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Game #16: Columbia at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Jan. 22, at 4:30 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2010-11 Records: Columbia (10-5, 1-0 Ivy League); Cornell (4-11, 0-1 Ivy League)
Series Record: Columbia leads 119-96
Last Meeting: Columbia won 79-75, January 15, 2011 in New York, N.Y.
Radio: WVBR 93.5 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: Time Warner Cable - Ithaca
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 (4-11, .267) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.
The Big Red dropped a 79-75 contest against the Lions last Saturday at Levien Gymnasium despite nearly overcoming a 14-point halftime deficit with a furious second half rally. Cornell got an electric 23 points from Drew Ferry, while Chris Wroblewski overcome an 0-of-10 first half shooting display to score 14 points after the break. He also dished out seven assists. Errick Peck added 14 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.
Wroblewski, a Bob Cousy Award candidate, continues to lead the Big Red in scoring (15.5 ppg.) and assists (6.1 apg.), while Ferry is pouring in 12.8 ppg. and has hit 24 3-pointers over his last five games. Peck is averaging 14.9 points over his last nine games and 10.6 ppg. for the season.
The Lions were led, as they have been all season, by their backcourt of Noruwa Agho and Brian Barbour. Agho posted 25 points, while Barbour added 21 as Columbia connected on 22-of-26 from the free-throw line and had a decisive 40-30 rebounding margin in snapping a nine-game losing streak against Cornell. In all, four Lion players reached double figures to overcome 18 turnovers. First-year head coach Kyle Smith's team is 7-1 in its last eight games.
• 2010-11 Record: 10-5 (1-0 Ivy League)
• Head Coach: Kyle Smith (Hamilton '92), first season at Columbia.
• Columbia brings a 10-5 record into its Ivy League opener, including wins in seven of its last eight games.
• All-Ivy guard Noruwa Agho leads the way by averaging 16.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game during the non-league schedule.
• Brian Barbour (12.2 ppg.) is also in double figures and has a strong 56:23 assist:turnover ratio.
• Columbia has dominated foes on the backboards (38.0-31.2), especially on the offensive glass (13.1 per game).
• The Lions are allowing opponents to shoot 39 percent from beyond the arc and have a more turnovers (206) than assists (182).
• 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 119-96, though Cornell has won 14 of the last 17 meetings between the squads, but had its nine-game win streak snapped last weekend in New York City. The Big Red had won the previous five contests by double figures, including by an average margin of 23.5 points a season ago. The Lions' last previous 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: A wild and frenetic second half ended the way so may of Cornell's games have during the 2010-11 season ... with a narrow loss. The Big Red nearly overcame a 14-point halftime deficit and missed a shot to tie with 13 seconds to play in a 79-75 loss at Columbia on Jan. 15 at Levien Gymnasium. Junior guard Drew Ferry scored 23 points and hit on seven 3-pointers, including six in the second half, while both Errick Peck and Chris Wroblewski scored 14 points apiece. Peck added six rebound and three blocked shots, while Wroblewski was credited with seven assists. The visitors shot 62 percent from the floor after halftime and 70 percent from 3-point range (7-of-10) after the break. Cornell outscored the Lions 52-42 after halftime, cutting the deficit to one at one point before falling. The Big Red defense forced 18 Columbia turnovers, with nine steals and six blocked shots. Senior Adam Wire chipped in with eight points, five rebounds and two steals and Aaron Osgood recorded a team-high seven rebounds, blocked two shots and stole two passes. Noruwa Agho scored a game-high 25 points, including a backbreaking 3-pointer late in the shot clock with less than two minutes to play in regulation. He added six rebounds to his totals. Brian Barbour scored 21 points and hit all seven of his free throws and Both Mark Cisco (14 points, seven rebounds) and Steve Frankoski (11 points, four rebounds) were also in double figures. The Lions hit on 47 percent of its field goals and limited the backcourt of Ferry and Wroblewski to 1-of-16 shooting in the first 20 minutes to take a lead the Big Red could never overcome.
THE STORY LINES
• The Big Red puts a 22-game home win streak in conference play on the line when it plays host to Columbia.
• The game will be televised by Time Warner Cable (central New York) and is a doubleheader with the women's team, which also meets the Lions at 2 p.m.
• The Big Red will be looking to even its Ivy record at 1-1 after suffering a narrow 79-75 defeat to Columbia in New York City last Saturday. Cornell nearly overcame a 14-point halftime deficit behind 23 points from junior Drew Ferry.
• Travel partners Cornell and Columbia will be meet for the 216th time, with the Big Red trailing the all-time series 119-96. Cornell has dominated the series as of late, winning 14 of the last 17 meetings.
• The Big Red is 15-15 all-time in Ivy League home openers after drilling the Lions last season, 74-53.
• Cornell is 76-32 in the last four seasons (.704).
• The Big Red is 38-5 in Ivy League contests over the last four years (.884).
• 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 22-13 in its last 35 games away from Newman Arena (.629) and 16-11 in its last 27 true road games (.593).
• 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 eight of the last nine games, averaging 14.9 points on .480 shooting (48-of-100) 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 eight of his last 10 contests.
• In Ivy League play, Wroblewski is a career .484 shooter (45-of-93).
• Junior Drew Ferry has hit at least three 3-pointers in 10 of the team's 15 games so far this season, including in nine of the last 10.
• Cornell's opponents have hit more 3-pointers than the Big Red just once in 15 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 five of the last seven games.
• The Big Red held three of its first six opponents under 40 percent shooting, but five of the last nine 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 8.6 offensive rebounds in the last seven games.
• 11 of the last 12 opponents have shot at least 20 free throws against Cornell.
• The Big Red has had 10 consecutive games with a positive assist:turnover ratio.
• As a team, Cornell is turning the ball over just 10.5 times per game in its last six contests.
TALL IVY: Over the last five seasons, Cornell's 47-10 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 (32-25), Columbia (27-30) and Brown (25-32). Other Ivy teams include Harvard (25-32), Princeton (24-32) and Dartmouth (15-42).
NEXT UP: The Big Red closes out the month on the road when it will visit Dartmouth on Friday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m., then heads to Harvard for a 6 p.m. tip on Saturday, Jan. 29.