Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Cornell at Penn State

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Game #10: Cornell at Penn State
Tip off: Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Site: Bryce Jordan Center (15,261), University Park, Pa.
2011-12 Records: Cornell (4-5, 0-0 Ivy); Penn State (7-5, 0-0 Big Ten)
Series Record: Cornell leads 5-4
Last Meeting: Penn State won 66-54, Nov. 19, 2005 in University Park, Pa.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: Big Ten Network, Eric Collins (play-by-play), Tim Doyle (color)
Live Stats: check availability at www.GoPSUSports.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his second season at Cornell (14-23, .378) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

ITHACA, N.Y. — After a near-miss on Monday at No. 25/25 Illinois, Cornell will have a second opportunity to knock off a Big Ten team on the road when it visits Penn State on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center. Barry Leonard will provide the call on HITS 103.3 FM and on RedCast, or you can watch the game live on the Big Ten Network.

Cornell led by as many as 10 points in the first half and stayed ahead for nearly the entire game before the Illini hit a pair of big shots in the final minute to hold on for a 64-60 victory on Monday night. The Big Red hit 10 3-pointers and tied a season low with 10 turnovers, but couldn't overcome a -15 rebounding differential (42-27) and 19 points and 16 rebounds from Meyers Leonard. Outside of Leonard, who made 9-of-11 shots, the rest of the Illini made just 15-of-46 shots (33 percent).

Wroblewski, a captain and candidate for the Bob Cousy Award, is averaging 9.1 points, 5.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game and runs an offense that has seven players averaging five points per game or better. Fellow senior captain Drew Ferry is posting a team-high 14.0 points, while three-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week Shonn Miller is scoring 8.3 ppg. and leads the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg.). Juniors Josh Figini (9.7 ppg.) and Eitan Chemerinski (8.3 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 27 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (making just 5.2 per game). The Big Red paces the Ancient Eight in steals per game (9.0 per game).

• 2011-12 Record: 7-5 (0-0 Big Ten).
• Conference: Big Ten.
• Head Coach: Patrick Chambers (University of Philadelphia '94), 7-5, first season at Penn State; 49-33, third season as a head coach.
• Penn State improved to 7-5 overall with a dominant second half to pull away from Mount St. Mary's 72-43 on Sunday.
• Tim Frazier is the team's lone double figure scorer at 17.2 ppg. He also is averaging 7.3 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals per contest while playing nearly 36 minutes per game.
• Jermaine Marshall is one of six other players scoring between 5.3 and 9.3 points per contest.
• The Nittany Lions are shooting under 40 percent from the field as a team for the season and under 31 percent from 3-point range, but are dominating the backboards. Penn State has a +6.0 rebounding margin and averages more than 13 offensive rebounds per game.
• Among the team's wins this season are victories over Northeast Conference favorite Long Island, South Florida of the Big East and Boston College of the ACC.
• First year head coach Patrick Chambers guided Boston University to the America East title and a 2011 NCAA tournament berth. He brings a 49-33 overall coaching record into the contest.

THE SERIES: Cornell leads the all-time series 5-4, thoughPenn State has won two of the last three meetings. The Big Red lost its last contest to the Nittany Lions, 66-54 in Nov. 2005. That was the first meeting between the two programs since the 1972-73 season, which was the Big Red's last win. Cornell won that meeting 74-65.

LAST TIME VS. PENN STATE: Penn State controlled the backboards in winning its season opener, dropping Cornell 66-54 on Nov. 19, 2005 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Adam Gore and Lenny Collins each had 14 points to lead the Big Red, but Cornell was limited to 36 percent shooting and was outrebounded 49-33 on the afternoon. Collins added five rebounds and five assists in the loss, while both Andrew Naeve and Ryan Rourke netted eight points. Penn State, led by Ben Luber's 17 points, had four players reach double figures in a balanced effort. The Big Red defense held the Nittany Lions to 38 percent shooting and 28 percent from 3-point range (5-of-18). Geary Claxton had 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, while Jamelle Cornley had 12 points and nine rebounds.

CORNELL VS. THE BIG TEN: The Big Red holds a 13-33 all-time record against current members of the Big Ten Conference and is 5-4 all-time vs. Penn State. The Big Red has also faced Illinois (1-4), Indiana (0-1), Iowa (0-3), Michigan (0-3), Michigan State (1-5), Minnesota (1-5), Northwestern (1-2), Ohio State (3-5), 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.

REVIEWING THE ILLINOIS GAME: No. 25/24 Illinois hit a pair of big shots late in the second half and did just enough to rally past Cornell at Assembly Hall. Junior Josh Figini tied his career high with 14 points, all in the first nine minutes of the game, to set the tone. Senior Chris Wroblewski, making a return to his home state, added 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal. Drew Ferry had nine points and Galal Cancer notched five points, four assists and three steals. As a team, Cornell hit 10 3-pointers and commited a season-low 10 turnovers. Meyers Leonard had game highs of 19 points and 16 rebounds to go along with three blocked shots, while D.J. Richardson had 17 points and Brandon Paul scored 15. Illinois won the battle of the boards 42-25 and limited the Big Red to under 40 percent shooting in the win. Illinois got all 64 points from its starters, with Cournell holding a 16-0 scoring edge from its reserves.

• Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is a perfect 3-0 in overtime games.
• 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.
• The Big Red's last seven games have been decided by single digits, with the last four being decided by four points or less.
• The last-minute loss to Illinois marks the second straight year the Big Red had a near-miss against a ranked Big Ten team on the road. Last season, Cornell led for long stretches against then-No. 13 Minnesota before falling 71-66 in Minneapolis, Minn.
• Cornell will be without the services of starting point guard Miles Asafo-Adjei for the second straight game after the junior suffered an infection to his leg that left him hospitalized in Illinois.

• Cornell is 86-44 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 24-21 in its last 45 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 42-32 over the last five seasons.

PLAYER NOTES: (full player bios start on page 8)
• Wroblewski is 39 points shy of becoming the school's 24th 1,000-point scorer.
• 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 386.
• Wroblewski has multiple steals in five of his last six games.
• Senior guard Drew Ferry has hit multiple 3-point field goals in all nine games.
• Ferry is averaging 18.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in his last three contests, hitting on 15-of-31 3-pointers (.484).
• Ferry became the 17th player in Big Red history to hit at least 100 3-pointers in a career. He enters the Penn State contest with 114 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 75 points in nine games is more than 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 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in his last four games and 11.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in the team's five home games.

• The Big Red has limited opponents to 27 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc (47-of-175), with opponents making just 5.3 per game. No team has shot better than 33 percent in a game against Cornell.
• Cornell is averaging 17.5 assists per game in its last four 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 .449 clip.
• The Big Red has been outrebounded in eight of the team's first nine contests.
• Cornell has averaged 10.0 steals per game in its last seven 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 twice (seven vs. Boston University, at Illinois).
• The Big Red is forcing 18.1 turnovers per game in the last eight contests.
• Cornell shot 43 percent from 3-point range in its first two games (18-of-42), but has connected on just 33 percent (60-of-183) in its last six.
• Cornell has already lost 44 player games due to injury (Asafo-Adjei - 1; D.Cherry - 4; Gatlin - 9; Groebe - 1; LaMore - 2; Matthews - 9; Peck - 9; Sahota - 9).

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 at Illinois on Dec. 19, its 636th 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 4,280 treys, an average of 6.2 per game. Cornell has hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game 32 times in 70 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.

• 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 Stony Brook on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 7p.m. Cornell will visit Bucknell on Dec. 31 and Maryland on Jan. 3 before returning home on Jan. 7 to face Division III Albright College.

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