Monday, January 3, 2011

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Buffalo at Cornell

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GAME INFORMATION
Game #13:
Buffalo at Cornell
Tip off: Monday, Jan. 3, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2010-11 Records: Buffalo (7-4, 0-0 Mid-American); Cornell (3-9, 0-0 Ivy League)
Series Record: Cornell leads 27-13
Last Meeting: Cornell won 78-72, November 22, 2002 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Radio: WVBR 93.5 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: None
Live Stats: check availability at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: check availability 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 (3-9, .250) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.


ITHACA, N.Y. — In 2010, Cornell basketball saw all the highs and lows a program can go through, and now has come through to 2011 looking to sustain its play and challenge for a fourth straight Ivy League title. The Big Red will begin final preparations for its rigorous Ancient Eight schedule when it faces Buffalo on Monday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall. Barry Leonard will provide the call on 93.5 WVBR-FM, with live video available on the internet as part of the RedCast subscription service.

Cornell earned a victory that could turn around a season full of close losses, with the Big Red knocking off defending Southern Conference champion Wofford 86-80 on Dec. 30 in the consolation game of the Richmond Marriott Holidays on the Hardwood Tournament. The game both earned the Big Red some confidence after an eight-game losing skid, and got the offense back on track with a 64 percent shooting effort that ranks second all-time in a single game for the Big Red.

Bob Cousy Award candidate Chris Wroblewski continues to lead the Big Red in scoring (14.2 ppg.) and assists (6.2 apg.), while backcourt mate Drew Ferry is pouring in 11.7 ppg. and is coming off an all-tournament effort at the VCU tournament. Sophomore forward Errick Peck is averaging 16.3 points over his last six games and 10.3 ppg. for the season.

Buffalo has a 7-4 record entering the contest, with head coach Reggie Witherspoon's team defending (opponents shooting 39 percent) and scoring (shooting 48 percent) at a high level. The athletic Bulls have won three of their last four games, with the only loss coming to nationally ranked BYU.

ABOUT BUFFALO
• 2010-11 Record: 7-4 (0-0 MAC)
• Conference: Mid-American Conference
• Head Coach: Reggie Witherspoon (Empire State College '95), 12th season at Buffalo.
• Buffalo enters the game with a 7-4 overall record after a 90-82 loss to BYU on Dec. 30.
• Buffalo is just 2-3 on the road, including losses to Youngstown State, Indiana State and St. Bonaventure.
• Zach Filzen led the team into the break with his 15.9 points per game scoring average, while Byron Mulkey is also in double figures at 14.4 ppg. Three other players are scoring at least 8.5 points per contest.
• Opponents are shooting a paltry 39 percent from the floor, while Buffalo is connecting on 48 percent from the field on offense.
• The squad is outrebounding opponents by 3.6 rebounds per game and is averaging 5.9 blocks and 9.2 steals per contest while forcing nearly 17 turnovers per contest.

CORNELL VS. THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE: Cornell is 31-30 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference. Cornell holds a 27-13 edge all-time against Buffalo and has also played Ball State (0-1), Bowling Green (0-3), Eastern Michigan (1-2), Kent State (0-1), Miami (OH) (1-0), Northern Illinois (0-2), Ohio (1-3) and Toledo (1-5). Cornell has never played Akron, Central Michigan and Western Michigan. This is the only scheduled meeting between the Big Red and a member of the MAC in 2010-11. Cornell's last win over a MAC team came last year, a 78-60 win over Toledo in the consolation rounds of the Legends Classic at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa.

THE SERIES: Cornell leads 27-13 in a series that dates back to the 1918-19 season. The two teams have split the last four meetings, with the big Red capturing a 78-72 win the last time the two squads met (the season-opener of the 2002-03 campaign).

LAST TIME VS. BUFFALO: Then-sophomore Eric Taylor dominated inside against the taller Bulls frontline, scoring a career-best 30 points as Cornell topped Buffalo 78-72 at Alumni Arena on Nov. 22, 2002. Taylor, along with a precision offensive display in the first half, enabled the Big Red to the season opening win. Taylor added nine rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals while connecting on 14-of-16 field goals. Sophomore Cody Toppert added 18 points and junior KaRon Barnes, playing in front of nearly 20 members of his family, added nine points. Freshman Lenny Collins had 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists off the bench. The Big Red connected on 60 percent of its shots and outrebounded the Bulls 38-32, including 21-6 in the first half. Turner Battle had 19 points, five rebounds and a team-best four assists, while Clement Smith had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls. Daniel Gilbert had 15 points and Mark Bortz came off the bench to add 10 points and 10 rebounds.

THE STORY LINES
• The Big Red will open the 2011 portion of its schedule when it meets Buffalo at Newman Arena.
• Cornell enters the game after its best win of the season, an 86-80 triumph over defending Southern Conference champion Wofford in the consolation game of VCU's Richmond Marriott Holiday's on the Hardwood Tournament.
• The Big Red had a record-day on offense, connecting on 64 percent from the floor overall (sixth all-time at Cornell) and 71 percent from 3-point range (second-best in a game at Cornell). The Big Red made 18 straight shots at one stretch.
• The win snapped an eight-game skid, the longest by the Big Red since the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons.
• The backcourt comprised of juniors Drew Ferry and Chris Wroblewski combined for 46 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds while shooting 13-of-17 from the floor and 11-of-12 from 3-point range in the win over the Terriers.
• Sophomore forward Errick Peck is averaging 16.3 points on .530 shooting (35-of-66) in his last six games after averaging just 4.2 points on .231 shooting (9-of-39) in his first six.

THE STREAKS
• Cornell is 75-30 in the last four seasons (.714).
• 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 22-12 in its last 32 games away from Newman Arena (.647) and 16-10 in its last 26 true road games (.615).
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 37-26 over the last four seasons (.587).

STREAKS AND STRETCHES:
• Sophomore Errick Peck has scored in double figures in six straight games, averaging 16.3 points on .530 shooting (35-of-66) after averaging just 4.2 points on .231 shooting (9-of-39) over the first six contests.
• Junior Chris Wroblewski has been credited with at least six assists in six of his last seven contests.
• In four games since returning from a knee injury, senior Aaron Osgood has scored 33 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in 72 minutes of action.
• Junior Drew Ferry has hit at least three 3-pointers in seven of the team's 12 games so far this season, including in six of the last seven.
• Cornell's opponents have hit more 3-pointers than the Big Red just once in 12 games (Seton Hall, 10-5).
• After shooting under 40 percent from the floor in five straight contests, Cornell has shot 40 percent or better in four straight games.
• The Big Red held three of its first six opponents under 40 percent shooting, but four of the last six opponents have shot 50 percent or better.
• After allowing 13.5 offensive rebounds per game over the team's first eight contests, Cornell has limited opponents to 5.8 offensive rebounds in the last four games.
• Eight of the last nine opponents have shot at least 20 free throws against Cornell.

THE EXPLOSION VS. WOFFORD:
• Against a Wofford team returning seven of its eight top scorers from a 2010 Southern Conference championship squad, the Big Red put up an offensive surge to remember.
• The team's 86 points in the 86-80 win was a season-high (75 vs. Delaware).
• Cornell shot 64 percent from the floor (sixth at Cornell in a single game) and 71 percent from 3-point range (second in a game at Cornell), while making 15 3-pointers (third in a game).
• The Big Red made its final seven shots of the first half and the first 11 shots of the second half for 18 consecutive field goal makes (eight from 3-point range).
• With 10 minutes left in the second half, Cornell was 27-of-33 from the floor, good for a .818 shooting percentage. The Big Red was 14-of-17 from 3-point range (.824).
• The trio of juniors Drew Ferry (7-of-8), Chris Wroblewski (4-of-4) and Errick Peck (2-of-2) went 13-of-14 from 3-point range.
• Ferry's seven treys ranks fifth in a single-game at Cornell, while his .875 percentage is good for 12th. He made his first seven attempts from beyond the arc.
• Wroblewski's perfect day is tied for second, behind only a 5-for-5 performance by Ryan Wittman against Bryant in 2009-10.
• Wroblewski also had 12 assists and just one turnover. The 12 assists ranks second at Cornell in a single game.

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: Cornell closes out non-league play when it faces Stony Brook on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall.

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