Monday, November 12, 2012

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for St. Bonaventure


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Game #2: St. Bonaventure at Cornell
Tip off: Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2012-13 Records: St. Bonaventure (1-0, 0-0 Atlantic 10); Cornell (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League)
Series Record: Cornell leads, 8-5
Last Meeting: St. Bonaventure won, 79-58, on Nov. 11, 2011 in Olean, N.Y.

Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
TV: NBC Sports Network (Randy Moss and Dalen Cuff)
Live Stats: available at
Live Video: available at
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR


Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his third season at Cornell (23-34, .404; 13-15 Ivy, .464) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

STORY LINES: The Cornell men's basketball team will have an early season opportunity to showcase itself on national television when it plays host to defending Atlantic 10 tournament champion St. Bonaventure on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena. The game will be televised by the NBC Sports Network as the first game of the new Ivy League basketball package. Live audio will be available as part of the RedCast subscription service for this contest.

The Big Red opened a new, promising season by unleashing a suffocating pressure defense against Western Michigan in a 63-55 victory on Saturday. Cornell limited the Broncos to 30 percent shooting, outrebounded its Mid-American Conference foe 40-34 and blocked 13 shots, one off the school record. The Big Red held WMU to 1-of-13 shooting to open the game and never looked back.

Freshman Nolan Cressler scored 20 points off the bench, including hitting six 3-pointers, in his collegiate debut. The 20 points is the most ever by a Cornell freshman in their first game. While he was firing, sophomore Shonn Miller was protecting the rim on the other end. The reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year blocked six shots, stole three passes and grabbed six rebounds while adding nine points and three assists for a dominant all-around effort. Senior Errick Peck also reach double figures with 10 points, while sophomoreGalal Cancer notched 10 points, dished off seven assists and ripped down five boards.

Cornell will step up in class against the Bonnies, who earned the Atlantic 10 tournament championship and were knocked out late in their first NCAA game by Florida State. Head coach Mark Schmidt and his team got off on the right foot with a 65-55 win over Bethune-Cookman this past Friday. In all, 12 letter winner and three starters are back from last year's 21-10 team, though missing is NBA first round pick Andrew Nicholson (18.5 ppg., 8.4 rpg.), who torched the Big Red for 24 points a year ago in the Bonnies' 79-58 win to open the season at the Reilly Center in Olean, N.Y.


• make the Big Red 2-0 to open a season for the first time since the 2009-10 season and 2-0 at home to open a season since

• extend Cornell's lead in the all-time series to 9-5.

• make the Big Red 19-20 all-time against current members of the Atlantic 10, including 7-4 in the last 11 meetings with A-10 schools.

• be the 1,198th in program history (1,197-1,308 in 114 seasons).

ABOUT ST. BONAVENTURE: After making a surprise run to the Atlantic 10 championship and an automatic NCAA tournament berth in 2011-12, the Bonnies enter a new season needing to replace first round NBA draft pick Andrew Nicholson, the team's leading scorer (18.5 ppg.) and rebounder (8.4 rpg.) a year ago. So far, so good. The Bonnies opened the 2012-13 season with a 65-55 win over Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 9. Plenty of talent returns for seventh-year head coach Mark Schmidt, including double figure scorer Demetrius Conger (12.1 ppg., 6.2 rpg.), who hit for 12 points against Bethune-Cookman. All-around talent Matthew Wright (6.8 ppg., 2.5 rpg., 2.8 apg., 40 3-pointers) and fifth-year senior Michael Davenport (5.8 ppg.1.8 apg.) will steady the backcourt with sophomore Charlon Kloof (6.4 ppg., 2.7 apg.). In all, 12 letter winners and three starters return from last year's 21-10 squad.

THE CORNELL-ST. BONAVENTURE SERIES: The Big Red leads the all-time series 8-5, with the last win coming in Olean during the 2004-05 season, a 58-54 Cornell victory at the Reilly Center. The Big Red had its five-game win streak in the series snapped two years ago before dropping last season's opener in Olean, 79-58. The teams first met on Jan. 1, 1923, a 28-16 win for Cornell in Olean.

CORNELL VS. THE ATLANTIC 10: Cornell is 18-20 all-time against current members of the Atlantic 10. The Big Red is 8-5 all-time against St. Bonaventure and has also faced Dayton (0-1), Duquesne (0-2), Fordham (4-4), La Salle (3-2), Massachusetts (1-0), Richmond (0-1), Saint Joseph's (0-3), Saint Joseph's (1-3), Saint Louis (0-1), Temple (1-0) and Xavier (0-1). Cornell has never played Charlotte, George Washington or Rhode Island. The Big Red was a perfect 4-0 against Atlantic 10 teams in 2009-10, topping Massachusetts and La Salle on the road, knocking off Saint Joseph's at home and defeating A-10 champ Temple in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. The Big Red has won six of the last 10 meetings against Atlantic 10 squads dating back to its 58-54 victory at St. Bonaventure in 2004-05, but has lost consecutive games to the Bonnies over the last two seasons.

LAST TIME VS. ST. BONAVENTURE: After silencing a near sold-out crowd in the first half with its lights-out shooting, the Cornell men's basketball team couldn't get the offense going and the defense went with it as St. Bonaventure earned a 79-58 victory on Nov. 11, 2011 at the Reilly Center. Cornell shot 52 percent from the floor in the first half, including 57 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (8-of-14), but was just 30 percent accurate after halftime while missing all six 3-pointers. St. Bonaventure's All-America candidate Andrew Nicholson took advantage with 24 points, including making all 10 of his free-throw attempts, to lead three double figure scorers for St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies used their defensive surge in the second half to turn on the offense, shooting 52 percent after halftime for the win. The Big Red used a balanced attack to stay in the game most of the night with Josh Figini the only scorer in double figures with 10 points. Dwight Tarwater and Drew Ferry each added eight points and Johnathan Gray and Shonn Miller had seven apiece. The team's leading returning scorer from a year ago, Chris Wroblewski, had six points and a game-high eight assists.

SEASON OPENERS: The Big Red has posted a 74-42 all-time record in its 116 season openers. Cornell is now 12-20 on the road to open a year, 54-16 at home and 8-6 in neutral site/unknown site games.

TALL IVY: Dating back to the 2004-05 season (nine years), Cornell's 76-36 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn is second at 75-37, followed by Princeton and Yale, each tied at 62-50. Rounding out the field is Harvard (50-52), Columbia (43-69), Brown (42-70) and Dartmouth (28-84). Going back to the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Red is a full 10 games better than anyone else in the league with its 60-24 mark. Penn is second (50-34), followed by Yale and Harvard (48-36), Princeton (46-38), Columbia (36-48), Brown (31-53) and Dartmouth (17-67).

CORNELL IN OVERTIME: Cornell went 3-1 in overtime in 2011-12, moving head coach Bill Courtney's record to 4-1 in overtime games during his three seasons. All-time, dating back to the first overtime game against Penn way back in 1922, Cornell is 38-45 in games that go an extra period. Cornell is 5-9 in multiple overtime games, with the longest game for the Big Red being a five overtime contest against Princeton, won by the Tigers 66-61 on Feb. 24, 1979 at Barton Hall. Cornell is 29-15 in home overtime games, 2-2 in neutral contests and 8-27 in road games.


• Cornell is 94-55 in the last five seasons.
• The Big Red is 51-19 in its last 70 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 57-12 over its last 69 home games, including 40-10 in the last five seasons and 52-11 in the last six years.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 43-36 over the last five seasons.

CORNELL BEYOND THE ARC — 600 AND COUNTING: The Big Red hit eight 3-pointers against Western Michigan on Nov. 10, its 656th 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 704 of 708 games, connecting on 4,427 treys, an average of 6.3 per game. Cornell has hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game 37 times in 90 games over the last four years, including an Ivy League single-game record 20 at Brown in 2009-10.


• The Big Red blocked 13 shots in the season-opening win over Western Michigan, the second most in school history behind 14 blocks recorded against Niagara in the 1978-79 season.
• The last time Cornell opened a season with three straight home games was in 1998-99, when the Big Red lost the opener to Buffalo (64-63) before bouncing back with wins over Bucknell (69-56) and Penn State-Behrend (80-70).
• Cornell hasn't allowed a non-conference team to shoot 50 percent in 14 straight games, including contests against eventual postseason teams American (CIT), Lehigh (NCAA), Stony Brook (NIT) and Bucknell (NIT), as well as nationally ranked Illinois and BCS schools Mayland and Penn State. The last non-Ivy to shoot 50 percent or better was St. Bonaventure in the 2011-12 opener. The Bonnies made exactly 50 percent of its shots (27-of-54).
• Over the last two seasons, Big Red non-conference opponents have hit just 75 3-pointers in 15 games (5.0 per game) on .265 shooting (75-of-283). Only once in 15 games did a team shoot better than 33 percent from beyond the arc. That trend continued in the opener against Western Michigan, who was just 3-of-14 (.214).
• Cornell's 3-point season totals in the last five years represent the top five single-season marks in school history. The Big Red's 217 3-pointers a year ago ranks fifth on the chart. Prior to 2007-08, when the run began, Cornell had made more than 200 treys in a season just once. 
• The Big Red has reached double figures in victories in nine consecutive years, the most since hitting that mark 10 consecutive times from 1981-82 through 1990-91. The school record is 12 straight years beginning in 1944-45 and stretching through the 1955-56 season.
• Cornell lost 141 player games due to injury in 2011-12 (Asafo-Adjei - 15; D.Cherry - 4; Gatlin - 26; Groebe - 6; LaMore - 3; Matthews - 28; Peck - 28; Sahota - 28; Scelfo - 3).

• Freshman Nolan Cressler scored 20 points in the opener against Western Michigan, the most by a Big Red rookie in his collegiate debut in school history. The previous mark of 18 was set by Ryan Wittman against Northwestern to begin the 2006-07 campaign.
• Sophomore Shonn Miller recorded six blocks against Western Michigan, a mark that is tied for sixth all-time in a single game for the Big Red.
• Miller had six blocks and three steals in the win over Western Michigan, becoming the second player in school history to have at least five blocks and three steals. Jeffrion Aubry was the first to do it with five blocks and three steals against New Mexico in the 1998-99 season.
• Sophomore Galal Cancer is the first Cornell player to surpass 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds with one turnover or less since Wallace Prather against Penn State Behrend (19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, one turnover) in 1998. He is the first player to reach that mark off the bench.
• Over the last two seasons, senior Josh Figini is 12-of-23 from 3-point range (.522).
• Senior Johnathan Gray next 3-pointer will be the 50th of his career. He also needs 27 points to reach 400 and one rebound to hit 150.
• Senior Errick Peck needs four rebounds to reach 150 and two assists for 50.


• Senior Johnathan Gray was a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands national team this summer, competing in the 2012 FIBA Centrobasket Championship from June 18-24 in Puerto Rico. He averaged 8.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists while hitting 10-of-21 3-pointers (.476) from the international 3-point line to rank fourth on the team in scoring. The Virgin Islands team went 1-3 with a win over Costa Rica (92-64) behind Gray's 12 points and five assists.
• Gray is a former walk-on who served as team manager during the 2009-10 Sweet 16 season until midseason, when he joined the varsity roster during Christmas break.

• Junior forward Dwight Tarwater's brother, Davis, earned a gold medal in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, England. Dwight was there to see his brother, a three-time NCAA champion and 13-time All-American swimmer at Michigan. At the Olympics, Tarwater swam the third leg of the preliminary round of the 4x200. His time of 1:46.33 was a personal best, and the second fastest leg for Team USA, which turned in the fastest preliminary swim. His leg was the third fastest among all 64 swimmers in the prelims.
• Freshman center Braxston Bunce earned his second straight appearance on Team Canada's Under-18 national team this past summer, competing at the 2012 FIBA Americas Championship from June 16-20 in Brazil. Canada went 4-1, with Bunce averaging 1.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in two contests,
• Men's basketball was one of 11 Cornell teams honored by the NCAA in its annual Division I Academic Progress Report (APR). The APR measures semester-by-semester records for every individual team in Division I with regard to each team members' continuing eligibility, retention and progress toward graduation. The NCAA “commends” teams that have APR scores in the top 10 percent within their sport, with the minimum necessary score ranging from 975 to a perfect mark of 1000 depending on the range of team scores within that sport.
• As a team, Cornell sports a 3.2 cumulative grade point average.
• Senior Eitan Chemerinski (Applied Economics and Management) has been a member of the 400 Club, joining an exclusive group of Cornell student-athletes to post a grade point average of 4.0 or better.
• Chemerinski solved the Rubik's Cube in 2 minutes and 43 seconds during a road trip in 2009-10, a video that went viral on YouTube. Chemerinski speaks five languages, including Mandarin.
• Cornell has had four Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans this decade, including a first-teamer in Graham Dow '07, who was a Rhodes Scholar candidate.
• Recent Cornell graduates have attended Harvard Law (Lenny Collins '06), Cornell medical school (Ugo Ihekweazu '07), Georgetown medical school (David Lisle '06) and Stanford graduate school (Graham Dow '07, biology).
• Cornell has been represented on the five member All-Ivy first team four times in the last five years, with three of those years placing multiple players on the first team.
• The Big Red has had four Ivy League Rookie of the Year selections in the last 10 years, including Shonn Miller in 2011-12.
• Over the last three seasons, Cornell has graduated three of the school's top 13 scorers, the top two assist-makers all-time, two Ivy League Players of the Year, two Associated Press honorable mention All-Americans, an Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American, three Academic All-Ivy picks and six players who competed in more than 100 career games.

MILLER WITH ROOKIE RECORDS: On his way to Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2011-12, Shonn Miller set a pair of freshman records. He ended his rookie campaign with 48 blocked shots, good for 10th best in school history and more than doubling the previous freshman record of 22 by Jeffrion Aubry during the 1995-96 campaign). He also established a new freshman rebounding record with 170, surpassing Lenny Collins' 139 in 2002-03. He closed his year with 250 points to sit 10th all-time among Cornell freshmen. How did he open his sophomore campaign? With nine points, six rebounds and career highs in blocks (six) and assists (three).

STATING THE STATES: Members of the Cornell basketball team represent 15 states and one Canadian province.

FINAL FOUR KILLERS: Over the years, Cornell has defeated some of the most storied and well-known programs in NCAA history, including 34 programs that have reached the Final Four. (Arkansas, California, Cincinnati, CCNY, Connecticut, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Holy Cross, Illinois, Kentucky, La Salle, Loyola-Chicago, Massachusetts, Michigan State, Minnesota, New York Univ., Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Rutgers, St. Bonaventure, St. John's, Saint Joseph's, Stanford, Syracuse, Temple, Villanova, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Wisconsin).

TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Big Red will play 15 games against teams that participated in the postseason a year ago, including six contests against squads that competed in the NCAA tournament. Road games at Duke (preseason No. 8, NCAA second round), Wisconsin (preseason No. 23, 2012 NCAA Sweet 16 participant), Vanderbilt (2012 Southeastern Conference Tournament champ) and American (2012 CIT participant) and home games against St. Bonaventure (2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament champion), Stony Brook (2012 America East regular season champion) and Bucknell (2012 Patriot League regular season champ) will test the Big Red in the non-conference. In addition, four out of Cornell's seven Ivy League foes (Harvard - NCAA, Princeton and Penn - CBI, and Yale - CIT) won at least 19 games a year ago and made the postseason.

CORNELL FOURTH IN IVY PRESEASON POLL: The Cornell men's basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2012 Ivy League Preseason media poll. Princeton, last year's league runner-up, was the near-unanimous preseason favorite, picking up 16 of the 17 first-place votes and 134 points total. Defending league champion Harvard picked up the lone remaining first place vote and was second with 109 points, while Columbia was selected third with 90 points. The Big Red rounded out the top half with 80 points. Rounding out the field was Penn in fifth (74 points), Yale in sixth (55 points), Brown in seventh (50 points) and Dartmouth in eighth (20 points). Two media members from each school and one national representative voted in the poll.

RED-WHITE SCRIMMAGE: The Red team jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead and cruised to a 66-58 win over the White on Oct. 21 at Newman Arena. The winners shot 53 percent from the floor overall, including 63 percent in a torrid first half to give Marlon Sears' team the bragging rights win. Devin Cherry scored 16 points and had five rebounds andDwight Tarwater chipped in 13 points and six rebounds off the bench as the Red team's double figure scorers. Josh Figini made 4-of-5 shot from the floor for eight points, whileMiles Asafo-Adjei, Eitan Chemerinski and Shonn Miller each tallied seven points apiece. Asafo-Adjei added a game-high eight assists, while Chemerinski had five boards. In all, the Red team posted a 32-24 edge on the backboards. Senior Pete McMillan had five points and three assists in the win. The white got strong offensive efforts from Johnathan Gray(game-high 24 points) and Errick Peck (16 points, three rebounds, two assists). Only teammate Galal Cancer with eight points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists, had more than three points for white. Mike Blaine's team shot just 30 percent before halftime, but heated up after the break to shoot 14-of-28, including 6-of-12 from 3-point range.

NEXT UP: Cornell returns to action on Friday, Nov. 16, when it faces Saint Peter's at 8 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

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