DATE & TIME: Friday, January 28th, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, New Hampshire. Television: none. Home Record: Cornell 2-4, Dartmouth 2-3. Away Record: Cornell 1-7, Dartmouth 2-9. Neutral Record: Cornell 1-1, Dartmouth 0-0. Conference Record: Cornell 0-2, Dartmouth 0-2. Series Record: Dartmouth leads, 101-99.
GAME NOTES: A pair of winless Ivy League teams take the court tonight as the Cornell Big Red and the Dartmouth Big Green meet at Leede Arena in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Cornell recently dropped both games of a home-and-home series with Columbia to fall to 0-2 in Ivy League play. The Big Red will now face its first true conference road weekend of the season as it visits Dartmouth and then 2-0 Harvard on Jan. 29th.
Like Cornell, Dartmouth sits at 4-12 overall and 0-2 in conference, with both Ivy League losses coming against Harvard. The Big Green has now lost five straight games and seven of its last eight.
With regard to the all-time series, tonight's matchup marks the 201st meeting between Cornell and Dartmouth. The Big Green currently holds a 101-99 lead over the Big Red.
Cornell's struggles in tight games continued against Columbia, falling by a combined eight points in its two losses. The Big Red, under new head coach Bill Courtney, has now lost eight games this season by five points or less. Its most recent loss to Columbia came on Saturday, in a 70-66 decision. The Big Red led 40-37 at the half, but were outscored by seven point over the final 20 minutes to suffer the narrow defeat. Aaron Osgood came off the bench to pace Cornell, as he poured in 16 points and pulled down six rebounds. Chris Wroblewski also netted 16 points, while contributing five rebounds and three assists. Errick Peck added 10 points. Peck has increased his production of late. He is averaging 14.4 ppg over his last 10 contests and 10.6 ppg on the year, good for third on the team. Wroblewski acts as the offensive engine, leading the team in both scoring (15.5 ppg) and assists (82). Drew Ferry serves as the marksman, knocking down a team-high 50 three-pointers and trailing only Wroblewski in scoring (12.3 ppg). The Big Red scores 65.9 ppg, but allows 69.8 ppg and has posted a minus-6.2 rebounding margin, which has led to the undesirable record thus far.
Dartmouth has also struggled under a new coach, as Paul Cormier now patrols the sidelines for the Big Green after spending the last 12 seasons as an NBA scout. This year will serve, for all intents and purposes, as a rebuilding campaign. Dartmouth's most recent loss came in the form of a 59-50 setback courtesy of Harvard. The Big Green appeared headed towards its first Ivy League win, holding a 32-26 lead at the break, but hope dissipated quickly in the second half, as Dartmouth mustered just 18 points over the final 20 minutes to suffer the loss. The Big Green shot a paltry 23.1 percent in the second half, including a 4-of-15 performance from three-point range. R.J. Griffin accounted for half of the team's eight three-pointers on the night, and poured in a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting. He was the only Dartmouth player to score in double figures. Griffin had an unusually productive night. Although he is tied for the team lead in scoring, it is at just 9.1 ppg on just 38.6 percent shooting. Jabari Trotter also averages 9.1 ppg and David Rufful scores 9 ppg. Cormier has yet to figure out how guide his team to a productive offensive clip, as the Big Green score just 58.2 ppg on the year.
Neither team is playing up to its gaudy moniker at the moment, but Cornell appears to be slightly better equipped to pick up its first Ivy League win of the season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 65, Dartmouth 59