Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Game Recap: Cornell 76, Binghamton 61

Below, recaps from Cornell's 76-61 win over Binghamton on Monday night.

For the Cornell Daily Sun recap, click here.

I Box Score (PDF)
Photo Gallery (by Patrick Shanahan)
Photo Series of Shonn Miller's Putback Dunk (by Dave Burbank)

ITHACA, N.Y. – After a slow start, the Cornell men's basketball team finished strong. A 22-2 run midway through the second half turned around the game and led the Big Red to a 76-61 victory on Monday evening at Newman Arena. Cornell evened its record at 1-1 in front of 2,216 fans, while the Bearcats slipped to 0-2.

Freshman Shonn Miller, who was named Ivy League co-Rookie of the Week earlier in the day, exploded for 19 points, eight rebounds, a steal and a block in 22 minutes off the bench to lead Cornell. Drew Ferry added 16 points, including five 3-pointers, while Eitan Chemerinski notched 13 points to set a new career high. Senior Chris Wroblewski had 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds. After shooting just 28 percent in the first half, Cornell shot a blistering 64 percent after the break. The Big Red forced 19 turnovers and made 10-of-22 shots from beyond the arc.

Robert Mansell scored a game-high 26 points for Binghamton and added seven rebounds, while Ben Dickinson netted 11 points and eight boards. The Bearcats held a 42-37 edge on the glass, but shot just 33 percent from the floor after halftime and just 24 percent from beyond the arc.

Cornell's 22-2 run over a span of 7:10 midway through the second half erased a five-point deficit. The decisive run was initially sparked by back-to-back layups from Chemerinski, who finished the game with 13 points, but from there it was all Miller, who scored 14 of his team-high 19 points during that time.

Cornell took a 28-26 lead into the half despite sloppy play by both teams. Neither team led by more than the five points the Big Red briefly led by after Wroblewski's 3-pointer with 4:32 left before the break to put the home team up 24-19. The second half wasa different story, as a cold-shooting Big Red team made shots to fuel its defense. After Ferry hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to five on the team's first possession of the half, Binghamton went on a 12-2 run to flip the score and go up five at 38-33.

Chemerinski immediately answered the bell with consecutive driving layups to cut the lead to one before Miller scored nine consecutive points highlighted by a thunderous tip-in dunk after a missed layup on the fastbreak. Within a minute, Wroblewski hit a pair of free throws, Miller hit another jumper and Gray scored inside off a feed from Wroblewski and the Bearcats' five-point lead was all of a sudden a 12-point bulge for the home team. The Big Red would lead by as many as 19 and would never see the lead cut back below 12.

Cornell will return to action when it hits the road to face Buffalo on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.

Freshman forward Shonn Miller rocked Newman Arena on Monday night with a put-back dunk in the second half to help the Red pull away from Binghamton.

Cornell Daily Sun
By Scott Chiusano
November 16, 2011

After freshman forward Shonn Miller’s emphatic put-back slam shook the rim, the fans at Newman Arena erupted. The dunk capped a 22-2 second-half run that put Cornell (1-1) up by 15 over Binghamton (1-2), with less than nine minutes to go in the game. The Red never looked back after that, cruising to a 76-61 victory in its first home game of the season.

Though the scoreboard showed a 15-point advantage for Cornell at the end of regulation, the score was close for the majority of the game. After winning the tip-off, the Red started off the first minutes with two missed 3-pointers and a missed layup, until senior guard and co-captain Drew Ferry finally connected on a 3 off a pass from inside by junior forward Eitan Chemerinski.

“We were a little bit anxious at the beginning of the game, because obviously it’s exciting to get a big home crowd,” said assistant coach Mike Blaine. “I think we took great shots — a lot of them were shots that typically go in — but for whatever reason didn’t fall.”

“[Head coach Bill Courtney] told us at halftime that our good looks would eventually go in, and I guess that’s what happened in the second half,” Chemerinski added.

The Red shot a dismal 28 percent from the field in the first half, as opposed to 63 percent in the second session. Cornell kept itself in the game, though, by hitting six 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes, thanks to Ferry and senior guard and co-captain Chris Wroblewski, who combined to score five of the six.

With a minute to go in the half and the score tied, 26-26, Courtney put four fresh players on the court, including 6-9 freshman forward Deion Giddens, who did not see any time in the Red’s first game of the season. The Bearcats brought the ball down court, working it around until senior Carlyle Francis drove baseline for what looked like a wide-open layup. Giddens came over from the weak side to block the shot, allowing the Red to break out in transition. On the other end, freshman guard Galal Cancer finished a layup in traffic on the left side, putting the Red ahead by two going into the second half.

Cancer and Giddens were just two of a host of other players, including Miller, junior forward Josh Figini and junior guard Miles Asafo Adjei, who provided the Red a boost off the bench. Depth is something the Red will continue to count on this year in close games, according to Blaine.

“Our No. 1 key to the success we have this season is our depth,” Blaine said. “Our whole mindset is to keep the pace of the game very high, very up-tempo, to continue to wear down our opponents and throw fresh bodies into the game.”

The constant shift in lineups offered the Red an opportunity to push the ball up the floor in transition, and to work relentlessly in its half-court trap on defense.

“If we play at a high octane pace and play to exhaustion, and continue to come at guys in waves, we’ll eventually throw enough pressure on them on both ends of the floor,” Blaine added.

The Red came out strong in the second half with a 3 by Ferry to increase the Cornell lead to five, but the Bearcats answered with a 10-2 run to flip the score in its favor. Suddenly trailing by five, the Red started to feed the post. Chemerinski scored on two straight offensive possessions to put the Red within one. His two quick buckets began a flurry of scoring by the Cornell offense.

“I had good position in the post and took advantage of what the defense gave me,” Chemerinski said. “But sticking with our offense, those are the type of looks we’re going to get.”

After picking up an offensive foul, Chemerinski was replaced by Miller, who missed two open dunks earlier in the game. The rookie did not miss again from the field. Miller promptly hit a layup off an assist by Wroblewski, and drilled a 3 from the top of the key the next time down the court to put the Red up by four with 12:04 left. Miller’s streak continued from there, as he scored on each of the next two possessions before forcing a turnover and scoring again.

After Wroblewski hit junior guard Jonathan Gray with a flawless pass for an open layup, the Red found itself up by 12. Then Miller took over once again, blocking a layup on the defensive end, and drawing a foul on the other end before his put-back dunk capped an already miraculous performance.

“Shonn had a great night,” Blaine said. “A lot of guys on the team were making plays and forcing defensive rotations and Shonn was there to take advantage of it.”

Fourteen of the 22 points on the Red’s run were accounted for by Miller.

“He’s really learning where he can be effective and where in our offense he’ll have the opportunity to be aggressive and make a play,” Blaine said of the freshman.

“He came in and brought a lot of energy, on offense and on the rebounding end,” Chemerinski added.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m. the Red visits Buffalo (1-0) in search of its second non-conference win of the season.

Despite the win against the Bearcats, the Red was out-rebounded, 50-37, something the squad will need to be wary of against a Buffalo team featuring 6-10, 225-pound forward Mitchell Watt.

“We are spending a lot of time on our blocking out and our rebounding drills,” Blaine said. “But our rebounding numbers are not necessarily a shortcoming so much as a product of our pressure defense, where if the other team doesn’t get a shot up, we don’t have an opportunity to get a rebound.

The Red forced the Bearcats to cough the ball up 19 times on Sunday night, an area which Blaine considers a focal point for the team.

“We’re always trying to make things uncomfortable for the other team and hopefully get some turnovers to go down the other end,” he said.

Binghamton’s Chris Longoria tries to stop Cornell’s Shonn Miller during the Big Red’s victory Monday night in Newman Arena in Ithaca. Miller, a freshman, led Cornell with 19 points, all in the second half.

By Ed Boulat
Ithaca Journal

The Cornell men's basketball team notched its first win of the young season Monday, defeating Binghamton 76-61 behind a scintillating second-half performance by freshman Shonn Miller.

Playing in his second collegiate game, Miller scored 14 points during a 24-4 run by the Big Red (1-1) early in the second half, which turned a three-point deficit into a 17-point Cornell lead. Miller, who hours before tip-off was named the Ivy League co-Rookie of the Week for his performance in Cornell's 79-58 loss to St. Bonaventure in the season opener, scored all of his game-high 19 points after halftime while adding eight rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot.

"The first half, I don't know if I could have played any worst," Miller said. "I kind of talked to myself at halftime and told myself to just keep going. I was just hoping to get a win really. I did a good job in the second half. I'm proud of that."

Despite shooting only 28 percent in the first half Monday, Cornell went into the break with a 28-26 lead. After Binghamton (0-2) took a 38-33 advantage after the restart, the Big Red scored 13 unanswered points to grab an eight point lead, the start of a decisive 24-4 run that would end with around five minutes left and the game in hand.

Miller was nothing short of amazing during the run, connecting on a 3-pointer, scoring on a number of buckets inside, blocking a shot and throwing down a monster two-handed slam off a teammate's miss to stretch Cornell's lead to 55-40. The 6-foot-7 freshman was one of many Big Red players that missed time in the offseason due to injury, something Cornell head coach Bill Courtney said made Monday's performance that much more special.

"He's only been practice for about two weeks now," Courtney said. "When he starts not having to think about what he's doing it'll become habit, and once he develops those habits he can kind of play on his athleticism and his natural ability. He's a talented kid. He really turned the game around for us making plays a lot of guys can't make."

Drew Ferry connected on five 3-pointers and finished with 16 points for Cornell, which travels to Buffalo on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Center Eitan Chemerinski chipped in 13 points, while point guard Chris Wroblewski added 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Cornell shot 45.5 percent from behind the arc against the Bearcats, making 10 of 22 3-pointers. Binghamton, which will next play at Fordham on Friday, was led by Robert Mansell with 26 points.

Box Score


Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)

ITHACA, N.Y. – Reserve forward Shonn Miller keyed a 26-4 run with 14 points and host Cornell (1-1) blew past Binghamton (0-2) 76-61 Monday night from Newman Arena. The Big Red trailed 38-33 five minutes into the second half before exploding on the decisive run. Cornell led by as many as 19 points late in the game before BU tightened the final margin.

Binghamton played a sound first half and scored 12 points in the first five minutes of the second before the wheels came off. After netting eight points in the first half and draining back-to-back three-pointers early in the second, sophomore guard and leading scorer Robert Mansell (25.0 ppg.) went without a field goal attempt for more than seven minutes and the Bearcats’ offense unraveled. Binghamton managed just one field goal in an 8:52 span as the Big Red embarked on their run. Martin, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, scored his 14 points in a 4:38 span to spark the surge.

“We struggled scoring in the second half and they outhustled us,” head coach Mark Macon said. “We can’t let that happen. They got easy looks at the basket during that run and also got us in foul trouble early in the second half. We need to dig in on defense and stop the ball. We’ll be okay though.”

Cornell shot 64% in the second half (14-of-22) and made 16-of-20 free throws. The Big Red drained 10 three-pointers while BU struggled from beyond the arc for the second straight game, hitting just 5-of-21. The Bearcats also committed 19 turnovers – a direct result of a young team on the floor (six of BU’s eight players were underclassmen).

Mansell scored eight of his game-high 26 points in the final 2:17 to bump up his career-high for a second straight game. Two days after netting 24 points against Colgate, he hit 10-of-18 from the floor and added seven rebounds. Freshman forward Ben Dickinson and junior guard Carlyle Francis added 11 and 10 points respectively. Dickinson, who was named America East Rookie of the Week on Monday, also had a team-high eight rebounds.

In the first half, Dickinson scored eight points in the first nine minutes before heading to the bench with two fouls. The Bearcats fell behind 10-5 early before limiting Cornell to one field goal over a 7:16 span and using a 12-5 run to forge ahead 17-15. The Big Red reclaimed a five-point margin thanks to an 11-4 run before Mansell and freshman guard Chris Longoria keyed a late push for the Bearcats. Mansell picked up four points in the final 5:36 and Longoria added a layup and his first collegiate three-pointer in a 30-second span before a late Big Red layup gave them a 28-26 edge at the break.

Binghamton next heads downstate to face Atlantic 10 member Fordham on Friday.

Despite another big game from sophomore guard Robert Mansell, the Binghamton Bearcats couldn't leave Ithaca with a win as the Cornell Big Red avenged last year's one-point loss to Binghamton with a 76-61 victory of their own. Down only 28-26 at the break, the Bearcats came out firing in the second half and built a modest five-point lead of their own, 38-33, in the early minutes of the final frame. Cornell, led by freshmen Shonn Miller, caught fire and went on a devastating 22-2 run, putting the Bearcats in a hole they could not get out of.

Binghamton hung in for the first 30 or so minutes, but another poor night shooting combined with an inability to defend the three (Cornell made 10 in 22 attempts) led to another loss for the young Bearcats. Mansell had another big game, following up his 24 point, 5 rebound performance vs. Colgate with 26 points and 7 rebounds last night. This time, he was much more efficient from the field, hitting 10-of-18 shots, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Freshmen Ben Dickinson continued his strong play with an 11 point, 8 rebound effort of his own. Jimmy Gray struggled shooting once again, but showed his value as a quality distributor, leading the team in assists for the second time in two games. He also recorded three steals.

Binghamton hits the road again this Friday as they take on the Fordham Rams at the Rose Hill Gymnasium. Fordham opened their season with a 78-53 loss to #5 ranked Syracuse. Key returners for the Rams are star forward Chris Gaston (15.9 points, 11.3 rebounds per game in 2010-11) and sophomore guard Bryan Smith.

ITHACA - The Cornell University men's basketball team took off in the second half, and Binghamton University could not keep up.

Freshman forward Shonn Miller scored 19 second-half points to lead the Big Red to a 76-61 victory in their home opener against BU at Newman Arena on Tuesday night. Miller helped spark an 23-2 run in the second half which put BU in the rear view mirror.

"We had it though," said BU sophomore guard Rob Mansell, who scored a career-high 26 points. "We came out (in) the second half strong. I don't know what happened. I guess we got too comfortable with that slim lead. I don't know if it was us just folding or them getting hot."

Cornell led 28-26 at halftime despite shooting 28 percent from the floor in the first half. Six of Cornell's nine first-half field goals came from behind the 3-point arc. Senior guard Drew Ferry (16 points overall) went 3-for-5 from behind the 3-point line. Senior guard Chris Wroblewski scored eight of his 12 points in the first half.

Mansell got the BU offense moving in a positive direction toward the end of the first half. He tallied eight first-half points, six points in the final eight minutes of the half.

It appeared Mansell's success was going to carry over to the second half as he sparked the Bearcats to 32-31 lead with 17:54 left to play, making a pair of 3-pointers to start the second half. The Bearcats led 38-32 following a reverse layup by junior point guard Jimmy Gray with 15:11 remaining, but then the bottom fell out.

It was at that point the Big Red went on a 23-2 run, highlighted by a nine-point stretch from Miller, who earned Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Week honors on Monday. Miller's personal run was capped by a follow dunk off a missed shot that made it 55-40 Cornell.

BU never get closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

"You have to talk about Shonn Miller," Cornell head coach Bill Courtney said. "He really turned the game around when it was a close game. He made a couple plays that a lot of guys can't make. I think you've got to give a lot of credit to him for what he did in the second half."

Miller, a 6-foot-7 forward, burned the Bearcats both inside and outside, making a pair of jump shots, including a 3-pointer, as well as scoring on layups in the paint.

Once Miller got going, Cornell's offense was virtually unstoppable. Cornell shot 64 percent from the floor in the second half, and center Eitan Chemerinski scored nine of his 14 points in the second half. The 6-foot-8 junior took advantage of his size against the Bearcats' interior defense.

"They used their size and they penetrated the ball, they kicked the ball out when we ran out," BU head coach Mark Macon said. "They had the big guy in the post who posted our guys up and got a few baskets, and that put them on the run. Now, the basket opens up because you figure that you have to help (inside) and you're leaving 3-point shooters open."

BU freshman center Ben Dickinson finished with 11 points. He played 11 minutes in the first half after he committed two early fouls. Junior guard Carlyle Francis had 10 points.

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP)—Shonn Miller came off the bench to score 19 points as Cornell pulled away in the final 13 minutes for a 76-61 victory over Binghamton on Monday night.

Miller’s layup with 12:40 remaining gave the Big Red (1-1) a 39-38 lead that they never relinquished. He followed that basket with a 3-pointer, another layup and a tip-in of a Jonathan Gray miss and ended a 22-2 Cornell run with a dunk that made it 55-40 with 8:01 remaining.

Cornell led 28-26 after a sloppy first half, but the Bearcats (0-2) rallied to lead 38-33 before Cornell’s big run. Robert Mansell, who led Binghamton with 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting, made a pair of 3-pointers during that run.

Miller, a freshman, also grabbed eight rebounds for Cornell during his 22 minutes of play. Drew Perry added 16 points for the Big Red and Eitan Chemerinski had 13.

It's inevitable that at the beginning of a season it may take some time for teams to find their grooves. The Binghamton University men's basketball team just happened to find it 20 minutes too late.

Holding off a second-half BU surge, visiting Colgate University handed Binghamton a season-opening loss on Saturday night at the Events Center, 78-74. The Bearcats then went on to drop their second game in three nights when they were defeated on the road by Cornell University on Monday, 76-61.

Though Binghamton (0-2) came out of the halftime break firing on all cylinders to double its first-half production, 39 second-half points from Colgate proved to be just enough to keep BU at bay.

Binghamton freshman forward Ben Dickinson led all scorers with 27 points while sophomore guard Robert Mansell came back from a lackluster first half to finish with 24. Mike Venezia added 22 for Colgate (1-0).

"It was a tough one, we got beat by a better team," Binghamton head coach Mark Macon said. "Colgate was a better, more savvy team and they played two halves. We played a great second half of basketball, [but] we didn't play a great first half."

Though both teams traded advantages through the opening five minutes, Colgate took a first-half lead that ballooned to as much as 13.

The Bearcats whittled it down to nine just before halftime, but Colgate senior Sterling Melville hit a 3-point buzzer-beater prior to halftime to take a 39-27 lead.

Foul trouble for sophomore starters Alex Ogundadegbe and Mansell limited their play in the first half. Ogundadegbe played just six minutes while Mansell was forced to sit for all but eight. Among all team scorers, the two were the low men for the half with two and three points, respectively.

But Mansell said he didn't feel that he played as big of a part in the team's struggles as Binghamton's inability to capitalize did.

"You can't really blame it on the foul trouble," he said. "More so it's the missed layups and missed opportunities."

Colgate pushed its lead to as much as 18 in the early minutes of the second half, but in a three-minute span, the Bearcats scored eight unanswered to cut the Red Raider lead down to 47-37.

Though Colgate managed to push the lead back to 13, a furious Binghamton rally late pulled the game back within reach at 73-68 with 1:30 left.

At the heart of that rally were Mansell's 21 and Dickinson's 18 second-half points.

"That was big," junior guard Jimmy Gray said. "Both of them came through and played hard. It's better because the defense has to react to not only one person, but two. And it was hard for them to focus in on both of them."

Though Binghamton cut the deficit to as little as four, Colgate's made free throws down the stretch sealed the game with a final score of 74-78.

"We played a good second half," Macon said. "It just wasn't good enough."

Saturday's attendance at the Events Center was announced at an opening night record of 4,760 and Dickinson's 27 points set a freshman record for the program. He was named America East Rookie of the Week yesterday for his efforts.

"He understands how to play," Macon said. "The thing that I talked about before we walked out was ‘act like you've already been there,' and he has. This is what he does; he understands how to play the basketball game and he takes what's given to him … But whether he scores 20 for us or four, he's going to do other things that make us better."

Though one of Binghamton's new additions excelled on the floor Saturday night, one was unable to participate in the team's home and season opener. While his teammates participated in pregame warmups, freshman guard Storm Clonch was in street clothes, with a walking boot on his left leg.

Macon was unable to give a definite answer regarding Clonch's injury in a post-game press conference on Saturday, but speculated that it was a high ankle sprain and did not have a timetable for his return. He did, however, say that Clonch would be in the boot for "a week or so."

Binghamton began a four-game road trip last night as the team headed to Ithaca last night to take on Cornell. Cornell led by just two at the break, but ran away with the game in the second half and dealt the Bearcats their second loss of the season, 76-61.

The road trip continues at 7 p.m. Friday when Binghamton is set to take on Fordham University.


Anonymous said...

I just don't think we are going to be saying "reserve Shonn Miller" for much longer.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

We should not expect these types of numbers every game, but Shonn is certainly capable of being a steady 8-10 pts, 5-7 rebounds per game guy as a rookie. He'll be in the discussion for Rookie of the Year when its all said and done.

Shu Jian said...

I respectfully disagree. Coach Courtney will likely keep Shonn Miller on the bench for a while more given the amount of offseason conditioning and practice with the team that he missed through injury. Seeing him grow in confidence with each play last night, I would dare venture a more optimistic 12-15 pts production per game.

Anonymous said...

I agree Miller will be a special player. I would also say that Coach Courtney needs to grow his confidence steadily. I would have him come off the bench until he has more experience. No need to put pressure on him with such a deep bench.