 58 Cornell 90 (Box Score - Recap)
*Princeton 59 Dartmouth 54 (Box Score - Recap)
*Penn 66 Harvard 60 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, January 31
*Yale at Cornell, 7 pm
*Brown at Columbia, 7 pm
*Penn at Dartmouth, 7 pm
*Princeton at Harvard, 7 pm

Storming the Floor's Ivy League Report


Here’s part two of the mid-season update on the conference the NCAA refers to when they say their athletes “will be going pro in something other than sports.” Last week, I went in depth on the possibilities of the sought-after Ivy League tournament. This week, it’s time to talk about the actual teams. Well, four of them anyway.

The Favorite

Cornell set up an ambitious non-conference schedule for themselves this year in hopes of improving their NCAA tournament seeding and potentially avoiding an embarrassment like last year when they couldn’t hit a shot, got blown out by Stanford, and had their cheerleaders mocked by Bill Simmons.

Anyway, things didn’t go as planned when star guards Adam Gore and Louis Dale both went down with injuries before the season started. With freshman Chris Wroblewski running the point in their absence, the Big Red blew double-digit halftime leads against Minnesota and Syracuse, in addition to losing winnable games against St. John’s and Siena. However, those games weren’t as bad as the biggest humiliation: losing by 15 at Indiana. That game alone cost Cornell any chance at anything better than a 14 seed.

Reigning Ivy League PoY Dale is now back and has put the Big Red on a 7-game win streak, including a home-and-home sweep of Columbia the last two weekends. However, when the team’s highlight of the season so far is initiating Jimmy Patsos' descent into madness, things haven’t been going as planned. Which is why until last week I had been thinking more and more that the Ivy League title would instead go to…

The Challenger

Harvard had by the best preseason of any Ivy League team. That’s due in part to most of the Ancient Eight having just awful preseasons, but mostly it’s thanks to the Crimson’s big win over then-ranked Boston College. Sure, beating BC hasn’t been that hard lately (though don’t tell Maryland that), but at the time the Eagles were coming of a huge upset of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and went into the basketball Beanpot riding high. But instead of a follow-up victory, Harvard held Tyrese Rice to 4-10 shooting and Jeremy Lin scored 41 points to lead the Crimson. (Actually, he only scored 27, but with grade inflation, it comes out to 41.)

This was the biggest win for any Ivy League team this year and as such, I was seriously thinking that Harvard was the new favorite to win the Ivy League over Cornell. After all, Cornell’s closest call during their perfect Ivy run last year came at Harvard when they needed Alex Tyler to score 6 points in the final 25 seconds to win by 1. The Crimson only lost because they committed two five-second violations in that last half-minute. I guess they forgot that the rules of basketball don’t account for Harvard Time.

However, the Crimson just suffered a major blow to their Ivy League title hopes when they lost in overtime to 3-13 Dartmouth at home. The Green’s Alex Barnett—the best player in the Ivy League—scored 30 and Lin fouled out in the OT period as Dartmouth earned a split in the travel partner series. The Green are not a good team, so this loss may cost Harvard their shot at the NCAA Tournament. For now, Cornell is still the team to beat.


The Disappointment (So Far)

Penn’s preseason did not go so well. The Quakers were expected to be the number one contender to Cornell this season, but they failed to show any of that potential as they lost to everyone else in the Big Five plus Drexel. Penn is uncharacteristically in the bottom half of the league for field goal and 3-point field goal percentage. Sure, none of their losses are especially bad—except maybe the loss at home to Navy—but none of their wins are any good either (one was against New Jersey Tech). Still, things can change in Ivy League play, as they often do for Penn. We’ll know when Tyler Bernardini and Co. take on Harvard this weekend.

The Andy Katz Special

Andy Katz made Yale his pick to win the Ivy League based on how close the Bulldogs played Stanford at the beginning of the season, losing only by 8. Katz seemed to forget the fact that the Cardinal team Yale lost to wasn’t the same Cardinal team from last year as they had lost their coach and a combined 30 ppg, 14 rpg, 14 feet of height, and 1.2 GPA in the Lopez brothers, but no matter. The Bulldogs, with Andy Katz endorsement, then proceeded to lose 6 of their next 8 games, including one against Bryant a.k.a. the team that lost to New Jersey Tech. The one non-conference bright spot was a win over MIT, which may or may not have involved the use of Flubber.

This past weekend, however, Yale won a tight game at Brown thanks to Ross Morin’s double-double. The win gave the Elis a sweep of their travel partner and put them tied atop the early Ivy standings with Cornell. Despite the surprising result, they’re still a longshot to finish anywhere higher than fourth in the league and shooting a conference low 28.9% from 3 doesn’t help. In order to catch up to the league’s top teams, Yale would need to learn more about skill, success, and overcoming adversity. How could they learn about that, while acquiring karate-chopping skills at the same time? Hmm…

Games To Watch

This part is easy. The four top teams I just mentioned are all part of different travel partner groups. So every weekend, two of them will play a game at one of the other two. This weekend, it’s Penn at Harvard on Friday and Yale at Cornell on Saturday. Brown at Cornell should be good as well. I predict two things in that last game. First, Brown’s Chris Skrelja will continue to annoy the hell out of me with his right-hand only free throws. Second, Cornell’s Jeff Foote will miss a dunk despite being 7 feet tall and needing just to stand on tippie-toes to reach the basket. And third, Cornell’s student fans will continue to prove their complete lack of passion for sports not on ice by booing the Big Red, even if they win, should they fail to score the 80 points necessary to give everyone in attendance free chicken wings. You're not helping the Andy Bernard comparisons when you do that, guys!

Cornell RPI Watch

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

As of January 31, 2009, Cornell's RPI (according to Rivals.com) is No. 101 out of 343 Division I teams nationwide.

Ithaca Journal Recap of Brown, Preview of Yale

Cornell's Louis Dale battles Brown's Adrian Williams during Friday's game at Newman Arena.


By Brian Delaney
The Ithaca Journal
January 30-31, 2009

ITHACA — With reigning player of the year Louis Dale at his table-setting best, Cornell feasted on Brown while delivering its sternest message yet to its Ivy League brethren — dethroning the champs might be even tougher than expected.

Dale was brilliant on both ends of the floor, finishing with a game-high 23 points while shutting down Brown point guard Adrian Williams, and the Big Red romped to a 90-58 victory in front of 3,213 jubiliant fans at Newman Arena.

It was a good night all-around for Cornell (13-6, 3-0), which welcomed back senior guard and co-captain Adam Gore in his first game since an ACL injury suffered in September. The hosts received positive contributions from every player that stepped on the floor and improved its Ivy winning streak to 18 games.

It was Cornell's sixth straight win by double figures, and its 16th straight on a home floor that is quickly becoming a nightmare road trip for opponents.

"That's our motto right now," Dale said. "Play hard, no mercy."

Cornell took control midway through the first half with a 14-0 run, highlighted by seven straight points from Dale on a floater, a smooth pull-up jumper and a long 3. The 5-foot-11 junior guard, who missed the team's first eight games with a hamstring injury, was 9-for-11 from the floor, 2-for-3 from beyond the arc and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. When he drained a fadeaway jumper deep in the corner in front of the Brown bench with Williams in his face, pushing Cornell's lead to 14, the Bears' talented sophomore could only shake his head in exasperation.

"In practice all week, I've just been feeling like every I shot I take is going in," Dale said. "I guess it kind of carried over."

Said Cornell coach Steve Donahue: "He played with great pace. When he's attacking, it's so difficult to guard us."

Dale and his teammates defended pretty well, too.

Cornell turned 18 Brown turnovers into 26 points, held Bears leading scorer Matt Mullery to just one point after halftime and limited 13.3-points per game guard Williams to one meaningless second-half jumper.

Fifteen Cornell players reached the scoring column, spurred by 53.7 percent shooting and 11 of 22 marksmanship from beyond the arc.

Gore's return supplied the perfect emotional boost.

Although limited to 10 minutes, the senior guard's presence was loudly acknowledged each time he stepped on the floor. His first two shots, both 3-pointers, were only inches from finding their mark. But his third attempt was true, evoking a loud ovation from the crowd.

"It felt good," said a relieved Gore, a second-team all-Ivy selection as a junior. "It took the nerves away."

Donahue said the team had exactly 45 minutes to enjoy the win. Then it was off to the film room to look at tonight's opponent, Yale (7-10, 2-1 Ivy). The Bulldogs lost to Columbia in New York on Friday, 53-42.

"In this league, there's no luxury of enjoying Friday night victories," he said.

Notes: In other Ivy men's action on Friday, Princeton won at Dartmouth, 59-54; Penn won at Harvard, 66-60 and Columbia beat Yale at home, 53-42; Wittman (13 points) moved into the Ivy League top 10 for career 3-pointers. With three triples, he moved ahead of Yale's Ed Petersen (229, 1988-92) with 230. Princeton's Brian Earl (281, 1995-99) ranks No. 1. ... Cornell outrebounded Brown, 43-25, led by Jeff Foote's game-high nine boards.

See Also: Live Cornell-Brown updates

Friday night Ivy roundup

Here's a few AP roundups on tonight's other Ivy games for your reading pleasure. Obviously, Penn gets an important first win at Harvard, while Yale's five-game win streak ends in stumbling fashion in New York.

***

As for Cornell's men, Brown just simply didn't have the horses. As well as Cornell played tonight, Brown just doesn't have any weapons that scare you. Peter Sullivan and Matt Mullery were good in spurts, but Adrian Williams was just completely overmatched by Louis Dale tonight. It's not the first time Dale has done that to an opponent, and it won't be the last.

It just shows how much Damon Huffman and Mark McAndrew meant to that team last year. Those two could get shots whenever they wanted. Brown doesn't appear to have that anymore.

Other random thoughts:

- Adam Wire was great off Cornell's bench. It seemed every time he did something, it was positive. He started that backbreaking 14-0 run in the first half with a steal and fastbreak layup, and just generally played quality defense. Cornell also got very positive minutes out of Brian Kreefer and Chris Wroblewski.

- I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Wroblewski is in the best possible position a freshman can be in. There's no pressure on him to be the first, second or even third option, and he knows that even if he misses a shot or two, or commits a turnover, he or his teammates can always pick themselves up somewhere else. His confidence is just through the roof right now. He finished with 11 tonight on 4 of 6 shooting, 3 of 4 from deep. And they were all wide, wide, wide open looks.

- Adam Gore's return was a very special moment to watch for the players, coaches and medical staff. I did think we saw Cornell's basketball crowd show its infancy as a fan base when he entered the game early in the first half. While the students seemed to recognize the moment, I'd say about half the townies' side had no clue that his substitution carried more meaning than usual.

That's it for now, I think. Enjoy your night, enjoy your wings, and check back in tomorrow for Cornell-Yale.

Scouting Yale

(not including Friday's results)

Coach: James Jones, 10th season

Record: 7-9, 2-0 Ivy League

Radio: WPIE-AM (1160)

Live in-game updates: www.ithacajournal.com

Last time out: Yale played at Columbia on Friday night. Before that, the Bulldogs swept their season series from travel partner Brown by scores of 70-62 and 57-55.

Last year vs. Cornell: L, 66-45; L, 85-65.

Probable starters: Chris Andrews (5-9, 155, Sr., G), Alex Zampier (6-3, 185, Jr., G), Garrett Fiddler (6-7, 235, Soph., F), Travis Pinick (6-7, 210, Sr., F), Ross Morin (6-7, 225, Sr., F).

Statistically: Zampier (14.3 ppg) and Morin (14.1 ppg) lead the Bulldogs in scoring. ... Yale has won five straight games, including the pair against Brown. ... Jones has multiple options at his disposal off his bench — Porter Braswell (6-0, 185, Soph., G, 20.9 mpg); Jordan Gibson (6-5, 195 Jr., F, 15.1 mpg) and Michael Sands (6-7, 230, Soph., F, 13.4 mpg) and big men Paul Nelson (6-10, 230, Jr., C) and Greg Mangano (6-10, 240, Fr., F). ... Pinick leads the team in assists (3.4). ... Yale shoots a league-worst .289 from the three-point arc. ... Morin and Pinick struggle from the free throw line at .523 (23-for-44) and .466 (27-for-58), respectively. ... Nine of Yale's first 11 games were on the road. ... Yale was picked to finish third in this year's Ivy League media preseason poll, behind Cornell and Penn.

Outlook: Cornell's perfect 14-0 record through the league last year aside, there was no more surprising turn of events than Yale's unexpected downfall (including two blowout losses to Cornell).

The Bulldogs were loaded with talent, including 2006-07 first-team all-Ivy guard Eric Flato, but underperformed, lost seven of 10 league games at one point and finished a disappointing 7-7.

"In terms of Eric, he was a special player," Jones said. "He didn't have a great season for him last year — he had a tremendous junior year, and if we were able to build upon his success as a junior, we certainly could have changed our fate in terms of how we finished last year. I certainly think that was part of our demise."

Led by senior leaders Morin and Pinick, this Yale team appears poised to rattle a few Ivy trees. The Bulldogs have beaten Oregon State and played Alabama tough, and if they can play consistently well, they'll be a threat to Cornell atop the standings. They're also no strangers to playing on the road.

Yale is arguably best equipped physically to defend a player of Jeff Foote's caliber. Cornell's 7-foot center is third on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and first in the league in rebounding (6.9 rpg) and blocked shots (2.4).

"They got a big front line, an athletic front line, and good solid guards," Cornell coach Steve Donahue said. "They got a kid like Zampier, who is really playing well and scoring the ball. I think they're a very good team right now. They're playing their best basketball."

Cornell Athletics Recap of Win Against Brown


Box Score

ITHACA, N.Y. – Louis Dale scored 23 points in just 22 minutes to lead Cornell to a 90-58 victory over Brown on Friday evening at Newman Arena. The Big Red (13-7, 3-0 Ivy) extended its Ivy league win streak to 18 games and its winning streak at Newman Arena to a school record 16 games. Brown fell to 6-11 (0-3 Ivy) with the loss.

Dale, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, hit on 9-of-11 shots overall and added five assists and four rebounds. Joining him in double figures was Ryan Wittman with 13 points and Chris Wroblewski with 11. The Big Red shot 54 percent from the floor, including 57 percent in the second half.

Peter Sullivan had 15 points and four rebounds to lead the Bears, who shot 42 percent overall. Matt Mullery added 14 points and six rebounds.

Cornell dominated the backboards (43-25) and nailed 11-of-22 shots from 3-point range in picking up the victory. In all, 15 different players scored, including senior Adam Gore, who played his first game after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament just four and a half months ago. The two-time All-Ivy League pick had three points, two rebounds and an assist in 10 minutes.

The Big Red got a solid all-around effort from Jeff Foote (eight points, nine rebounds) and Alex Tyler (six points, five rebounds) down low, while Geoff Reeves and Adam Wire spearheaded the defense on Chris Skrelja, Brown's point-forward. Wire had four points, three rebounds and three steals in 11 disruptive minutes. Brian Kreefer was also exceptional in a reserve role with four points, five rebounds and two assists in 12 minutes.

Brown got off to a good start, keeping the Big Red within arms reach for the first 10 minutes and gaining a five-point lead early (14-9) a little more than five minutes in as part of a 12-2 run. Scott Friske led the way with six points and an assist, but would only score two points the rest of the way. The Big Red regained the lead for goof at 15-14 on a jumper by Dale, who took over in his matchup with Adrian Williams in a battle between two of the top scoring guards in the Ancient Eight. On the following possession, Dale hit a step-back 3-pointer and it was all but over. When it was all over, Cornell had gone on a 14-0 to turn a five-point deficit into a nine-point lead in the span of five minutes.

A layup by Matt Mullery over Foote cut the Cornell lead to 23-16, but this time Dale found Wittman for a trey to push the lead to 10 and the Bears wouldn't see a lead of less than 10 the rest of the way. A dunk by Adam Wire on Dale's fourth assist of the half made it 34-20 with 2:28 left and the lead grew to 18 on consecutive baskets by Dale, Foote and Jason Battle. Only a late Brown 3-pointer by Mullery would close the gap to 40-25 at the break.

Mullery's 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting was the lone bright spot heading into the locker room for the Bears, who were outrebounded 23-10 and made just 1-of-7 from 3-point range. Dale's stat line at the half was an impressive 13 points, five assists and four rebounds in 15 minutes of action. He was joined by eight points from Wittman as eight different players hit the scoreboard.

The second half quickly got away from the Bears, as the Big Red hit the visitors with a wave of players. A 10-4 run boosted the lead over 20, and it methodically built to as much as 37 points. The highlight of the second half came when Gore buried a 3-pointer from just right of the top of the key with 7:22 remaining, earning a second standing ovation. He also received one when he checked into the contest 3:31 into the game as the first Big Red player off the bench. Late buckets by Conor Mullen and Aaron Osgood also got the crowd on its feet, as did a perfectly executed alley-oop pass from Mullen to a flying Andre Wilkins to cap the scoring with under a minute left.

Cornell returns to action tomorrow against Yale at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena. The Bulldogs dropped a 53-42 decision at Columbia on Friday night after starting the Ivy League season 2-0.

Brown Athletics Recap of Cornell's 90-58 Victory

Jan. 30, 2009

Box Score

Ithaca, New York - Cornell looked like a team ready to defend its Ivy League title, getting a game high 23 points from Ivy League Player of the Year Louis Dale to lead the Big Red to a 90-58 win over Brown Friday night. The win lifts the Cornell to 13-6 overall and 3-0 in Ivy play, while Brown falls to 6-11, 0-3 in the Ivy League.

The Big Red took over the game with a strong inside-outside presence, out-rebounding the Bears by a 43-25 margin, while shooting 50 percent from behind the three-point arc (11-22). Dale's 23 points came on a mix of drives to the hoop and outside shooting. He hit 9 of 11 field goals, including 3 of 4 treys.

Brown was led by sophomore forward Peter Sullivan, who connected on 6 of 12 field goals in scoring 15 points.

Brown had the better of play in the first five minutes, building a 14-9 lead over the Big Red following a lay-up by junior center Matt Mullery. But Cornell answered with a 14-0 spurt to take the lead for good and pull ahead by a 23-14 margin on a lay-up by Jeff Foote with 9:11 left in the half.

Cornell went on to lead by as many as 18 points in the first half, 40-22, after a Jason Battle lay-up. A Mullery trey for the Bears cut Cornell's halftime advantage to 40-25.

Mullery's 13 first half points kept the Bears in the game, while Dale netted 13 first half points for the Big Red.

Cornell opened the second half with a 17-6 spurt to take control of the game, 57-31, on a lay-up by Brian Kreefer with 13:24 left in the game.

Mullery, the Ivy league leader in field goal percentage, finished the game with 14 points, hitting six of nine field goals, while pulling down a team leading six rebounds. Senior Scott Friske chipped in with eight points for the Bears.

In addition to Dale's 23 points, Ryan Wittman scored 13 points, while Chris Wroblewski added 11 points for the Big Red.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Game Preview Center

Get all the information you need about Cornell's games this weekend vs. Brown and Yale with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center (click here).

If all goes according to plan and without technical difficulties-- the Slope TV broadcast of tonight's Cornell vs. Brown game should appear below at 7 p.m.

Cornell Basketball in the News: More on Gore Return

After The Cornell Basketball Blog reached out last night to Andy Katz of ESPN and Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports, both writers mentioned the return of Adam Gore in their blogs.

Goodman of FoxSports writes:
CORNELL’S GORE WILL MAKE QUICK RETURN FROM TORN ACL

Just 4 ½ months after surgery for a torn ACL, Cornell’s Adam Gore could return this weekend for home games against Brown and Yale.

``I’ll be in uniform,” the senior guard told the Ithaca Journal. ``If I’m on the court, that will be up to coach.”

Gore averaged 10.2 points last season and is considered one of the top long-range shooters in the Ivy League. His return will certainly bolster Cornell’s chances to win its second straight Ivy League crown
ESPN's Andy Katz notes:
Cornell (12-6, 2-0 in Ivy League) is expected to get senior guard Adam Gore back from a knee injury for Friday night's game against Brown. Gore's shooting will help the Ivy leaders, especially with a showdown coming against co-leader Yale (7-9, 2-0) Saturday night at home.

Auto Bid Watch from Storming the Floor

From StormingTheFloor's feature, the Auto Bid Watch:
Ivy League: Cornell and Yale (2-0). The Big Red have quite a weekend planned, as they host Brown tonight, and Yale on Saturday. When do they have time to study?

Weekend Preview from the Ivy League Office


PRINCETON, N.J.
— After months of non-conference play, and the initial travel partner matchups to kick off the League slate, Ivy League basketball is set to embark on the journey that makes it the most unique regular season in all of college basketball. The grueling back-to-back, Friday-Saturday night schedule is an Ivy tradition, dating back to the early 1950s.

Yale and Brown hit the road for the Columbia-Cornell New York State trip, while Princeton and Penn open their 2009 Ivy campaigns at Dartmouth and Harvard.

Princeton-Harvard on Saturday night will be the featured SIRIUS Ivy League Basketball Game of the Week on SIRIUS 113.

Tonight's action includes Yale (7-9, 2-0 Ivy) at Columbia (5-11, 0-2) -- the 11th all-time meeting between the Brothers Jones'. Yale head coach James holds a 6-4 advantage over younger brother Joe of Columbia, as the Elis gun for their first 3-0 Ivy start since 1999-2000, James Jones' first year in New Haven.

Columbia, who looks to bounce back from consecutive losses to defending League champs Cornell, is still adjusting to life with junior point guard Patrick Foley and sophomore forward Asenso Ampim. The two recently returned to the lineup after missing much of the first half of the season with injuries.

In Ithaca, Ivy title-holders Cornell (12-6, 2-0) enters the weekend versus Brown and Yale riding a 17-game Ivy League win streak, 15-game home win streak and seven-game overall win streak. The Big Red swept both season series' a year ago en route to a perfect 16-0 League campaign. They are led by All-Ivy trio Ryan Wittman, Jeff Foote, and reigning Player of the Year Louis Dale.

Brown (6-10, 0-2) and first-year head coach Jesse Agel dropped their first two Ivy contests to Yale by a total of 10 points, and are in search of only their second road win of the season (1-8). The Bears hope to win at Newman Arena for the first time since 2005-06.

Penn (4-10, 0-0) and Princeton (5-8, 0-0) open their Ivy slates in New England, where they visit Harvard (9-7, 1-1) and Dartmouth (3-13, 1-1).

Penn-Dartmouth on Saturday night will be televised on Comcast Network, formerly CN8.
The Quakers look to rebound from a rocky non-conference schedule that saw them go winless in the Philadelphia Big 5 for the second straight year, while a Tiger win tonight at Dartmouth would give them its first five-game win streak since 2004.

The Crimson and Big Green split their season series, with each winning on the road. For Dartmouth, last week's win in Cambridge snapped an eight-game season losing streak and marked their first win at Lavietes Pavillion in a decade. All-Ivy swingman Alex Barnett, who leads the Big Green in virtually every statistical category, scored a game-high 30 points in 30 minutes on his way to his second Player of the Week honor of the season.

Harvard is led by Ivy Player of the Year candidate Jeremy Lin, who currently averages 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and a League-leading 5.0 assists.

All game times this weekend are scheduled for 7 pm tip-offs.

For Ivy League men's basketball standings and scores, please click here.

SlopeTV to Broadcast Live Video (FREE) Tonight

Tonight SlopeTV will be covering Cornell vs. Brown live and will be premiering their live TV coverage rather than the radio-only coverage that they have produced up to this point. As usual, it will be free to tune in. Coverage will start with pre-game at 6:50. You can tune in by clicking here.

On January 24, 2009 the Cornell Men’s Basketball team downed Columbia 83-72 in Newman Arena. This marked Cornell’s 15th straight home vicoty, and 7th straight victory overall. With the win, Cornell moved to 12-6 on the year and 2-0 in the Ivy League in their pursuit of another Ivy league title and a birth in the NCAA Tournament. Below is a video clip recap from SlopeTV.

video

News and Notes: Around the Ivy League

After The Cornell Basketball Blog published a post touching upon the subject of Penn and Harvard over-recruiting high school players and allowing their rosters to overload, today the Daily Pennsylvanian published a related story discussing Remy Cofield's (No. 32 pictured right) decision last week to leave Penn and transfer to another school due to a lack of playing time.

Cofield arrived at Penn as a highly recruited player, but a traffic jam of young guards in the Quakers' backcourt left him with little opportunity to earn significant playing time.

Game Night!!!

Get all the information you need about Cornell's games this weekend vs. Brown and Yale with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center (click here).

News and Notes: Around the Ivy League

Cornell Big Red 2008-2009 Results
12-6 Record Through January 30, 2009


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



Sat, Jan 3 Ursinus W 99-45



Tue, Jan 6 Bucknell W 75-64



Mon, Jan 12 at Bryant W 69-46



Sat, Jan 17 at Columbia W 71-59



Sat, Jan 24 Columbia W 83-72



Date Opponent Time



Fri, Jan 30 Brown 7:00 pm



Sat, Jan 31 Yale 7:00 pm



Fri, Feb 6 at Princeton 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 7 at Pennsylvania 7:00 pm



Fri, Feb 13 Harvard 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 14 Dartmouth 7:00 pm



Fri, Feb 20 at Yale 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 21 at Brown 7:00 pm



Fri, Feb 27 at Dartmouth 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 28 at Harvard 7:00 pm



Fri, Mar 6 Pennsylvania 7:00 pm



Sat, Mar 7 Princeton 7:00 pm



IVY LEAGUE STANDINGS
Through January 30, 2009

Cornell 2-0 12-6
Yale 2-0 7-9
Harvard 1-1 9-7
Dartmouth 1-1 3-13
Princeton 0-0 5-8
Pennsylvania 0-0 4-10
Brown 0-2 6-10
Columbia 0-2 5-11

Here are the upcoming games around the Ivy League...

Friday, January 30
*Yale at Columbia, 7 pm
*Brown at Cornell, 7 pm
*Princeton at Dartmouth, 7 pm
*Penn at Harvard, 7 pm

Saturday, January 31
*Yale at Cornell, 7 pm
*Brown at Columbia, 7 pm
*Penn at Dartmouth, 7 pm
*Princeton at Harvard, 7 pm

Sports Network Picks Cornell Over Brown

DATE & TIME: Friday, January 30th, 7:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Brown 5-2, Cornell 7-0. Away Record: Brown 1-8, Cornell 2-5. Neutral Record: Brown 0-0, Cornell 3-1. Conference Record: Brown 0-2, Cornell 2-0. Series Record: Cornell leads, 65-46.

GAME NOTES: The Cornell Big Red puts a hefty 17-game Ivy League win streak on the line tonight as the squad suits up against the Brown Bears at Newman Arena in Ithaca, New York. Not only has Cornell beaten Ivy League foes on a regular basis, but the team is also sporting a school-record 15-game home win streak as well thanks to an 83-71 victory over Columbia last weekend. Overall, the team is showing a seven-game win streak and has not fallen since taking a 71-67 bow at Saint Joseph's back on December 22nd in Philadelphia. On the other side of the coin, the Bears have won just one of their last nine road tests, one of those being a 57-55 setback to Yale a week ago. The defeat was the second straight and the fourth in five games for Brown, a team that has won back-to-back games just once this season. Cornell has won the last four meetings in the series, giving the Big Red a 65-46 edge since the relationship began during the 1949-50 campaign. The last win for the Bears was a 69-64 decision in Ithaca in 2006.

Matt Mullery tallied a game-high 22 points and produced team-bests of nine rebounds and six blocks for the Bears last week at Yale, but his efforts were not enough to keep the team out of the loss column yet again. Also scoring in double figures for the program was Adrian Williams who dropped in 16 points. Scott Friske accounted for six points, six rebounds and seven of the team's 11 assists. Mullery, the leading scorer in each of the last three games for Brown, is credited with 16.3 ppg this season on a sizzling 61.4 percent shooting from the floor. Mullery is also a tough player on the inside with his 5.6 rpg and 30 rejections. Peter Sullivan and Williams check in with 13.8 and 13.3 ppg, respectively, and they have combined to convert 78 three-point baskets, which means the rest of the roster has made a collective 35 threes over the course of 16 games.

Cornell converted 59.3 percent from the floor in the first half last week versus the Lions at home, but then fell to just 36.4 percent in the second half. However, the Big Red made a splash at the free-throw line after the break with 20-of-21 and finished up the game 30-of-36, thanks to four starters who combined to make 24 of those conversions. Alex Tyler posted 19 points as every starter hit for double figures, followed by Louis Dale and Geoff Reeves with 14 apiece, Jeff Foote contributed 13 points and nine boards and Ryan Wittman tallied 10 points. Playing close to 35 minutes per game, Wittman is one of the top scorers in the Ivy League with his 19.6 ppg, hitting on 82.2 percent at the charity stripe. Dale (14.4 ppg), Foote (12.2 ppg) and Reeves (10.6 ppg) provide ample support in the scoring department, with Foote doing a little bit of everything with his 6.9 rpg, 45 assists and 44 blocked shots in 18 starts. Perhaps most impressive about this team is that it is shooting a collective 41.0 percent from three-point range, which is almost comparable to the 41.8 percent by opponents from the field overall.

All of the trends favor Cornell in this meeting, so it only makes sense to go with the Big Red and its balanced scoring attack.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 78, Brown 66