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Game #8: Albany at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Dec. 17, at 2:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena at Bartels Hall (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2011-12 Records: Albany (5-4, 0-0 America East); Cornell (3-4, 0-0 Ivy)
Series Record: Albany leads 3-1
Last Meeting: Cornell won 65-61, Nov. 12, 2010 in Albany, N.Y.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
Live Stats: check availability at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: check availability at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR
HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his second season at Cornell (13-22, .371) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.
ITHACA, N.Y. — The Big Red men's basketball team returns from a two-week exam break when it plays host to Albany on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall. Cornell will look to close out its homestand with a second consecutive victory. Barry Leonard and Eric Taylor '05 will provide the call on HITS 103.3 FM and you can watch live video of the contest on RedCast.
Cornell closed out the fall semester with an impressive 81-79 overtime victory over Lehigh on Dec. 3, a game that snapped a two-game losing streak and improved the Big Red to 3-1 at home. Now head coach BIll Courtney's squad will hope the break allowed it to continue its improvement on the offensive end while ratcheting up an already solid defense.
Senior Chris Wroblewski, a captain and candidate for the Bob Cousy Award, is averaging 9.4 points, 5.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game through seven contests and runs an offense that has five players averaging 8.4 points per game or better. Fellow senior captain Drew Ferry is posting a team-high 13.0 points, while three-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week Shonn Miller is scoring 9.4 ppg. and leads the team in rebounding (6.4 rpg.). Juniors Eitan Chemerinski (8.9 ppg.) and Josh Figini (8.4 ppg.) aren't far from double figures in the post. Cornell's success has also come despite missing starting forward Errick Peck, the Big Red's third-leading scorer last season.
Cornell's defense has been solid, allowing opponents to hit just 42 percent from the floor overall and 25 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (making just 4.9 per game). The Big Red paces the Ancient Eight in steals per game (8.4 per game).
• 2011-12 Record: 5-4 (0-0 America East).
• Conference: America East.
• Head Coach: Will Brown (Dowling '95), 72-58, 11th season at Albany.
• Albany enters the contest after a 10-day break of its own, with the Great Danes topping Colgate 87-63 on Dec. 7 at home.
• The Great Danes are a perfect 3-0 at home and on neutral courts and are 0-4 in true road games.
• Gerardo Suero, who leads the team in scoring at 20.9 ppg., had a team-high 29 points against the Raiders to help UAlbany to its third win in the last four contests.
• Albany shot 66 percent from the floor in the win over Colgate.
• Logan Aronhalt (14.9 ppg., 4.7 rpg.) and Mike Black (11.2 ppg., 4.9 apg.) are also averaging double figures this year.
• Albany was picked to finish fourth in the preseason America East poll after going 16-16 overall and 9-7 in conference play.
• Head coach Will Brown is in his 11th season on the sidelines at Albany. He has led the program to a pair of America East titles and two NCAA tournament appearances.
THE SERIES: Albany leads the all-time series 3-1, though the Big Red won last year's meeting 65-61 at SEFCU Arena for head coach Billy Courtney's first collegiate victory. The last two meetings have both been decided by four points or less.
CORNELL VS. THE AMERICA EAST: Cornell is 18-20 all-time against current members of the America East. The Big Red is 1-3 against Albany and has also faced Binghamton (5-2), Boston University (2-1), Hartford (0-3), Maine (0-1), New Hampshire (1-3), Stony Brook (4-1) and Vermont (5-6). Cornell has never played UMBC.
LOOKING BACK AT THE LEHIGH GAME: After trailing for the majority of regulation, the Big Red men's basketball team fought back to force overtime and then went on to take the 81-79 victory against Lehigh at Newman Arena. Cornell snapped Lehigh's six-game win streak with a suffocating defense that forced 17 Mountain Hawk turnovers, held the visitors to 38 percent shooting overall and 13 percent from beyond the arc. Junior Miles Asafo-Adjei did a fantastic job against Lehigh junior C.J. McCollum, who still was able to score 31 points in the loss. He had three steals in 27 minutes and was a large part of the perimeter defense that limited Lehigh to 3-of-24 from beyond the arc. Asafo-Adjei made all four of his field goals en route to a career-high 13 points. Senior Drew Ferry had a team-high 20 points to lead four double figure scores, while Johnathan Gray chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds and Josh Figini had 11 points and seven boards. Senior Chris Wroblewski scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds for Cornell. The Big Red held a slight 42-41 edge on the backboards and hit 10 3-pointers. McCollum hit on 8-of-16 shots from the floor and 13-of-15 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Holden Greiner chipped in with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Gabe Knutson scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
LAST TIME VS. ALBANY: Head coach Bill Courtney picked up his first win as a collegiate coach as Cornell topped Albany 65-61 at SEFCU Arena in the 2010-11 season opener for both squads. The new-look Big Red overcame a 12-point first half deficit to capture its 16th win in its last 20 road contests. Senior Adam Wire did what he always does - influence the game with his hustle and basketball IQ. The 6-5 forward had a career-high eight assists and a game-high 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive end. Max Groebe led all Cornell scorers with 15 points, while Aaron Osgood hit 6-of-7 shots from the floor for 14 points to go along with five rebounds. Drew Ferry and Johnathan Gray each had 12 points off the bench, with Gray hitting four of the team's 10 3-pointers on the night. Tim Ambrose had 20 points off the bench to lead four double figure scorers for the Great Danes, who shot 58 percent in the first half and entered the break with a 37-35 lead. Cornell turned up the defense in the second half, limiting the Great Danes to 24 points in capturing the win. After graduating the most heralded senior class in school history, missing the team's only returning starter, Chris Wroblewski, to injury, and debuting a brand new head coach, nothing from the 2010-11 looked even remotely similar to the previous season.
• Wroblewski is 55 points shy of becoming the school's 24th 1,000-point scorer.
• After shooting just 68 percent from the free-throw line as a freshman, Wroblewski is shooting .848 percent over the last three years (179-of-211). He enters the Albany game with 16 consecutive free throws made over his last four contests.
• Wroblewski needs three assists to reach third all-time at Cornell, currently held by Josh Wexler '89 with 377. Chuck Rolles '56 is second on the list with 378, just four away.
• Wroblewski has multiple steals in each of his last four games.
• Senior guard Drew Ferry has hit multiple 3-point field goals in all seven games.
• Ferry became the 17th player in Big Red history to hit at least 100 3-pointers in a career. He enters the Albany contest with 104 treys.
• Junior guard Miles Asafo-Adjei has 15 assists and five turnovers in his last five games and has 17 assists and seven turnovers total this year.
• Junior Eitan Chemerinski's 62 points in seven games has already surpassed his 36 points over his first two campaigns.
• After opening the season by making 24-of-33 shots in his first five game (.727), Chemerinski is just 1-of-8 from the floor in the last two (.125).
• Freshman Shonn Miller has blocked eight shots in the last four contests.
• Miller is averaging 8.3 rebounds per game over the last three contests in just 24.7 minutes per game.
• Junior Miles Asafo-Adjei has made his last five field goals spanning two games. Prior to that, he was shooting just .286 in his career (22-of-77).
• Junior Johnathan Gray posted 14 points and seven rebounds, both season highs, in 24 minutes of the win over Lehigh. He had posted 14 points and nine rebounds in the team's first six games, spanning a total of 76 minutes.
• Junior Josh Figini is averaging 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in his last two games and 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in home games.
• The Big Red has limited opponents to 25 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc (34-of-135) while making just 4.9 per game.
• In its three wins, Cornell's opponents are shooting .379 from the floor and have been under 40 percent in each game. In its four losses, the Big Red's opponents have hit at a .456 clip.
• Cornell has been outrebounded in six of the team's first seven contests.
• Cornell has averaged 9.6 steals per game in its last five contests.
• The Big Red is forcing 17.5 turnovers per game in the last six contests.
• Cornell shot 43 percent from 3-point range in its first two games (18-of-42), but has connected on just 31 percent (40-of-130) in its last five.
• Cornell has already lost 34 player games due to injury (D.Cherry - 4; Gatlin - 7; LaMore - 2; Matthews - 7; Peck - 7; Sahota - 7).
MILLER A THREE-TIME IVY LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK:
Nov. 14 — Miller's first varsity appearance was enough to catch the eye of the league after a solid opening effort at St. Bonaventure. Miller connected on all three of his field goals, including a 3-pointer, and added a team-high four rebounds in Cornell's 79-58 loss to the Bonnies. He added a blocked shot and a steal.
Nov. 21 — Miller averaged 12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 0.7 steals in just 23.3 minutes per game in helping Cornell go 2-1. He shot 46 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the free-throw line. He reached double figures in two of the three contests. Miller opened the week with career highs of 19 points and eight rebounds to go along with a block and a steal in a win over Binghamton. He eight points and two rebounds against Buffalo and notched 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked two shots against reigning America East champion and preseason favorite Boston University.
Nov. 28 — Miller averaged 8.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals in two games for the Big Red, including earning his first career starts. He had eight points, a career-best 10 rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals against an athletic Delaware frontcourt. He answered that performance with nine points, seven rebounds, a block and a steal against American.
WROBLEWSKI NAMED TO CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA THIRD TEAM: Chris Wroblewski was named to the Capital One Academic All-America third-team for his performance on the court and in the classroom during the 2010-11 season. He was one of two Ivy League players to earn the honor, joining Brown's Garrett Leffelman, a second-team member. Wroblewski was the fourth Cornellian to earn a spot on the Academic All-America team and the first non-senior. Jeff Gaca was a third-team pick in 1993, Lenny Collins was a third-team member in 2006 and Graham Dow earned first-team accolades in 2007.
WROBLEWSKI NAMED FINALIST FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Senior guard Chris Wroblewski has been named one of 30 finalists for the Lowe's Senior Class Award it was announced today by the committee. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. He joins Penn's senior guard Zack Rosen as the only Ivy League players on the list. Wroblewski was a third-team Capital One Academic All-American as a junior and has twice been named to the academic all-district team. The two-year team captain has been involved in numerous charitable endeavors and has been a four-year starter on the court. His teams have won two Ivy titles and he is a two-year member of the Bob Cousy Award Watch List as the nation's top point guard. A second-team All-Ivy pick as a junior, he was the conference's leader in steals and was second in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio and sixth in scoring. He has twice led the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage.
• Cornell is 85-43 in the last five seasons.
• The Big Red is 44-12 in its last 56 Ivy League contests over the last four years.
• The team is 24-20 in its last 44 games away from Newman Arena.
• Cornell is 50-10 over its last 60 home games, including 33-8 in the last four seasons and 45-9 in the last five years.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 41-31 over the last five seasons.
TALL IVY: Over the last five seasons, Cornell's 53-17 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn, who claimed the 2006-07 title, is second at 40-30, followed by Yale (39-31), and 2010-11 Ivy champions Harvard (36-34) and Princeton (36-34). Rounding out the field is Columbia (32-38), Brown (29-41) and Dartmouth (16-54).
STATING THE STATES: Members of the Cornell basketball team represent 16 states and one Canadian province.
CORNELL BEYOND THE ARC — 600 AND COUNTING: The Big Red hit 10 3-pointers vs. Lehigh on Dec. 3, its 634th consecutive game with a made trey. With five 3-pointers at Seton Hall on Nov. 14, 2010, Cornell extended its streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 600. The last time Cornell did not hit a 3-pointer was against Denison in the 1988-89 season opener (0-for-2). Since the 3-point shot came into effect in NCAA play during the 1986-87 season, Cornell has hit at least one shot behind the arc in 683 of 687 games, connecting on 4,260 treys, an average of 6.2 per game. Cornell has set records for treys in a season in each of the previous three years, going from 228 in 2007-08 to 241 in 2008-09 and to 326 a year ago. Cornell hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game 30 times in 68 games over the last three years, including an Ivy League single-game record 20 at Brown in 2009-10.
BOMBS AWAY: Cornell made 251 3-pointers in 28 contests during the 2010-11 campaign. The 9.0 3-pointers per game ranked second all-time in a season for the Big Red (behind only the 9.6 per game in 2009-10) and ranked sixth among all Division I teams a season ago. Last season, Cornell ranked first nationally in 3-point percentage (.430) and third in 3-pointers made per game in 2009-10, and ranked in the top 20 nationally in 3-point percentage in 2008-09 (fourth, .411), 2007-08 (fourth, .409) and 2006-07 (18th, .396).
BIG RED CAPTAINS: Cornell's senior backcourt of Drew Ferry and Chris Wroblewski will serve as co-captains for the 2011-12 season. Wroblewski is in his second year as team captain, becoming the 13th player to serve as captain for at least two years.
HOW TO FOLLOW CORNELL
• Men's basketball games will be broadcast on HITS 103.3 FM for the 2011-12 season. Longtime voice of the Big Red Barry Leonard returns on the call with the play-by-play, while former All-Ivy center Eric Taylor'05 is on board to do color analysis. A half-hour pregame show and postgame analysis will enable Big Red fans to follow Coach Bill Courtney's team throughout the season. The audio of all games will also be available as part of the RedCast subscription service.
• The Big Red's home contests will all be broadcast live with streaming video as part of the RedCast subscription service. Visit www.CornellBigRed.com/showcase for all the latest information on Cornell broadcasts.
• Cornell will use SIDEARM Live Stats for each of the Big Red's home games in 2010-11. Visit www.CornellBigRed.com for all of the official statistics.
• You can follow the team on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Highlights, interviews and features on all 36 of Cornell's varsity sports can be found at www.youtube.com/cornellathletics, www.facebook.com/cornellathletics or www.twitter.com/cornellsports.
NEXT UP: The Big Red will begin a five-game road trip starting on Monday, Dec. 19 when it meets Illinois at 7 p.m. CT. Cornell will also visit Penn State (Dec. 21), Stony Brook (Dec. 28), Bucknell (Dec. 31) and Maryland (Jan. 3) before returning home on Saturday, Jan. 7 to face Division III Albright College at 2 p.m. in Newman Arena.