Game Notes (PDF) I Buy Tickets I Live Video (through Columbia's SIDELion Pass) I Live Stats I Text Updates I 2010-11 Cornell Roster I 2010-11 Cornell Schedule & Results I 2010-11 Cornell Statistics
Game #15: Cornell at Columbia
Tip off: Saturday, Jan. 15, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Levien Gymnasium (2,700), New York, N.Y.
2010-11 Records: Cornell (4-10, 0-0 Ivy League); Columbia (8-5, 0-0 Ivy League)
Series Record: Columbia leads 118-96
Last Meeting: Cornell won 77-51, January 23, 2010 in New York, N.Y.
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 (4-10, .286) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.
After struggling to close out games early in the season after transitioning to the loss of its head coach and eight graduated seniors from last year's Sweet 16 squad, the Big Red has won two of its last three games, including a victory over defending Southern Conference champion Wofford. Taking away games against BCS conference opponents, seven of the team's 11 games have been decided by six points or less and the scoring margin for the Big Red is -0.4.
Bob Cousy Award candidate Chris Wroblewski continues to lead the Big Red in scoring (15.6 ppg.) and assists (6.0 apg.), while backcourt mate Drew Ferry is pouring in 12.1 ppg. and has hit 17 3-pointers over his last four games. Sophomore forward Errick Peck is averaging 15.0 points over his last eight games and 10.4 ppg. for the season.
The game will feature a matchup of two first-year coaches on the sidelines, as Cornell's Bill Courtney and Columbia's Kyle Smith will each be making their Ivy League debuts. Former Big Red head coach Steve Donahue left after last season's 29-5 season for Boston College and tapped former Lions' head coach Joe Jones as his associate head coach.
• 2010-11 Record: 9-5 (0-0 Ivy League)
• Head Coach: Kyle Smith (Hamilton '92), first season at Columbia.
• Columbia brings a 9-5 record into its Ivy League opener, including wins in six of its last seven games.
• The teams have two common opponents, with each team knocking off Stony Brook at home (Cornell 60-52, Columbia 73-72), while both teams dropped decisions to Bucknell (Cornell 75-64 at home, Columbia 73-68 on the road).
• All-Ivy guard Noruwa Agho leads the way by averaging 16.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game during the non-league schedule.
• Brian Barbour (11.6 ppg.) is also in double figures and has a strong 54:20 assist:turnover ratio.
• Columbia has dominated foes on the backboards (37.9-31.3), especially on the offensive glass (12.8 per game).
• The Lions are allowing opponents to shoot 39 percent from beyond the arc and have a more turnovers (188) than assists (172).
• First-year head coach Kyle Smith comes to Morningside Heights after a successful run as an assistant at Saint Mary's College, building a top 25 program that won 81 games in his final three seasons.
THE SERIES: Columbia lead the all-time series between the programs 118-96, though Cornell has won 14 of the last 16 meetings between the squads, including nine straight. The Big Red has won the last five contests by double figures, including by an average margin of 23.5 points a season ago. The Lions' last win over the Big Red came in a 58-57 last-second triumph on Jan. 21, 2006 in Ithaca, when Dragutin Kravic beat the buzzer to give the visitors the win.
LAST TIME VS. COLUMBIA: The Cornell defense limited Columbia to 23 percent shooting and led from wire to wire in sweeping the season series against its travel partner, topping the Lions 77-51 on Jan. 23, 2010 at a super-charged Levien Gymnasium. Louis Dale had 16 points, dished off eight assists, grabbed four rebounds and stole two passes to lead the Big Red, while Ryan Wittman had 11 points and eight boards. Geoff Reeves posted 13 efficient points in 20 minutes and Jeff Foote notched eight points and five rebounds. Jon Jaques had a game-high three steals as Cornell posted 11 takeaways. The Big Red assisted on 17 baskets and made 47 percent of its shots, including 52 percent after the break. Niko Scott had 10 points, while leading scorer Noruwa Agho posted eight points, but made just 2-of-12 from the floor. Asenso Ampim also had eight points on just 1-of-4 shooting. Zack Crimmins notched six points and six rebounds in just 13 minutes of action. Columbia had 16 offensive rebounds and stayed close on the boards (Cornell led 43-38).
THE STORY LINES
• Cornell begins its quest for a fourth straight Ivy League title when it opens the 2011 Ivy season at Columbia.
• The Big Red is looking to become the fourth squad to win four consecutive Ancient Eight crowns and the first since Penn (1992-93 to 1995-96).
• Travel partners Cornell and Columbia will be meet for the 215th time, with the Big Red trailing the all-time series 118-96. Cornell has dominated the series as of late, winning 14 of the last 16 meetings, including nine straight.
• The Big Red has won two of its last three games and will be looking to continue its momentum into conference play. Included was a 60-52 victory over Stony Brook on Jan. 8 behind a career-high 29 points by Chris Wroblewski.
• Cornell is 76-31 in the last four seasons (.710).
• The Big Red is 38-4 in Ivy League contests over the last three years (.905).
• Cornell is 43-6 over its last 49 home games (.878), including 26-4 in the last three seasons (.867) and 38-5 over the last four (.884).
• 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 38-27 over the last four seasons (.585).
STREAKS AND STRETCHES:
• Sophomore Errick Peck has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games, averaging 15.0 points on .466 shooting (41-of-88) 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 seven of his last nine contests.
• In Ivy League play, Wroblewski is a career .506 shooter (45-of-89).
• Junior Drew Ferry has hit at least three 3-pointers in nine of the team's 14 games so far this season, including in eight of the last nine.
• Cornell's opponents have hit more 3-pointers than the Big Red just once in 14 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 of the last six games.
• The Big Red held three of its first six opponents under 40 percent shooting, but five of the last eight 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 7.2 offensive rebounds in the last six games.
• 10 of the last 11 opponents have shot at least 20 free throws against Cornell.
• The Big Red has had nine consecutive games with a positive assist:turnover ratio.
• As a team, Cornell is turning the ball over just 10.4 times per game in its last five contests.
TALL IVY: Over the last four seasons, Cornell's 47-9 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn, who claimed the 2006-07 title, is second at 33-23, followed by Yale (31-25), Columbia (26-30) and Brown (25-31). Other Ivy teams include Harvard (25-32), Princeton (24-32) and Dartmouth (15-42).
NEXT UP: The Big Red and the Lions will meet in the back end of the home-and-home series next Saturday when Cornell plays host to Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 4:30 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall.