Monday, January 3, 2011

Sports Network Predicts UB-Cornell

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Monday, January 3rd, 7:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Buffalo 5-1, Cornell 1-2. Away Record: Buffalo 2-3, Cornell 1-6. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-0, Cornell 1-1. Conference Record: Buffalo 0-0, Cornell 0-0. Series Record: Cornell leads, 27-13.

GAME NOTES: The Buffalo Bulls try to bounce back from a disappointing loss as they clash with the Cornell Big Red in non-conference action this evening at Newman Arena in Ithaca, New York.

The Bulls had won three in a row before entertaining nationally-ranked BYU last Thursday night and while Buffalo kept things interesting the team still suffered a 90-82 setback. The loss was the first in six games at home for the Bulls in 2010-11.

As for the Big Red, they recently took part in a tournament in Virginia just prior to the end of the 2010 calendar year and, after losing to New Hampshire by a mere two points (68-66), the squad was able to halt an eight-game slide with an 86-80 victory over Wofford. The win was just the third of the season for the program.

Cornell leads the all-time series between these two teams by a count of 27-13, the Big Red winning the most recent meeting by a score of 78-72 in Buffalo back in 2002.

Mitchell Watt scored a team-best 17 points, shooting an impressive 8-of-10 from the floor, but it wasn't enough as the Bulls fell to BYU at home last week. Byron Mulkey added 16 points and eight assists, followed by Javon Mccrea with 15 points off the bench. Also getting in on the action were Zach Filzen and Dave Barnett with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Filzen, a sharp-shooter out on the perimeter where he has converted 45.5 percent of his attempts, leads the team in scoring with 15.9 ppg, while Mulkey adds another 14.4 ppg and also makes it his responsibility to get the rest of his teammates involved with a team-best 57 assists. The quick hands of Mulkey also work well at the defensive end of the floor where he has logged 39 steals in just 11 games to rank as one of the best in the country in that department. Mccrea (8.6 ppg) provides solid support in the paint as he clears seven rebounds per game and is also second on the team with 21 blocked shots.

Cornell's Drew Ferry erupted for a team-best 25 points off the bench against Wofford at the Siegel Center, hitting a spectacular 7-of-8 shots behind the three-point line and 8-of-9 from the floor overall in the win last week. Chris Wroblewski recorded a double-double with 21 points and a game-high 12 assists as he too shot the ball very well out on the perimeter (4-of-4). Errick Peck was the lone starter in double figures for the group with 16 points, followed by Aaron Osgood with 12 points for a team that shot a remarkable 15-of-21 beyond the arc, tying a school record for the most triples in a single game in the process. Wroblewski leads the team in scoring after a dozen games with his 14.2 ppg, getting the job done out on the perimeter at a 40.4 percent clip. In addition to handling a huge part of the scoring, Wroblewski has also handed out 62 assists, twice as many as anyone else on the roster right now. Ferry and Peck chip in with 11.7 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.

Cornell's pursuit of perfection out on the perimeter may not work against the Bulls in tonight's meeting, but being at home should at least give the Big Red a fighting chance nonetheless.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 76, Cornell 68

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