Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sports Network Picks Columbia Big Over Big Red

Get all the information you need about Cornell's game against Columbia in Newman Arena today with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Below, the Sports Network picks Columbia to cruise past Cornell.

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 22nd, 4:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, New York. Television: Time Warner Cable. Home Record: Columbia 7-1, Cornell 2-3. Away Record: Columbia 3-4, Cornell 1-7. Neutral Record: Columbia 0-0, Cornell 1-1. Conference Record: Columbia 1-0, Cornell 0-1. Series Record: Columbia leads, 119-96.

GAME NOTES: The Columbia Lions travel to Ithaca, New York, to face the Cornell Big Red in an Ivy League bout at Newman Arena this afternoon.

Columbia has won three straight and seven of its last eight. Last time out, the Lions opened Ivy League play with a win over this very Cornell Big Red squad. The Lions have now won two consecutive road games and will look to move to .500 on the road with a win today.

Cornell's loss to Columbia marked the first time the Big Red dropped an Ivy League opener in five season, which is not a welcome sign for first year head coach Bill Courtney. The team has alternated losses and wins over its last four games.

With regard to the all-time series, this will be the 216th meeting between Columbia and Cornell. The Lions currently hold a 119-96 lead, which includes last week's win.

Columbia relied heavily upon its starters in the team's 79-75 victory over Cornell. The bench managed just four total points, while the Lions' starting unit posted four players in double figures. Noruwa Agho led the team with 25 points on 8-of-17 shooting. He also grabbed six rebounds and handed out four assists. Brian Barbour added 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting, while Marc Cisco contributed 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds and Steve Frankoski finished with 11 points, with all three of his field goals coming from beyond the arc. The Lions shot 47.2 percent from the field on the night and hit 7- of-17 three- pointers. Cisco has picked up his production of late from the center position. He is averaging 9.8 ppg and 6.6 rpg over his last five contests. The squad is paced on the year by Agho (16.9 ppg). He is joined in double figures by Barbour, who scores 12.2 ppg. The Lions win games with an overwhelming offensive attack. They have scored more than 70 points 10 times this season and rank first in the Ivy League at 74.5 ppg.

From Cornell's perspective, the Columbia game was a tale of two halves. The Big Red managed just 23 points before intermission, but reeled off a furious rally after the break, scoring 52 second half points and narrowly missing an upset in the process. Cornell shot 62.1 percent in the second half and buried 7-of-10 three-pointers. Drew Ferry scored 20 of his team-high 23 points after the break. Chris Wroblewski also came out of the locker room motivated. He shook off an 0-of-10 performance in the first half to net 14 points and dish out a team-high seven assists. Errick Peck added 14 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots. It was likely that Wroblewski would round into form, as he leads the team in scoring (15.5 ppg) and assists (75) on the year. Ferry and Peck add 12.8 and 10.6 ppg, respectively. The Big Red scores 65.9 ppg, but allows 69.7 ppg on 44.7 percent shooting.

Columbia let Cornell sneak back into contention in the teams' last meeting. It is likely the Lions will use their superior offense to bury the Big Red early this time around.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Columbia 80, Cornell 65

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