Friday, February 10, 2012

Sports Network Predicts Yale at Cornell

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, February 10th, 7:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 9-1, Cornell 7-2. Away Record: Yale 5-4, Cornell 1-10. Neutral Record: Yale 1-0, Cornell 0-0. Conference Record: Yale 5-1, Cornell 3-3. Series Record: Cornell leads, 108-102.

GAME NOTES: The Yale Bulldogs try to win their fourth straight game, as they have made the trek to Ithaca, New York to take on the Cornell Big Red tonight in Ivy League action.

Yale comes in sporting a 15-5 overall record, and the team is 5-1 in the Ivy League, just a game behind No. 25 Harvard for first place in the standings. The Bulldogs have suffered just one loss since the calendar flipped to 2012, and they are coming off a 58-54 defeat of Princeton last Saturday.

Cornell has not experienced the same type of success as its counterpart this season, as the squad has dropped 12 of its 20 games thus far. The Big Red have played to a 3-3 record in the conference however, and has won two of its last three, beating Dartmouth in a 68-59 final last Saturday

After 210 meetings, Cornell has a slim lead in the all-time series, 108-102, and has won three of the last four bouts with Yale.

Yale boasts the most potent offense in the Ivy League with a scoring average of 71.1 ppg. Unfortunately, the effort at the defensive end has been mediocre at best, ranking fifth in yielding 65.1 ppg. During their current three-game win streak however, the Bulldogs' typical identity has been flipped as they are scoring 60 ppg but allowing just 53 ppg. Yale shot a paltry 35.1 percent from the floor in last Saturday's win, but held Princeton to an even worse 33.3 percent. Reggie Willhite and Greg Mangano each scored 20 points for the Bulldogs, and the latter added 12 rebounds in logging his 10th double-double of the season. Mangano has been one of the league's most dominant players this year, ranking first in scoring (19 ppg), rebounding (10.1 rpg) and blocks (2.5 bpg), while draining 48.1 percent of his field goal attempts and 33.3 percent of his three-point tries. Willhite (12.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.8 apg) and Austin Morgan (12 ppg, 2.3 three-pointers) round out a productive triumvirate for Yale.

Cornell is one of three Ivy League teams that allows more points (67.2 ppg) than it typically scores (65.6 ppg). Though the Big Red shot just 41.5 percent in last Saturday's win, the team made good on 19-of-27 free-throw attempts and scored its most points in a conference game this season. Shonn Miller paced the squad in the victory, shooting 7-of-11 from the field for 15 points, while also grabbing 10 boards for his fourth double-double of the year. Drew Ferry leads Cornell in scoring (11.6) and is one of the nation's more prolific three-point shooters, draining 3.1 treys per game at a 40 percent clip. Chris Wroblewski stuffs the stat sheet on a nightly basis (10 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.4 threes), but shoots a terrible percentage from the floor (.319), as well as from three-point range (.293). Miller adds 9.4 ppg, a team-high 6.6 rpg and 1.8 blocks per game to the mix. Cornell creates takeaways and handles the ball with care, ranking first in the league in turnover margin (+2.20).

Cornell has been impressive at home (7-2) this year, but the Bulldogs have been playing far too well of late to roll over here.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Yale 69, Cornell 63

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