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Game #11: Cornell vs. New Hampshire
Tip off: Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 5:00 p.m.
Site: Verizon Wireless Arena (7,500), Richmond, Va.
2010-11 Records: Cornell (2-8, 0-0 Ivy League); New Hampshire (5-5, 0-0 America East)
Series Record: New Hampshire leads 2-1
Last Meeting: Cornell won 83-67, December 7, 2003 in Durham, N.H.
Game #12: Cornell at VCU/Cornell vs. Wofford
Tip off: Thursday, Dec. 30, at 5:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.
Site: Verizon Wireless Arena (7,500), Richmond, Va.
2010-11 Records: Cornell (2-8, 0-0 Ivy League); VCU (7-4, 1-0 Colonial) or Wofford (5-6, 2-0 Southern)
Series Record: VCU leads 2-0; Cornell has never met Wofford
Last Meeting: with VCU: VCU won 57-54, December 28, 1997 in Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: WVBR 88.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
Live Stats: check availability at www.VCUAthletics.com
Live Video: check availability at www.VCUAthletics.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR
HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his first season at Cornell (2-8, .200) ... 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 has been much better than its record would indicate, losing five of the seven games during its losing streak by five points or less and with each being decided in the final minute.
Bob Cousy Award candidate Chris Wroblewski continues to lead the Big Red in scoring (13.4 ppg.), assists (5.5 apg.) and steals (1.9 spg.), but it is the improved play of sophomore forward Errick Peck that has Cornell pointed in the right direction. While the steady Drew Ferry has averaged 10.4 points per game in the backcourt, Peck has provided a slashing presence that has provided 15.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in the four contests before the VCU tournament.
New Hampshire and head coach Bill Herrion bring a three-game losing streak of its own into the game after opening the season 5-2. The Wildcats bring in a balanced offense, with four players averaging double figures, but like the Big Red, have struggled from the field. UNH is shooting 37 percent from the floor to Cornell's 38 percent.
ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE
• 2010-11 Record: 5-5 (0-0 America East)
• Conference: America East
• Head Coach: Bill Herrion (Merrimack '81), sixth season at New Hampshire
• The Wildcats entered Christmas break with a 5-5 record, dropping three straight after opening the season 5-2.
• UNH is coming off a 71-50 loss at Central Connecticut State despite 12 points from DeAndrey Buckley. The Wildcats shot just 31 percent from the floor in the loss.
• Four players are averaging double figures, with Alvin Abreau posting 14.0 points per game despite playing just two games. Both Ferg Myrick (12.5 ppg., 4.5 rpg.) and Tyrone Conley (12.5 ppg.) join Dane Diliegro (10.1 ppg.) in double figures.
• The Wildcats are averaging 14.4 offensive rebounds per game, but are shooting just 37 percent from the floor overall and 28 percent from beyond the arc.
THE SERIES: New Hampshire leads the series 2-1 and will be meeting the Big Red for the second time in a tournament. The Wildcats won the first-ever meeting between the teams, a 56-51 decision during the 1997-98 campaign as part of the Golden Bear Classic in Berkeley, Calif. The two teams then met in a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003, with each team picking up a road win. The Wildcats made it 2-0 with a 78-62 win at Newman Arena in 2002, while Cornell picked up with first win over UNH in 2003 with an 83-67 victory in Durham, N.H.
CORNELL VS. THE AMERICA EAST: Cornell is 15-19 all-time against current members of the America East. The Big Red is 1-2 against New Hampshire and has also faced Albany (1-3), Binghamton (4-2), Boston University (1-1), Hartford (0-3), Maine (0-1), Stony Brook (3-1) and Vermont (5-6). Cornell has never played UMBC. This is the fourth of five contests against America East teams in 2010-11, with Cornell still to face Stony Brook at home on Jan. 8. The Big Red knocked off Albany on the road, 65-61, on Nov. 12, and lost at Boston University 66-61 on Nov. 27 and at Binghamton 69-68 on Dec. 18.
LAST TIME VS. NEW HAMPSHIRE: Cornell went back to basics to pick up its first road win, using balanced scoring, a suffocating defense and tough rebounding to collect an 83-67 victory over New Hampshire on December 7, 2003 at Lundholm Gymnasium. The Big Red put five players in double figures, led by 23 points from junior Cody Toppert. Toppert connected on 10-fo-18 field goals, including three 3-pointers. Senior Ka'Ron Barnes posted 20 points and seven assists, junior Eric Taylor notched 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds and classmate Gabe Stephenson registered his third double-double of the year with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Rounding out the double figure scorers was Graham Dow with a career-best 12 points and five steals to go along with six rebounds Cornell hit on a season-high 52 percent from the floor, while outrebounding New Hampshire 39-29, including 15-8 on the offensive glass. The Big Red also had 10 steals for the fourth time in five games. The Cornell defense limited UNH to 42 percent from the floor for the game. Ben Sturgill and Ronnie Dennis led the Wildcats with 12 points apiece, while Craig Walls added nine. The loss was the second straight at home to New Hampshire after opening the season 2-2.
THE STORY LINES
• Cornell will attempt to get back on the winning track and advance to the championship game of the 2010 VCU Christmas Tournament when it faces New Hampshire in the opening game of the tournament.
• The Big Red will face either VCU or Wofford at either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the results.
• With a seven-game losing streak in hand, Cornell will be attempting to avoid its first eight-game skid since the 2001-02 season.
• The game features a return to Virginia for head coach Bill Courtney, who served as an assistant coach at VCU for a short time before heading onto assistant gigs at both Virginia and Virginia Tech.
• Cornell is 74-29 in the last four seasons (.718).
• The Big Red is 38-4 in Ivy League contests over the last three years (.905).
• Cornell is 42-5 over its last 47 home games (.894), including 25-3 in the last three seasons (.893) and 37-4 over the last four (.902).
• 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 36-25 over the last four seasons (.590).
• The Big Red has lost seven straight games and is looking to avoid its first eight-game losing skid in one season since dropping nine straight over two seasons spanning the 2000-01 and 2001-02 campaigns. The streak was actually extended to 11 games against Division I competition, finally ending with a 77-45 victory over crosstown Division III foe Ithaca College.
THE BIG RED AND IN-SEASON TOURNAMENTS
• Cornell last won an in-season tournament when it dropped Davidson and St. John's to capture the 2009-10 MSG Holiday Classic.
• The Big Red has also won tournament championships at the 1978-79 and 1967-68 Kodak Classic (both in Rochester, N.Y.) and the 1990-91 USAir-Cornell Classic.
• Overall, Cornell is 41-93 in tournament play during the regular season.
• Cornell was a perfect 4-0 at the Legends Classic a season ago, but due to the tournament format, was not considered to be the tournament champion. Florida (4-0) also finished the tournament unbeaten.
WROBLEWSKI NAMED TO COUSY AWARD WATCH LIST: Junior guard Chris Wroblewski has been placed on the initial watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's top point guards. He is one of 66 players on the list, and one of just two Ivy League players (Penn's Zack Rosen is the other). Through the team's first 10 games, Wroblewski is leading the team in scoring (13.4 ppg.), assists (5.5 apg.) and steals (1.9 spg.).
NEXT UP: Cornell will open up the 2011 portion of its schedule and close out the non-league games when it plays host to Buffalo on Monday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m., then faces Stony Brook on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall.