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GAME #17: Cornell at Columbia
TIP OFF: Saturday, Jan. 21, at 7:00 p.m.
SITE: Levien Gymnasium (2,700), New York, N.Y.
2011-12 RECORDS: Cornell (6-10, 1-1 Ivy League); Columbia (11-7, 0-2 Ivy League)
SERIES RECORD: Columbia leads 120-96
LAST MEETING: Columbia won 70-66, Jan. 22, 2011 in Ithaca, N.Y.
RADIO: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
LIVE STATS: available at www.GoColumbiaLions.com
LIVE VIDEO: available at www.GoColumbiaLions.com
TICKETS: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR
HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his second season at Cornell (16-28, .364) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.
ITHACA, N.Y. — After splitting a weekend series against traditional Ivy powers Princeton and Penn, Cornell will attempt to continue its strong play when it visits Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 21 at at 7 p.m. Levien Gymnasium. Barry Leonard will provide the call on HITS 103.3 FM and you can listen to live audio of the game on RedCast.
Cornell opened Ivy League play last weekend at home with a 67-59 triumph over defending conference champion Princeton on Friday, before falling on Saturday to Penn, 64-52. Freshman Shonn Miller earned league Rookie of the Week honors after averaging 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in the two contests.
To get to 2-1 in Ivy play, the Big Red will need to snap an eight-game road losing streak to open the 2011-12 season. The last seven games have been decided by single digits, including three decided by four points or less or in overtime. Cornell has had recent success in Levien against the Lions, winning five of the last six in New York City.
Chris Wroblewski, a senior co-captain, became the school's 24th 1,000-point scorer earlier this season. He enters the weekend averaging 9.1 points, 5.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game and runs an offense that has seven players averaging 5.3 points per game or better. Senior Drew Ferry is posting a team-high 12.6 points and ranks fifth nationally in 3-pointers made per game (3.4), while Miller is scoring 9.6 ppg. and leads the team in rebounding (6.6 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.9 bpg.). Juniors Eitan Chemerinski (7.0 ppg.) and Josh Figini (6.3 ppg.) combine for 13.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game in 32.7 minutes per game at center.
• 2011-12 Record: 11-7 (0-2 Ivy League).
• Head Coach: Kyle Smith (Hamilton '92), 26-20, second season at Columbia.
• After opening the season with four straight losses, Columbia responded by winning seven straight games and 11 of 12 prior to being swept at home by Penn and Princeton to open Ivy play last weekend.
• Junior Brian Barbour is the team's leading scorer at 15.5 ppg. while adding 3.4 apg. and 2.8 rpg. Sophomore Meiko Lyles (10.2 ppg.) and junior Mark Cisco (9.1 ppg., 6.5 rpg.) are also at or near double figures in scoring.
• Columbia is limiting foes to under 40 percent shooting (.396) and are outrebounding foes by +2.3 per game.
• The success has come despite the loss of leading returning scorer Noruwa Agho to a season-ending injury. Agho was a first-team All-Ivy selection a year ago.
• Second-year head coach Kyle Smith is in his second season a year removed from leading the Lions to a 15-13 overall mark. Columbia won 10 games at home a year ago, matching a school record.
THE SERIES: Columbia lead the all-time series between the programs 120-96, though Cornell has won 14 of the last 18 meetings between the squads. The Lions snapped a nine-game Big Red win streak with a season sweep. The Big Red had won the previous five contests by double figures, including by an average margin of 23.5 points a season ago. Cornell's last win was in 2009-10, a 77-51 triumph at Levien Gymnasium.
LAST TIME VS. COLUMBIA: Columbia earned a season sweep of Cornell for the first time in nine seasons when it held on a for a 70-66 victory over the Big Red at Newman Arena on Jan. 22, 2011. Chris Wroblewski (16 points, five rebounds, three assists) and Aaron Osgood (16 points, six rebounds) led the Big Red offense, while Errick Peck (10 points, six rebounds, three steals, two assists, two blocked shots) also hit for double figures. Cornell shots just 19 percent from 3-point range (3-of-16) and were chased off the line effectively all night by the Lions. Adam Wire played an outstanding floor game with eight points, seven rebounds and two steals without a turnover in 32 minutes. The Lions got 23 big points from Brian Barbour, who made tough shot after tough shot to keep Cornell from running away with the game in the second half. Meiko Lyles added 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench as the only other Lion in double figures. Leading scorer Noruwa Agho was limited to 1-of-12 shooting by the Big Red defense, but the junior was able to end the night with six points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Columbia shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half and 43 percent for the game, but just 3-of-15 from beyond the arc.
LOOKING BACK AT THE PENN GAME: Freshman Shonn Miller scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his second career double-double, but Penn's hot shooting from beyond the arc proved too much as the Quakers topped Cornell 64-52 at Newman Arena. The Big Red freshman had another outstanding outing, hitting 8-of-13 shots and adding four blocks and a steal in 31 minutes without a turnover. He was the lone Cornell player to hit double figures. Drew Ferry scored eight points, all in the second half, and Galal Cancer notched seven points. Chris Wroblewski had four points, six assists and four steals for Cornell, which had 10 steals as a collective group. Cornell hit just 3-of-17 shots from beyond the arc and made just 13-of-24 free throws in the loss. For Penn, both Zack Rosen and Tyler Bernardini had 18 points to lead the Quakers. Rosen, the conference's leader in scoring and assists, added five assists and five steals, while Bernardini notched eight rebounds. Miles Cartwright chipped in with eight points, while Fran Dougherty had three rebounds and blocked three shots. The Quakers hit 10-of-20 from 3-point range in the win, helping Penn improve to 2-0 in Ivy League play.
NOTES TO KNOW:
• Cornell will be looking for its first win on the road (0-8) this season despite great success at home (6-2).
• The Big Red is 24-10 against Columbia dating back to the 1995 season, including 14-4 since the 2003 campaign.
• The Big Red will be looking for its sixth win in the last seven visits to Levien Gymnasium.
• Cornell will be looking to start 2-1 in Ivy play or better for the fifth time in the last six years.
• Eleven of the team's last 12 games against Division I teams have been decided by single digits.
• Three of Cornell's games have gone to overtime, with the Big Red going 2-1. It is the ninth time Cornell has played in at least three overtime games in a single season. The school record for OT contests in a year is four, done in 1962-63, 1979-80 and 1999-2000.
TALL IVY: Over the last six seasons, Cornell's 54-18 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn, who claimed the 2006-07 title, is second at 42-30, followed by Yale (40-31), and 2010-11 Ivy champions Harvard (37-34) and Princeton (37-35). Rounding out the field is Columbia (32-40), Brown (29-42) and Dartmouth (16-55).
CORNELL IN OVERTIME:
• Cornell is 2-1 this season in overtime in 2011-12.
• In two seasons under head coach Bill Courtney, the Big Red is 3-1.
• All-time, dating back to the first overtime game against Penn way back in 1922, Cornell is 37-45 in games that go an extra period.
• Cornell is 5-9 in multiple overtime games.
• The longest game for the Big Red was a five overtime contest against Princeton, won by the Tigers 66-61 on Feb. 24, 1979 at Barton Hall.
• Cornell is 28-15 in home overtime games, 2-2 in neutral contests and 8-27 in road games.
• Cornell is 87-49 in the last five seasons.
• The Big Red is 45-13 in its last 58 Ivy League contests over the last five years.
• Cornell is 52-11 over its last 63 home games, including 35-9 in the last four seasons and 47-10 in the last five years.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 42-36 over the last five seasons.
• The Big Red has limited opponents to 28 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc (88-of-316), with opponents making just 5.5 per game. Only twice has a team shot better than 33 percent against Cornell.
• Five of Cornell's last seven opponents have shot under 40 percent from the floor (.391 over last seven games).
• The Big Red has been outrebounded in 13 of the team's first 16 contests.
• Cornell has done a good job on the boards in its first two Ivy League contests at -0.5, including a +1 advantage over Princeton in a victory.
• Cornell has made at least seven 3-pointers in 13 of its first 16 contests this season, while only allowing as many as seven five times (seven vs. Boston University, at Illinois, at Stony Brook and 10 at Penn State, vs. Penn).
• Cornell shot 43 percent from 3-point range in its first two games (18-of-42), but has connected on just 32 percent (106-of-333) in its last 14.
• Over its last two contests, the Big Red has made just 5-of-28 from 3-point range (.179).
• The Big Red has blocked at least five shots in three straight games for the first time since 2008-09.
• Cornell has at least eight steals in four straight games for the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.
• Cornell has attempted more free throws in consecutive games (+20) after going 11 consecutive games without an edge in that category.
• Cornell has already lost 84 player games due to injury (Asafo-Adjei - 8; D.Cherry - 4; Gatlin - 16; Groebe - 2; LaMore - 3; Matthews - 16; Peck - 16; Sahota - 16; Scelfo - 3).
CORNELL HAS FIVE IVY LEAGUE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK AWARDS:
Nov. 14, 2011 — Shonn 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, 2011 — Shonn 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, 2011 — Shonn 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, 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.
Dec. 19, 2011 — Galal Cancer scored 11 points, dished seven assists, snatched five rebounds and picked up four steals in an 85-82 overtime victory over the Great Danes. He made 5-of-10 field goals while collecting career highs in assists and steals. He was also just two points off his career scoring high. Cancer had four points, two rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in the final minute of regulation for the Big Red, who overcame a 10-point deficit with nine minutes to play to force an extra session.
Jan. 16, 2012 — Shonn Miller averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 1.0 steals in games against perennial Ivy League contenders Princeton and Penn. He shot .565 from the floor and didn't commit a turnover in 59 minutes of action. Miller played a key role in Cornell's league-opening win over defending Ivy League champion Princeton, recoding 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in the 67-59 victory over the Tigers. He came back the following night with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots in a loss to Penn for his second career double-double. It was also his fourth career contest with double figures in rebounding.
CORNELL BEYOND THE ARC — 600 AND COUNTING: The Big Red hit three 3-pointers against Penn on Jan. 14, its 643rd 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 691 of 695 games, connecting on 4,326 treys, an average of 6.2 per game. Cornell has hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game 34 times in 77 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.
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.
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.
WHAT WAS LOST: Cornell said goodbye to three seniors last spring, as Mark Coury, Aaron Osgood and Adam Wire closed out their Big Red careers.
• Coury was one of the team's top post players in his two seasons on the court at Cornell, first as a reserve on last year's Sweet 16 squad in 2009-10, and last year as a regular in the rotation. A transfer from the University of Kentucky, Coury's biggest highlight came when he beat the shot clock to hit the game-winning basket with 35 seconds left at the Palestra to help Cornell sweep Penn a year ago.
• A team captain in 2010-11, Osgood was expected to be a major factor in the post, and was when healthy. One of the team's top scorers (7.3 ppg.) and rebounders (4.5 rpg.), Osgood played in 43 career games with eight starts, shooting 52 percent from the floor and averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds.
• Another team captain, Wire was a four-year letter winner who ranked among the top 20 all-time in steals and field goal percentage in school history. He totaled more that 100 steals and 100 assists and set career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists in his final season.
NEXT UP: Cornell and Columbia will head back to Newman Arena next Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m., at Newman Arena for the return matchup.