Wednesday, November 17, 2010

UPDATED Game Recap: Banner Up, Blue Hens Down As Cornell Tops Delaware 75-61

Above, Cornell raised its Sweet Sixteen and Ivy League Championship banners prior to tip-off of the Cornell-Delaware game on Wednesday evening. Below, students form lines to enter Newman Arena.

Cornell forward Aaron Osgood attempts to get a shot around Delaware's Jamelle Hagins during the first half of the game Wednesday evening in Ithaca.

By Brian Delaney
Ithaca Journal
November 18, 2010

ITHACA -- Cornell got its point guard back, plus a little bit of its mojo. Over the course of 40 minutes Wednesday, the 3,337 in attendance saw how the new-look Big Red plans on winning games this season: a steady diet of good defense, flanked by balanced scoring and composure down the stretch.

That doesn't sound all too different, does it?

The pieces have changed, the experience and overall talent has decreased, but the result at Newman Arena was very much the same. Chris Wroblewski made his debut and the Big Red had contributors aplenty in a 75-61 victory over Delaware to make it 12 straight wins, and 25 of 26, at Newman.

"Two things: defense and executing in the offensive end," coach Bill Courtney said. "I think we did a great job of that. A lot of that credit goes to our guards."

Wroblewski and Max Groebe had 13 points apiece, Anthony Gatlin finished with 12, and both Aaron Osgood and Drew Ferry had nine each.

"I think you're going to see a lot of that this year," said Wroblewski, who scored all his points in the second half. "It's going to be a different guy every night."

The game was preceded by a banner-unveiling ceremony, commemorating last season's 29-5 Ivy League championship and NCAA Sweet 16 team.

Returning team members talked before Tuesday's practice about the ceremony's importance to them.

Delaware shot 45 percent, but missed 12 of 13 shots from the three-point arc and turned the ball over 15 times. Guard Jawan Carter, who averaged 18.2 points per game a year ago, was a non-factor with one point on 0-for-7 shooting. Forward Jamelle Hagins finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocks for the Blue Hens (0-2).

"Our guys really understood what we wanted to do defensively and they did a great job of executing the game plan," Courtney said.

Ferry struggled with his shot early, but made a trio of big baskets in the second half. He scored on a backdoor cut, hit a fadeaway over Hagins with the shot clock running out, then banged in a 3-pointer from the right wing to give Cornell an insurmountable 67-52 lead with just over 4 minutes remaining.

Gatlin was equally as important. He hit consecutive 3s in the first half to spring Cornell out of an early rut. In the second half, he banked home a triple, got fouled, and completed the four-point play to push Cornell's lead to 49-42.

The lead grew to as many as 17. Delaware never made an answering run, in large part because it couldn't string defensive stops together.

Cornell was just too poised with the ball.

"Everyone has a lot of confidence in each other," Ferry said. "Whoever's hot, or whatever the situation is, we know we have a lot of guys who can come in and make baskets for us."

Wroblewski played for the first time since spraining his left ankle in an Oct. 30 scrimmage. After Sunday's 24-point loss at Seton Hall, Courtney likened Wroblewski's absence to the Peanuts cartoon character Linus without his security blanket.

The Big Red looked much more comfortable on Wednesday. Playing at home helped.

Cornell compiled a staggering home record over the previous three seasons. It entered Wednesday having won 41 of its last 44 games at Newman, including a 24-1 record the past two seasons.

That success, coupled with a jersey giveaway promotion, translated into a large contingent of students arriving at their seats more than an hour before tip-off. Once the game started, they waited a little longer for a reason to cheer.

Delaware got out to a 7-2 lead, but Cornell began asserting itself when Gatlin hit two 3s to tie the game at 10.

An 8-0 run gave the hosts their largest lead of the half, 31-22, with 2:49 remaining. Osgood converted a three-point play, Gatlin canned an 18-footer from the corner, and Groebe connected from 3 to force Delaware coach Monte Ross into a timeout.

But just when the Big Red had an opportunity to build a sizable halftime lead, shots stopped dropping.

Osgood missed a fadeaway jumper in the post and then a pair of free throws. Groebe came up short on a 15-foot pull-up and rolled a layup off the rim in traffic. Only Ferry's floater off the glass with :00.2 left on the clock gave Cornell a 33-28 halftime lead.

Notes: Three other Ivy League teams played Wednesday night. Harvard beat Holy Cross, 72-49; and Penn lost at Manhattan, 59-54. Columbia, which played at St. John's, ended too late for this edition.

Box Score - Recap

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP)—Chris Wroblewski and Max Groebe scored 13 points apiece and Cornell defeated Delaware 75-61 on Wednesday night.

The Big Red (2-1) trailed 7-2 early but outscored the Blue Hens 13-5 to lead for the first time on Miles Asafo-Adjei’s 3 with 10:34 to play in the first half.

Delaware (0-2) quickly regained the lead, 16-15, on Kaleb Clyburn’s jumper and went up 18-17 with 7:13 to go until halftime. Cornell then took over with a 12-5 run. Groebe’s layup started the spurt and put the Big Red up for good, 19-18, with 6:56 left in the first half.

Delaware had a better shooting mark than Cornell at 45.3 percent (24 of 53) compared to 42.6 percent (26 of 61), but committed 15 turnovers.

Anthony Gatlin scored 12 points on 3-of-3 3-point shooting for Cornell, which made 42.1 percent from long range (8 of 19).

Devon Saddler led the Blue Hens with 15 points and Jamelle Hagins 14.

Red Opens Newman in 'Sweet' Victory

By Alex Kuczynski-Brown
Cornell Daily Sun
November 18, 2010

On the same night that the Sweet 16 banner honoring last year’s record-breaking 2009-10 campaign was raised to the Newman Arena rafters, the returners from that legendary team did their predecessors –– two of whom were in attendance –– justice, downing Delaware, 75-61, yesterday night in front of a packed student section

Although it was the Blue Hens that posted the first points of the night, it didn’t take long for the Red to reciprocate, with sophomore guard Miles Asafo-Adjei and sophomore forward Errick Peck doing their best Louis Dale/Jeff Foote impersonation –– connecting for an alley-oop that electrified an already-hyped Newman Nation.

“Obviously there’s a lot of nervous energy ... and our team showed a little nervous energy, but we were able to bounce back from that and move on,” said head coach Bill Courtney, who picked up his first win in front of the home crowd. “The fans were tremendous tonight. I thought they gave us a great lift [and were] really into the game.”

Although he did not start, junior guard and tri-captain Chris Wroblewski entered the contest at the 17:08 mark, ultimately finishing with 13 points to lead the Red in scoring along with senior guard Max Groebe.

“I think having Chris back on the floor, even though he’s still a little rusty, he provides a sense of calm for all the guys and kind of lets them know it’s going to be okay,” Courtney said.

“[Ski] does it real, real big,” added senior forward Anthony Gatlin, who finished with 12 points on 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. “Starting last year, he brings real experience.”

Yesterday’s home-opener represented a collective, balanced effort, with nine different players getting into the scoring column and seven seeing 20+ minutes of floor time.

“Whatever the situation is, we know we have a lot of guys who can come in and get baskets for us,” said junior guard Andrew Ferry.

Cornell was marred by turnovers in the early goings of the contest, though the team’s difficulty protecting the ball was somewhat mitigated by Delaware’s inability to hit open shots. The Blue Hens shot 0-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first half en route to finishing the game 1-for-13 from the perimeter.

They weren’t alone, as the Red also had trouble connecting from downtown in the opening minutes, with both Ferry and Groebe missing their first attempts of the night.

Delaware’s quick 7-2 advantage proved short-lived, however, as Gatlin provided Cornell with a much-needed spark off the bench, nailing back-to-back 3-pointers to knot things at 10 following a layup courtesy of senior center and tri-captain Aaron Osgood.

The two teams exchanged leads for the next six minutes, before a nice bounce pass from Wroblewski to Coury off a fastbreak led to layup from the senior forward and handed Cornell a 21-18 advantage it would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.

A heads-up offensive rebound by Groebe off a 3-pointer miss from Ferry would help push the Red’s lead to five before a goaltending call on the Blue Hens put the home team up, 25-22, with 3:52 to go in the half.

Delaware would engineer a mini 6-0 run of its own before Ferry nailed a layup at the buzzer to send both teams into the locker room with Cornell on top, 33-28.

Returning to the floor, Cornell did not waste time building an eight-point lead thanks largely to Groebe finding his 3-point stroke –– netting two treys over the course of a minute.

With 12:46 to go, Gatlin drilled his third 3 of the night and was fouled in the process, wasting no time in converting the team’s first four-point play since Ryan Wittman ’10 converted one against Yale last February.

The Red’s lead would balloon to as much as 17, as the defense prevented any major scoring runs by the Blue Hens and the offense did its part to preserve Cornell’s modest 12-game home winning streak.

“We concentrate on two things: defense, and executing on the offense. I think we did a great job on that. A lot of credit goes to our guards; Miles was tremendous –– his composure, his poise tonight,” Courtney said. “We executed in the second half as well as we have all year. We certainly haven’t had a period where we’ve executed like that and part of that is having Chris on the floor to kind of direct traffic even if he’s not making the basket.

Despite getting off to a slow start in the first half, Ferry managed to finish with nine points on 4-of-9 shooting from the floor, with many of his baskets coming at the end of the shot clock.

“It’s been a little frustrating for me ... but I know eventually [the 3-pointers] will fall,” Ferry said. “I’m looking forward to that day.”

As usual, senior guard Adam Wire came up big for Cornell when it mattered, although his contributions might not have been reflected in the box score. If the 3-pointer was Wittman’s calling card, then Wire’s must be pure hustle, as the tri-captain was all over the court, grabbing offensive rebounds and notching steals.

Freshman guard Devon Saddler led the Blue Hens with 15 points and six boards, while sophomore forward Jamelle Hagins contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots.

Neither team was particularly efficient from the free-throw line, with Cornell finishing at 65.2 percent from the charity stripe after shooting 1-for-4 in the opening frame. Delaware, meanwhile, converted on 12 of their 19 free-throw attempts.

Defensive rebounding proved a high point for the Red, as the team prevented the Blue Hens from getting a lot of second chances.

With under a minute to go, Courtney emptied his bench, allowing freshmen Dwight Tarwater, Manny Sahota and Jake Matthews to make their Newman Arena debuts.

Banner Up, Blue Hens Down As Cornell Tops Delaware 75-61

Box Score

ITHACA, N.Y. – On a night in which the 2009-10 Cornell men’s basketball team was honored with its Ivy League and NCAA Sweet 16 banner raising ceremony, the 2010-11 edition of the Big Red continued to build on the tradition with a 75-61 victory over Delaware at Newman Arena. With the win, Cornell improves to 2-1, while the Blue Hens fall to 0-2.

A pair of regulars on last season’s squad, Max Groebe and Chris Wroblewski, finished with 13 points apiece with Groebe adding a team-high six rebounds, while Wroblewski handed out four assists. Senior Anthony Gaitlin put on a shooting clinic, finishing the night perfect from the floor, going 4-for-4 overall, 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 1-for-1 from the charity stripe for a season-high 12 points. Included was a four-point play that energized the crowd as the Big Red pulled away after halftime.

Devon Saddler led the Blue Hens with 15 points and six rebounds, while Jamelle Hagins posted 14 points, seven boards and six blocked shots. Cornell’s defense limited Delaware to 1-of-13 shooting from 3-point range while making 8-of-19 themselves.

Delaware brought the energy early, with a putback dunk by Hagins was followed up by a 12-foot jumper by the big man as the energized Blue Hens jumped out to a 7-2 lead three and a half minutes in. When Kelin McNeil hit a laup with 14:05 on the clock, Delaware regained a five-point lead, but it would be all Big Red from there on out. Gatlin energized the crowd with a pair of 3-pointer within a minute of each other to knot the game at 10-10. Miles Asafo-Adjei hit a trey midway through the half to give the home team its first lead (15-12) before Groebe put the Big Red ahead for good with a layup with seven minutes to play in the first (19-18). A steal by Wroblewski and an excellent find to Mark Coury for a layup extended the lead to three, then Groebe grabbed an offensive board and put it back to extend it to 23-18. Groebe extended the lead to as many as nine (31-22) after Groebe hit a quick-trigger 3-pointer from the right corner with just under three minutes to play and settled for a 33-28 edge when Drew Ferry's acrobatic layuip went in off glass with 0.2 seconds left in the half.

The second half lead was cut to three of three separate occasions, but each time Cornell responded, the last time with an 8-0 run to turn a 45-42 lead into a 53-42 one. It all started with Wroblewski finding Gatlin for a 3-pointer off glass after being hacked by Hakim McCullar. The transfer from Centenary converted the tema's first four-point play since Cornell's all-time leading scorer Ryan Wittman converted one against Yale last February when he hit the free throw. Consecutive baskets by Aaron Osgood and Wroblewski extended the edge to double figures, a lead that would grow to as many as 17 late as the Big Red offense kept its poise and picked apart the Blue Hens' defense over the final 10 minutes, not allowing the visitors to go on a run. After more than 37 minutes of play, Delaware's Alphonso Dawson connected on a desperation 3-pointer, the team's only shot from beyond the arc all day. Cornell was able to clear its bench in the final minute as the crowd of more than 3,300 stayed in their Newman Nation jerseys to honor Cornell's victory, the first at home under first-year head coach Bill Courtney.

Cornell returns to action on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. when it meets St. Bonaventure at Newman Arena.


ITHACA, N.Y. -- Max Groebe and Chris Wroblewski each scored 13 points to lead a balanced Cornell attack as the Big Red defeated the University of Delaware, 75-61, Wednesday night at Newman Arena.

Cornell, which won its home opener while improving to 2-1 on the season, captured its 12th straight game in Ithaca. Anthony Gatlin did not miss a shot while contributing 12 points off the bench, while Aaron Osgood and Drew Ferry added nine apiece.

Delaware, which fell to 0-2 this season and dropped its 11th consecutive road contest, was led in the scoring for the second straight game by freshman Devon Saddler, who posted 15 points while adding six rebounds. Sophomore Jamelle Hagins (at right) scored 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting while adding a team-high seven rebounds and a career-best six blocked shots.

Josh Brinkley scored six points while Hakim McCullar and Kelvin McNeil each chipped in five for Delaware.

However the Blue Hens were undone by a tough shooting night from outside as Delaware connected on only 1 of 13 three-point attempts, a triple by Alphonso Dawson with just 2:44 to go. UD senior Jawan Carter, a Preseason All-CAA Second Team selection, missed all seven of his field goal attempts while scoring just one point on the night.

The night began with Cornell raising its 2010 Ivy League Championship and Sweet Sixteen banners prior to the game, but its was the Blue Hens who got off to a hot start by jumping out to a 7-2 lead.

Delaware still led 18-17 following a bucket inside by Brinkley, but Cornell answered with three straight baskets to take a 23-18 advantage with 5:09 left and would not trail from there.

McCullar and Saddler countered with baskets to bring Delaware within a point, but the Big Red reeled off eight consecutive points to go up 31-22 on a three-pointer by Groebe at the 2:46 mark. The Blue Hens answered as Hagins hit a jumper and Saddler scored twice to make it a three-point game, but Ferry converted a driving layup with 0.2 seconds left as Cornell took a 33-28 advantage into the break.

Groebe hit his second three-pointer of the second half to put the Big Red up 41-33 early in the period, but Dawson connected from 15 feet and Saddler converted a three-point play as Delaware closed the gap to three with 16:51 to play.

The Blue Hens were still within three when Brinkley scored to make it 45-42, but Gatlin converted a four-point play followed by jumpers by Osgood and Wroblewski as Cornell went up double figures at 53-42 with 11:37 remaining.

The lead grew to as much as 13 before Saddler scored in between two baskets by Hagins as Delaware pulled within 58-49 at the 8:34 mark. However the Blue Hens would not get closer as Cornell responded with a 10-3 run, going up 68-52 on a free throw by Adam Wire with 3:20 to go.

“I thought we got off to a good start, but we were unable to sustain it,” said Delaware fifth-year head coach Monté Ross. “We had a couple of plays here and there in the second half that hurt us. I’m proud of the guys to keep fighting, but it was a tough night shooting from three-point range for us. Our young guys played well inside, but we just didn’t shoot the ball the way we need to.”

The Blue Hens play their home opener on Friday when Delaware hosts Howard at 8 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center.


Anonymous said...

My highlight of the game was Peck's enthusiasm at the timeout with 2:46 in the first half. Even though he was on the bench at that point, he was all smiles and chest-bumps for the guys who were building a lead. That's a mature move, and I hope he keeps it up while he's finding his fit in this offense.

Anonymous said...

Not happy about Aro last night and worried about what Okam will do to him.

Anonymous said...

The shock will be if Okam plays major minutes for the Crimson at any time this year.