Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Harvard/Dartmouth

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Game #23:
Harvard at Cornell
Tip off: Friday, Feb. 18, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2010-11 Records: Harvard (18-4, 7-1 Ivy League); Cornell (6-16, 2-6 Ivy League)
Series Record: Cornell leads 90-69
Last Meeting: Harvard won 78-57, Jan. 29, 2011 in Cambridge, Mass.

Game #24: Dartmouth at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2010-11 Records: Dartmouth (5-17, 1-7 Ivy League); Cornell (6-16, 2-6 Ivy League)
Series Record: Dartmouth leads 102-99
Last Meeting: Dartmouth won 64-57, Jan. 28, 2011 in Hanover, N.H.

Radio: WVBR 93.5 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: None
Live Stats: check availability at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: check availability at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his first season at Cornell (6-16, .273) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

ITHACA, N.Y. — After two of the most exciting home games in Newman Arena history, the Cornell men's basketball team will attempt to bring the momentum of its near-sweep of Penn and Princeton into important Ancient Eight contests against Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday, with both games tipping off at 7 p.m. Barry Leonard will provide the call on 93.5 WVBR-FM and on the internet as part of the RedCast subscription service.

The Big Red earned an exciting 82-71 overtime win over Penn on Friday, then nearly pulled off the upset of unbeaten Ivy leader Princeton, with a Kareem Maddox 12-footer with under 10 seconds remaining giving the Tigers a 57-55 victory over the Big Red. Junior Chris Wroblewski was sensational leading Cornell, averaging 17.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals in the two contests.

Wroblewski, an Academic All-America candidate, continues to lead the Big Red in scoring (14.9 ppg.) and assists (5.3 apg.), while classmate Drew Ferry is pouring in 11.7 ppg. Sophomore Errick Peck continued his outstanding play and is now averaging 13.9 points over his last 16 games and 11.2 ppg. for the season. Cornell ranks 10th nationally in 3-point field goals per game (8.9).

Harvard puts its Ivy League title aspirations on the line on Friday, while Cornell will look to avenge an earlier loss to a Big Green squad that ran up a big lead and held on for its only Ancient Eight win so far this season. The Crimson are winners of 11 of their last 12 games and enter the weekend just a game back of first-place Princeton. Dartmouth, meanwhile, is going in the other direction with 10 losses in its last 11 games with its lone victory coming at Cornell's expense.

• 2010-11 Record: 18-4 (7-1 Ivy League)
• Head Coach: Tommy Amaker (Duke '87), fourth season at Harvard.
• Harvard has won 11 of its last 12 games, with its lone loss coming to Ivy unbeaten Princeton on the road by four points. The Crimson has won four of those games by five points or less.
• Along with a solid win over Boston College on the road earlier this season, the Crimson owns close losses to George Mason, Michigan and Connecticut, all coming on the road.
• Junior Keith Wright (15.6 ppg., 8.5 rpg.) leads four double figure scorers, with a fifth and sixth averaging better than 8.9 points per game. Christian Webster (13.8 ppg.), Laurent Rivard (11.5 ppg.) and Kyle Casey (10.4 ppg., 5.9 rpg.) are also in double figures, while Oliver McNally (9.5 ppg.) and Brandyn Curry (8.9 ppg., 5.6 apg.) are just a shade under.
• The Crimson is shooting 79 percent from the free-throw line and nearly 47 percent from the field overall. Defensively, opponents are shooting 43 percent from the field and are connecting on 37 percent from beyond the arc.
• Fourth-year head coach Tommy Amaker has built the Crimson program into one that can compete for its first-ever league title. During the 2009-10 campaign, Amaker guided the Crimson to one of the finest years in program history, as Harvard posted a 21-8 record, reaching a new high in victories in a season and earning a spot in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

THE SERIES: Cornell leads the series 90-69, dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1901-02 season. The Big Red is 11-6 in the last 17 contests and has won five of the last seven meetings. Cornell's last four wins in the series have come by an average of 24.8 points, though the Crimson took an easy 78-57 victory over the Big Red earlier this season in Cambridge, Mass.

LAST TIME VS. HARVARD: Junior Errick Peck scored 15 points for Cornell, but Harvard placed five players in double figures in collecting a 78-57 victory over the Big Red on Jan. 29, 2011, at Lavietes Pavilion. Peck, despite suffering from a flu bug, hit on 6-of-8 field goals and added four rebounds and two assists in just 17 minutes. Chris Wroblewski added seven points, five assists and four rebounds and Miles Asafo-Adjei scored seven as well. Cornell outrebounded the Crimson 36-34, with Adam Wire grabbing eight boards and Mark Coury corralling six. Cornell shot 43 percent for the game. Harvard got game-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds from Keith Wright, while Kyle Casey scored 16 points with nine rebounds. Laurent Rivard (12), Christian Webster (10) and Brandyn Curry (10) also hit for double figures. Curry added seven assists and three blocked shots, while Oliver McNally was credited with seven assists as well. As a team, Harvard had 17 assists and just four turnovers and shot 47 percent from the field overall and 50 percent from 3-point range (10-of-20).

• 2010-11 Record: 5-17 (1-7 Ivy League)
• Head Coach: Paul Cormier (New Hampshire '74), seventh season at Dartmouth overall.
• The Big Green has lost five straight contests and 10 of its last 11 entering the weekend. Cornell was the lone team to fall to the Big Green over that span, a 64-57 defeat in Hanover, N.H.
• No Dartmouth player is averaging in double figures this season, with David Rufful (8.7 ppg.), Jabari Trotter (8.5 ppg.) and R.J. Griffin (8.5 ppg.) all averaging better than 8.0 points per game.
• Rufful is the team's leading rebounder (5.2 rpg).
• Dartmouth is shooting just 38 percent from the floor and 33 percent from beyond the arc, while scoring 57.6 points per game.
• Like Cornell, Dartmouth has struggled on the backboards in 2010-11. The Big Green is being outrebounded by 6.9 boards per game.
• Head coach Paul Cormier is in his second stint as head coach at Dartmouth with 12 years as an NBA scout in between. He had spent 14 years total as a Division I head coach with stints with both the Big Green and Fairfield.

THE SERIES: Dartmouth leads 102-99 overall in a series that dates back to the 1900-01 campaign. Cornell has had the best of the series recently despite having its 10-game win streak in the series snapped earlier this year. The Big Red has still captured wins in 13 of the last 15 meetings and seven straight at Newman Arena.

LAST TIME VS. DARTMOUTH: Cornell nearly rallied all the way back from a 28-point second half deficit but ran out of time as Dartmouth claimed a 64-57 victory over the Big Red on Jan. 28, 2011, at Leede Arena. Sophomore Errick Peck had 20 points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks, and Chris Wroblewski chipped in 16 points and four assists, but Cornell couldn't overcome a sluggish first half. Cornell cut the deficit to six and missed two 3-point attempts in the final 15 seconds that could have gotten the visitors within four. Johnathan Gray had nine points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals off the bench for Cornell, which hit 11 3-pointers on the night but turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 19 times, including 13 times in the first half. Dartmouth used balanced scoring and an efficient offense to cruise to the big lead before turnovers of their own let Cornell back into the game. R.J. Griffin posted 11 points and David Rufful added 10 to go along with eight rebounds. Dartmouth shot 48 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Big Red 40-32.

• Cornell has lost 10 of its 16 games by five points or less and six by three points or less. Its last two losses have come against top three Ivy teams by a total of three points. Big Red opponents have hit go-ahead baskets in the final minute of six games (St. Bonaventure, Lehigh, Binghamton, New Hampshire,Yale and Princeton).
• Cornell has started the same lineup in four straight contests, its longest stretch of the season. The Big Red has had nine different starting lineups this year.
• The starting backcourt of freshman Jake Matthews and junior Miles Asafo-Adjei have not scored in the past four games. Instead, the Big Red has had a dominant edge off the bench, outscoring opponents 181-73 (an average of 45.3-18.3).
• Sophomore Errick Peck has scored in double figures in 14 of the last 16 games, averaging 13.9 points on .467 shooting (78-of-167) after averaging just 4.2 points on .231 shooting (9-of-39) over the first six contests.
• Peck has two or more blocked shots in six of the team's last eight contests.
• Junior Chris Wroblewski has posted 65 assists and 24 turnovers over his last 13 contests.
• Wroblewski has posted at least four assists in 17 of his 20 contests.
• Wroblewski needs six 3-pointers to reach the top 10 in school history for a career (currently 137).
• Wroblewski also needs eight assists to become the seventh player with 300 career assists.
• Junior Drew Ferry has hit at least three 3-pointers in 12 of the team's games so far this season.
• Sophomore Johnathan Gray has scored at least nine points in five of his last six games and is averaging 10.3 points and 2.5 assists in his last four contests on 15-of-26 (.577) shooting overall and 8-of-16 from 3-point range (.500).
• Senior Mark Coury is averaging 8.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in his last three games, shooting 11-of-18 (.611). During that span he is averaging 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals while playing 22.0 minutes per game.
• Sophomore Eitan Chemerinski is averaging 5.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in his last five games, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor (.600). He had 11 points at Yale after entering the game with just 10 points.
• Senior Adam Wire became the 11th Cornell player to reach 100 career steals with his two against Princeton. He currently has 101.
• Cornell's opponents have hit more 3-pointers than the Big Red just twice in 22 games (Seton Hall, 10-5; Harvard 10-5).
• After shooting under 40 percent from the floor in five straight contests, Cornell has shot 40 percent or better in 10 of the last 14 games.
• 15 of the last 19 opponents have shot at least 20 free throws against Cornell.
• The Big Red has posted positive assist:turnover ratio in 14 of its last 17 games.
• In The team's last four games, the Big Red has hit 40-of-99 (.404) from 3-point range.
• Cornell has hit double figure 3-pointers in nine contests this season.
• In its last three contests, the Big Red has shot 51-of-63 (.810) from the free-throw line (.681 overall on the season).
* Excluding the 19 turnovers in a game against Dartmouth, Cornell is averaging just 11.3 turnovers per game in conference play.
• The Big Red's last three opponents have just 16 offensive rebounds (5.3 per game).
• As a team, Cornell has 196 3-pointers. It is looking for the fourth straight season with 200 in a year. Prior to 2007-08, the Big Red had just one such season. In the last six years, Cornell has averaged 231 3-pointers a season (and counting). Included was a school-record 326 a season ago.

NEXT UP: The Big Red hits the road for the final time in the 2010-11 season when it makes the always-treacherous Princeton-Penn trip next weekend. Cornell will play its final home games of the season when it meets Brown (Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m.) and Yale (Saturday, March 5 at 7 p.m.) at Newman Arena.

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