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Roster I Schedule & Results I Statistics
Game #9: Cornell at No. 19 Illinois
Tip off: Monday, Dec. 19, at 7:00 p.m. CT
Site: Assembly Hall (16,618), Champaign, Ill.
2011-12 Records: Cornell (4-4, 0-0 Ivy); Illinois (10-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
Series Record: Illinois leads 3-1
Last Meeting: Cornell won 72-60, Dec. 23, 1961 in Champaign, Ill.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: ESPN3.com, Anthony Calhoun (play-by-play), Perry Clark (color)
Live Stats: check availability at www.FightingIllini.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR
HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his second season at Cornell (14-22, .389) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.
ITHACA, N.Y. — Coming off a pair of overtime victories, the Cornell men's basketball team will face quite a challenge in picking up its first road victory of the campaign when it visits No. 19 Illinois on Monday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) at Assembly Hall. Barry Leonard will provide the call on HITS 103.3 FM and you can watch live video of the contest on ESPN3.com.
Coming off a 14-day break for final exams, the Big Red earned a hard-fought but sloppy 85-82 overtime win over Albany on Saturday to improve to 4-1 at home. Senior guard Chris Wroblewski hit a step-back 3-pointer with 5.6 seconds left in the extra period to give Cornell its second straight overtime victory. It now begins a five-game road stretch that includes games at Big Ten foes Illinois and Penn State, America East contender Stony Brook, reigning Patriot League champ Bucknell and Maryland of the ACC.
Wroblewski, a captain and candidate for the Bob Cousy Award, is averaging 9.0 points, 5.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game and runs an offense that has five players averaging 8.6 points per game or better. The game will serve as a homecoming of sorts for the Highland Park, Ill., native. Fellow senior captain Drew Ferry is posting a team-high 14.6 points, while three-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week Shonn Miller is scoring 8.6 ppg. and leads the team in rebounding (6.0 rpg.). Juniors Josh Figini (9.1 ppg.) and Eitan Chemerinski (8.9 ppg.) aren't far from double figures in the post.
Cornell's defense has been solid, allowing opponents to hit just 43 percent from the floor overall and 26 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (making just 5.0 per game). The Big Red paces the Ancient Eight in steals per game (9.3 per game).
• 2011-12 Record: 10-1 (0-0 Big Ten).
• Conference: Big Ten.
• Head Coach: Bruce Weber (Wisconsin-Milwaukee '78), 203-87, ninth season at Illinois; 306-141, 13th season as a head coach.
• Illinois suffered its first loss of the season when it dropped a 64-48 decision to UNLV on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.
• Included among the Illini's wins are Richmond, Maryland, Gonzaga and St. Bonaventure.
• D.J. Richardson paces four double figure scorers at 14.2 ppg., while Meyers Leonard (12.8 ppg., 7.1 rpg., 2.4 bpg.), Sam Maniscalco (11.5 ppg.) and Brandon Paul (10.3 ppg.) are also over that threshhold.
• Illinois is limiting opponents to 38 percent shooting from the floor and outrebounds opponents by 4.2 per game.
• The Illini are 111-23 at Assembly Hall under head coach Bruce Weber.
• Weber is in his ninth season on the sidelines at Illinois. The 2005 national coach of the year has led the program to six NCAA tournaments, including advancing all the way to the national championship game in 2005.
THE SERIES: Illinois leads the all-time series 3-1, though it will be the first meeting between the programs since 1961. The Big Red won the last meeting, 72-60, in Champaign on Dec. 23, 1961. Previously, Illinois had won contests against the Big Red during the 1931-32, 1938-39 and 1948-49 campaigns, all coming on the road.
CORNELL VS. THE BIG TEN: The Big Red holds a 13-32 all-time record against current members of the Big Ten Conference and is 1-3 all-time vs. Illinois. The Big Red has also faced Indiana (0-1), Iowa (0-3), Michigan (0-3), Michigan State (1-5), Minnesota (1-5), Northwestern (1-2), Ohio State (3-5), Penn State (5-4), Purdue (0-1) and Wisconsin (1-0). Cornell snapped a 39-year stretch without a Big Ten victory when it defeated Northwestern 64-61 on Nov. 10, 2006 and defeated Wisconsin in 2009-10 in the second round of the NCAA tournament en route to its Sweet 16 finish. Cornell led at halftime last season against No. 13 Minnesota before falling 71-66 on Dec. 4, 2010.
LOOKING BACK AT THE ALBANY GAME: Senior guard Chris Wroblewski found some space and hit a 3-pointer with 5.6 seconds remaining in overtime to give Cornell a thrilling 85-82 victory over Albany at Newman Arena. Wroblewski's big shot put an exclamation point on a wild game that included Cornell rally from a 10-point deficit with nine minutes to play only to take a six-point lead with less than two minutes to play in regulation. Albany then fought back to force overtime on a basket by Blake Metcalf with five seconds left. The lead traded hands twice with three times in the five minute extra session before the Big Red senior juked a defender on the left wing. With the Albany player on the ground, Wroblewski stepped back and confidently nailed a trey with three ticks left. Albany got a great shot at the tying basket, but Mike Black's 3-pointer was just long. Wroblewski had a solid floor game with six points, eight assists and three rebounds, while backcourt mate Drew Ferry had a game-high 26 points, including seven 3-pointers. Josh Figini added 14 points, five rebounds and three steals and Albany native Galal Cancer notched 11 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals. Johnathan Gray rounded out the four double figure scorers with 10 points, while Eitan Chemerinski had nine points in just 15 minutes. Cornell hit 10 3-pointers and was credited with 25 assists with 15 steals, both numbers ranking among the top 10 single-game marks in Cornell history. The 25 assists is the third-most in school history, while the 15 steals ranks seventh. The Big Red also shot 58 percent (21-of-36) from the floor in the second half and overtime. Albany got 22 points and five assists from Gerardo Suero, one of two Great Danes to foul out. Blake Metcalf also fouled out after registering a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Logan Aronhalt (19 points), Mike Black (15 points) and Luke Devlin (10 points) rounded out the Great Danes' five double figure scorers. Albany was hounded into 25 turnovers and was just 2-of-8 from 3-point range after halftime, though it outrebounded Cornell 42-30.
LAST TIME VS. ILLINOIS: En route to an 18-7 season that also included wins over Syracuse (twice) and both Penn and Princeton, the Big Red won a 72-60 decision over Illinois on Dec. 23, 1961 in Champaign, Ill. Jerry Szachara (31 points) and Bill Baugh (24 points) combined for 21 field goals, two more than Illinois for the contest. Baugh ended the year averaging 16,6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, while Szachara posted 16.1 ppg.
CORNELL VS. RANKED OPPONENTS: Cornell enters its contest against No. 19 Illinois with a 5-65 record all-time against teams ranked in the top 25. Cornell snapped an 18-game skid against ranked teams by dispatching of No. 12/13 Temple in the NCAA first round and No. 16/19 Wisconsin in the second round of the 2009-10 tournament. The Big Red's previous win was a 74-54 triumph over then-No. 19 California, at the 1992 Seton Hall/Meadowlands Tournament. That team featured Jason Kidd (who sat out the game) and former NBA player Lamond Murray. The Big Red's other wins came against then-No. 17 Syracuse in 1957 (60-54), then-No. 3 Princeton in 1967 (62-56) and a win by forfeit against No. 15 Minnesota in a game vacated by the Gophers after using an ineligible player in 1976.
NOTES TO KNOW:
• Cornell has won consecutive games in overtime, both at home. It is the first time the Big Red played two straight OT games since the 1976-77 season when it lost at Rensselaer (54-52 in OT on 1/20/76) and at home against Columbia (89-88 in 2OT on 1/23/76). Cornell had never played an extra session in consecutive home games.
• Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is a perfect 3-0 in overtime games.
• Senior Chris Wroblewski's 3-pointer with 5.6 seconds left in OT made him the first Cornellian to hit a shot in the final 10 seconds to win a game since Ryan Wittman's 35-footer beat Davidson at the buzzer in overtime in the first round of the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival during the 2009-10 season.
• Cornell will be playing consecutive Big Ten opponents for the first time since the 1949-50 campaign when it dropped consecutive games against Ohio State (43-42 on 12/28/49) and Michigan State (61-54 on 12/29/49) in East Lansing, Mich.
• Cornell is 86-43 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 51-10 over its last 61 home games, including 34-8 in the last four seasons and 46-9 in the last five years.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 42-31 over the last five seasons.
• Wroblewski is 49 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 has made 17 of his last 18 from the charity stripe.
• Wroblewski moved into second place on the school's career assists list with his eight against Albany. He passed Josh Wexler '89 (377) and Chuck Rolles '56 (378) and now has 382.
• Wroblewski has multiple steals in each of his last five games.
• Senior guard Drew Ferry has hit multiple 3-point field goals in all eight games.
• Ferry is averaging 23.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in his last two contests, hitting on 12-of-22 3-pointers (.545). He has led the team in scoring in four of the last five games.
• Ferry became the 17th player in Big Red history to hit at least 100 3-pointers in a career. He enters the Illinois contest with 111 treys.
• Junior guard Miles Asafo-Adjei has 21 assists and eight turnovers in his last six games and has 23 assists and 10 turnovers total this year.
• Junior Eitan Chemerinski's 71 points in eight games is nearly double his 36 points over his first two campaigns.
• Junior Miles Asafo-Adjei has made his last seven field goals spanning three games. Prior to that, he was shooting just .286 in his career (22-of-77).
• Junior Josh Figini is averaging 13.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in his last three games and 11.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in the team's five home games.
• The Big Red has limited opponents to 26 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc (40-of-154), with opponents making just 5.0 per game. No team has shot better than 33 percent in a game against Cornell.
• Cornell is averaging 19.3 assists per game in its last three contests.
• In its four wins, Cornell's opponents are shooting .400 from the floor and have been under 40 percent in three of the games. In its four losses, the Big Red's opponents have hit at a .456 clip.
• The Big Red has been outrebounded in seven of the team's first eight contests.
• Cornell has averaged 10.5 steals per game in its last six contests with four games of 10 or more.
• Cornell has made at least seven 3-pointers in each of its contests this season, while only allowing as many as seven once (seven vs. Boston University).
• The Big Red is forcing 18.6 turnovers per game in the last seven contests.
• Cornell shot 43 percent from 3-point range in its first two games (18-of-42), but has connected on just 31 percent (50-of-160) in its last six.
• Cornell has already lost 39 player games due to injury (D.Cherry - 4; Gatlin - 8; Groebe - 1; LaMore - 2; Matthews - 8; Peck - 8; Sahota - 8).
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 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.
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).
CORNELL BEYOND THE ARC — 600 AND COUNTING: The Big Red hit 10 3-pointers vs. Albany on Dec. 17, its 635th 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 684 of 688 games, connecting on 4,270 treys, an average of 6.2 per game. Cornell has hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game 31 times in 69 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).
STATING THE STATES: Members of the Cornell basketball team represent 16 states and one Canadian province.
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 continue its five-game road trip when it heads to Penn State on Monday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center. After the Christmas break, Cornell will visit Stony Brook on Dec. 28, Bucknell on Dec. 31 and Maryland on Jan. 3 before returning home on Jan. 7 to face Division III Albright College.