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Game #10: Bucknell at Cornell
Tip off: Monday, Dec. 20, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2010-11 Records: Bucknell (5-6, 0-0 Patriot League); Cornell (2-7, 0-0 Ivy League)
Series Record: Cornell leads 23-22
Last Meeting: Cornell won 104-98 in OT, December 2, 2009 in Lewisburg, Pa.
Radio: WVBR 93.5 FM (Barry Leonard)
Live Stats: available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR
HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his first season at Cornell (2-7, .222) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.
Head coach Bill Courtney's team will be looking to snap a six-game losing streak and head into the Christmas break with a victory for the second straight season. Last year, the Big Red knocked off St. John's to win the MSG Holiday Festival prior to break.
Returning home will be a holiday blessing for a Cornell team that has lost five of its seven games by five points or less, including a heartbreaking 69-68 defeat at Binghamton on Saturday afternoon to close its road swing with an 0-5 record. Junior guard Drew Ferry scored a game-high 15 points, while senior center Mark Coury had his first career double-double at Cornell with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Junior Chris Wroblewski played his usual floor game with 10 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Bucknell has been picked by many to win this year's Patriot League title under fourth-year head coach Dave Paulsen. Sophomore post player Mike Muscala leads the team in scoring (14.0 ppg.), rebounding (5.8 rpg.), blocked shots (1.6 bpg.) and field goal percentage (.492) so far this season. Cornell has won the last two meetings between the teams, including a 104-98 overtime win last season in Lewisburg, Pa.
• 2010-11 Record: 5-6 (0-0 Patriot)
• Conference: Patriot League
• Head Coach: Dave Paulsen (Williams '87), fourth season at Bucknell
• Bucknell brings a 5-6 record into the contest after drilling La Salle 89-78 on Dec. 18 after a 13-day break for final exams.
• Sophomore Mike Muscala leads the team in scoring (14.0 ppg.,), rebounding (5.8 rpg.), blocked shots (1.6 bpg.) and field goal percentage (.492) so far this season.
• Senior G.W. Boon is also in double figures at 10.9 ppg. to go along with 4.1 rebounds. Both sophomore Bryson Johnson (8.2 ppg.) and senior Darryl Shazier (8.2 ppg., 5.5 apg., 3.4 rpg.) are also averaging at least eight points per game.
• Bucknell is 3-1 at home and 1-4 on the road this season.
• The teams have one common opponent so far in 2010, with both squads facing preseason America East favorite Boston University. The Bison earned a narrow 52-49 victory over the Terriers at home, while the Big Red fell to BU 66-61 in Boston, Mass.
THE SERIES: Cornell leads the series 23-22 with consecutive victories to regain the advantage. The two teams had their first meeting in the 1899-1900 season when the Bison won 29-10. The Big Red snapped a five-game losing streak to Bucknell in the series with a 75-64 triumph at home during the 2008-09 season before capturing a thrilling 104-98 overtime victory a season ago in Lewisburg, Pa.
CORNELL VS. THE PATRIOT LEAGUE: Cornell is 136-112 all-time against current members of the Patriot League, including 23-22 vs. Bucknell. The Big Red has also played Army (20-13), Bucknell (23-22), Colgate (70-53), Holy Cross (2-3), Lafayette (7-11), Lehigh (12-9) and Navy (2-1). This is the last of two scheduled meetings between the Big Red and a member of the Patriot League in 2010-11, as Cornell dropped a 60-57 decision to the Mountain Hawks on Nov. 22.
LAST TIME VS. BUCKNELL: Louis Dale took over in overtime after Jeff Foote and Ryan Wittman dominated for the first 40 minutes as Cornell survived a 104-98 overtime thriller at Bucknell on Dec. 2, 2009, at Sojka Pavilion. The Big Red broke the 100-point barrier for the first time in 17 seasons. Cornell exploded for 19 points in the five-minute extra period session, ending the back-and-forth contest after the Bison sent the game into overtime with a last-second bomb that sent the partisan Bucknell crowd into a frenzy. Foote totalled career highs of 28 points and 18 rebounds and added three blocked shots, making 9-of-14 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. Wittman scored 25 of his own, including making 8-of-13 shots from the floor and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Dale was big in overtime, hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer and finding Foote underneath on consecutive possesions, and also completing a conventional three-point play after watching a six-point lead sliced to three. He ended the night with 12 points, seven assists and just two turnovers in the victory. Errick Peck had the best game of his young career, posting 13 points, three rebounds and two blocks, and Chris Wroblewski notched 10 points to round out the five double figure scorers. Cornell shot 57 percent from the floor and 60 percent from beyond the arc (6-of-10). Cornell outrebounded the Bison 36-29 and played crisp offense, turning the ball over 11 times and making all three shots in regulation and 14-of-15 from the free-throw line in the extra period. Darryl Shazier scored 22 points and had eight assists for the Bison, whole Mike Muscala had 20 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots off the bench. Bryan Cohen chipped in 16 points, Bryson Johnson had 12 and Stephen Tyree had 11 to round out Bucknell's five double figure scorers. The Bison hit on 53 percent of its shots and 11-of-21 from 3-point range (52 percent).
THE STORY LINES
• Cornell returns home for the first time in nearly a month and will play Patriot League contender Bucknell tonight.
• After falling to Binghamton 69-68 on Saturday afternoon, the Big Red saw its losing streak extended to six games, including five of those losses by five points or less. All five games were decided in the final minute of regulation.
• Cornell is 74-28 in the last four seasons (.725).
• The Big Red is 38-4 in Ivy League contests over the last three years (.905).
• Cornell is 42-4 over its last 46 home games (.913), including 25-2 in the last three seasons (.926) and 37-3 over the last four (.925).
• The team is 21-11 in its last 32 games away from Newman Arena (.656) and 16-10 in its last 26 true road games (.615).
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 36-24 over the last four seasons (.600).
• The Big Red has lost six straight games and is looking to avoid its first seven-game losing skid in one season since dropping seven straight from Jan. 11 (72-59 loss at Brown) until Feb. 9, 2002 (63-62 win over Harvard).
• The Big Red's last seven opponents have shot just 33-of-128 from 3-point range (.258). Its foes have made just 30 percent of its shots from beyond the arc this year.
• Cornell has limited three of its last six opponents under 37 percent shooting from the floor.
• In its two wins, the Big Red has turned the ball over an average of 11.0 times per game.
• The Big Red has nearly doubled its opponents' 3-point field goals made (82-47).
• Cornell's opponents have posted a negative assist:turnover ratio in six of nine games this season.
• In its last five games, Cornell is shooting .738 from the free-throw line (59-of-80).
• Big Red opponents have made more free throws (171) than Cornell has attempted (142) and have posted at least 10 offensive rebounds in seven of nine games.
• Cornell has made at least seven 3-point field goals in seven straight contests and in eight of nine games in 2010-11.
• Offensively, Cornell has scored at least 70 points just once, this season, but its opponents have hit that mark just three times.
• When you take out the two contests against Big East teams, Cornell is shooting 39 percent from 3-point range (70-of-180) and has forced 101 turnovers to just 74 assists for its opponents.
• Senior Adam Wire has 28 of his 55 rebounds on the offensive glass. No other Cornell player has more than 14 offensive rebounds (Mark Coury).
• Wire has at least three offensive rebounds in six of the team's first nine games (3.2 per game).
• His 55 rebounds is nearly double the next-highest Cornell total (35 by Mark Coury).
• Wire is 3-for-4 from 3-point range this season and is 4-for-5 for his career.
• In his last four games, junior Chris Wroblewski is averaging 7.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 4.0 rebounds.
• Wroblewski has made his last 18 free-throw attempts over his last six games.
• Senior Max Groebe is 2-for-18 from 3-point range in his last five contests.
• Junior Drew Ferry has shot 20-of-47 (.426) from 3-point range in the last five games.
• Ferry has committed just six turnovers in the last six games (164 minutes) with eight steals and 20 3-pointers during the same span.
• Senior Mark Coury had 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds at Binghamton for his second career double-double and first at Cornell. Coury had 13 points and 10 rebounds in his first career start at Kentucky against Central Arkansas.
CORNELL BEYOND THE ARC — 600 AND COUNTING: The Big Red hit seven 3-pointers at Binghamton on Dec. 18, its 608th consecutive game with a made trey. With five 3-pointers at Seton Hall on Nov. 14, Cornell extended its streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 600. 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 657 of 661 games, connecting on 4,033 treys, an average of 6.1 per game. Cornell has set records for treys in a season in each of the previous three years, going from 228 in 2007-08 to 241 in 2008-09 and to 326 a year ago. The Big Red hit for double figures in 3-pointers 18 times in 2009-10, including an Ivy League single-game record 20 vs. Brown. Cornell hit 10 treys in the 2010-11 season opener at Albany, and has hit double digits four times this year.
BOMBS AWAY: Cornell has made 82 3-pointers in its first nine contests, this season. The 9.1 3-pointers per game would rank second all-time in a season for the Big Red (behind only last year's 9.6 per game) and ranks 11th among all Division I teams as of Dec. 5. Last season, Cornell ranked first nationally in 3-point percentage (.430) and third in 3-pointers made per game, and ranked in the top 20 nationally in 3-point percentage in 2008-09 (fourth, .411), 2007-08 (fourth, .409) and 2006-07 (18th, .396).
TALLER AT HOME: The Big Red has won 22 straight conference home games entering the season, a mark that ranks tied for fourth nationally. Xavier has won 32 consecutive home Atlantic 10 contests, while Kansas has captured 28 straight Big 12 contests. Utah State also ranks just ahead of Cornell with 24 straight wins in the Western Athletic Conference. Cornell's 22 Ivy League wins at home are tied with Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference and Oakland in the Summit League.
NEXT UP: The Big Red will head to Richmond, Va. after the Christmas holiday to compete in the 2010 VCU Christmas Tournament at Virginia Commonwealth University. Cornell will meet New Hampshire in the opening game on Dec. 29 at 5 p.m., then will face either VCU or Wofford the following day at either 5 or 7 p.m.