Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sports Network Previews Big Green at Big Red



DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 19th, 7:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Dartmouth 3-6, Cornell 3-6. Away Record: Dartmouth 2-12, Cornell 2-10. Neutral Record: Dartmouth 0-0, Cornell 1-1. Conference Record: Dartmouth 1-8, Cornell 2-7. Series Record: Dartmouth leads, 102-99.

GAME NOTES: A desperate Dartmouth Big Green squad hits the road for the second time in as many nights as they contend against the Cornell Big Red in Ivy League action at Newman Arena in Ithaca, New York.

All alone in last place in the Ivy standings at a mere 1-8, Dartmouth has fallen in six straight games and 11 of the last 12 outings overall. Last night, the Big Green paid a visit to Columbia and was turned away in a 67-60 final on the road in the city.

As for the Big Red, it hosted Harvard last night and was handed a 73-60 loss, the second in as many outings for the program. Like tonight's adversary, Cornell has also had a difficult time in conference play and is currently tied with Brown for sixth place in the standings at 2-7.

With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Big Green are now ahead by a 102-99 count after posting a 64-57 win in the most recent meeting last month at home. In that matchup, Cornell was held to a mere 14 points in the first half and 33.3 percent shooting from the field for the entire outing.

Tyler Melville connected on 8-of-16 shots from the floor last night to arrive at a team-best 20 points, but even that was not enough to keep Dartmouth from heading right back to the loss column for the eighth time in nine conference tries. Ronnie Dixon came off the bench to offer up 14 points and grab six rebounds, while R.J. Griffin managed to come up with 10 points, even though he shot just 1-of-3 from the floor on the night. Melville, who has at least held a share of the scoring lead in three of the last four games for the Big Green, is slowly making an impact with his 6.5 ppg, although his 29.4 percent shooting behind the three-point line is rather suspect. Griffin puts up 8.6 ppg as the top overall scorer for the group, but he too has had incredible troubles outside the three-point line at 28.0 percent which explains why this group is scoring only 57.7 ppg right now.

Of the starting five for the Big Red, only Chris Wroblewski made it to the free-throw line as he finished with a mere eight points in the loss to Harvard at home. Reserves Drew Ferry and Max Groebe accounted for 12 and 10 points, respectively, but neither of them made it to the charity stripe on the night either. Taking all of that into consideration, it should not come as a surprise that Cornell gained just six points at the charity stripe, but what it hard to believe is that the team was outscored at the line by a staggering 29-6 margin. Wroblewski (14.5 ppg) has made plenty of trips to the free-throw line this season, knocking down 82.9 percent of his chances, but still opponents have come away with 126 more points at the charity stripe than the Big Red this season. Ferry adds 11.7 ppg to the Cornell attack, thanks in large part to his 65 three-point baskets, yet he is shooting exactly the same percentage from the floor as Wroblewski at 38.4 percent.

Both of these teams is struggling right now, but at least Cornell has the luxury of having a few double-digit scorers that can take the lead in a game and carry the rest of his teammates.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 67, Dartmouth 61

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