The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 2, 7:00 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Dartmouth 4-9, Cornell 9-2. Away Record: Dartmouth 1-12, Cornell 2-13. Neutral Record: Dartmouth 0-2, Cornell 0-0. Conference Record: Dartmouth 1-11, Cornell 6-6. Series Record: Dartmouth leads, 102-101.
GAME NOTES: The Cornell Big Red try to crack the .500 mark in Ivy League play, as they take on the Dartmouth Big Green tonight at Newman Arena in Ithaca, New York.
Dartmouth is in the midst of the worst season of any team in the Ivy League, winning just five of 28 games overall and it is just 1-11 in conference. Believe it or not, the Big Green has been even worse on the road, with their only victory in 13 tries coming back on November 25 in a non-league matchup with Alaska-Anchorage. They dropped back-to-back bouts last week, including a 85-61 blowout at the hands of Princeton last Saturday.
Cornell went 1-3 on its recent four-game road trip, and last Saturday's 71-40 thrashing against Yale was its worst defeat of the season. The Big Red is surely happy to come home though, as they have enjoyed a 9-2 record in front of the Newman Arena faithful. On the season, Cornell is a disappointing 11-15, though it is a respectable 6-6 in league play.
After 203 all-time meetings between these two rivals, Dartmouth holds the slimmest of leads, 102-101. The Big Red have closed the gap in recent years by claiming 12 of the last 13 encounters.
Dartmouth owns the Ivy League's worst offense, as it only puts up 57.7 ppg on 39.5 percent shooting from the field and the team did little to disprove that notion against Princeton last Saturday, going a dismal 19-of-51 from the floor in its 11th consecutive game of scoring 62 points or fewer. The Big Green can usually hang their hat on playing stellar defense (63.3 ppg), but they even played poorly at that end of the court, allowing a season-high 85 points to the Tigers who shot an astounding 65.4 percent from the field, which included a 12-of-17 effort from three-point range. Freshman John Golden shined in the setback, scoring a career-high 21 points. Though Golden averages just 7.5 ppg on the season, he had turned in 14.7 ppg over the last three. No Dartmouth player averages double figures for the season, but Gabas Maldunas tallies 9.0 ppg and is fourth in the league in rebounding (7.3 rpg). Golden, Maldunas and Jvonte Brooks (8.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg) round out a solid core of freshmen, giving the team reason to be optimistic about the future.
Cornell was dominated in all phases of the game last Saturday in suffering its worst loss of the season. The club shot a woeful 22.6 percent from the field, an even worse 4-of-22 from three-point range (.182), and made just one more field goal (14) than it has turnovers (13). To make matters worse, the Big Red allowed Yale to shoot 47.4 percent from the field. Chris Wroblewski was the only positive contributor for the squad, tallying 10 points, four assists and four rebounds, though he shot just 2-of-10 from the floor. Cornell typically has a solid offense, putting up 65.4 ppg, which is led by Drew Ferry, who scores 11.3 ppg and leads the Ivy League in three-point field goals (78). Wroblewski fills up the stat sheet with 11.2 ppg, 5.2 apg, 4.7 rpg, 1.7 spg, and a free-throw percentage of .846, though he has one glaring weakness, which is his overall field goal percentage (.356). Shonn Millers ranks in the top 10 in the league in rebounding (6.3 rpg), and he is second in blocks (1.7 bpg).
Cornell has played very well against the competition below it in the Ivy League standings, and that combined with its solid home record should mean good things for the Big Red tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 65, Dartmouth 54