Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Visit to Wisconsin

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Game #4: Cornell at Wisconsin
Tip off: Sunday, Nov. 18, at 5:00 p.m. CT
Site: Kohl Center (17,230), Madison, Wis.
2012-13 Records: Cornell (1-2, 0-0 Ivy); Wisconsin (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Series Record: Cornell leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Cornell won 87-69, March 21, 2010 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
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 (23-36, .389; 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 open up play in the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational when it visits No. 22/20 Wisconsin on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. CT at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. The Big Red and Badgers will match up in a game broadcast on ESPN3.

The Big Red has dropped consecutive four-point contests at home, as late rallies fell short against 2012 Atlantic 10 tournament champion and NCAA participant St. Bonaventure (72-68) and unbeaten Saint Peter's (68-64), who sports a road win at Rutgers. Cornell has continued to play excellent defense, limiting opponents to .395 shooting overall and .261 from the 3-point arc while blocking 7.0 shots per game with 6.3 steals per outing.

With its top four scorers either freshmen or sophomores thus far, head coach Bill Courtney's team has gone through some growing pains early in the season as it finds its offensive identity. Shooting just 39 percent from the field itself, Cornell has still taken care of the ball (13.0 turnovers per game). Sophomores Galal Cancer (11.3 ppg., 5.0 apg., 4.3 rpg.), Shonn Miller (9.3 ppg., 5.7 rpg., 3.3 bpg., 2.3 spg.) and Devin Cherry (9.3 ppg., 3.3 rpg.) and freshman Nolan Cressler (10.7 ppg., 2.3 rpg.) have led a balanced offense that also prominently features seniors Errick Peck (9.3 ppg., 4.7 rpg.) and Johnathan Gray (6.3 ppg., 4.0 rpg.).

The Badgers are 1-1 this season and are set up for yet another run at the top of the Big Ten. Featuring great size in the frontcourt, a mixture of talented experience and youth in the backcourt and one of the top collegiate coaches in Bo Ryan, the Badgers have had as much non-conference success as any program in the country in recent times, particularly at home. Ryan coached Wisconsin teams have won 24 of their last 25 non-conference home games (.960) and 167-of-182 games overall (.933).

• make the Big Red 2-2 on the season.
• make Cornell 2-0 all-time against Wisconsin and 14-34 against members of the Big Ten.
• be its first win over a ranked team since — beating then No. 16/19 Wisconsin 87-69 in the 2010 NCAA tournament second round.
• be the 1,198th in program history (1,197-1,310 in 114 seasons).

ABOUT WISCONSIN: No. 22/20 Wisconsin is 1-1 this season after dropping its last contest, a 74-56 decision at No. 10 Florida. It opened the year with an 87-47 win over Southeastern Louisiana. Head coach Bo Ryan perennially has the Badgers at the top of the Big Ten and the national rankings, and this season should be no different. Jared Berggren is averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in two games, while Ben Brust is posting 10.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. Traditionally one of the nation's best defensive teams, Wisconsin has allowed just 60.5 points per game. The Badgers have a tremendous 167-15 (.918) record at the Kohl Center under Bo Ryan, including an 83-6 mark (.933) in non-conference affairs.

THE CORNELL-WISCONSIN SERIES: Cornell and Wisconsin have met just once, with Cornell earning an 87-69 decision in the 2010 NCAA tournament second round.

LAST TIME VS. WISCONSIN: Playing arguably its best all-around game of a Cinderella season, Cornell led from wire-to-wire and dominated No. 4 seed Wisconsin 87-69 on March 21, 2010 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Against one of the nation's stoutest defenses, the Big Red shot 61 percent from the floor and made 53 percent from beyond the arc (8-of-15), scoring the most points of the season against Wisconsin and shooting a higher percentage than any of its foes all year long. Louis Dale scored a career-high 26 points and Ryan Wittman chipped in with 24. Lost in the celebration was that Wittman became the fifth player in conference history to surpass 2,000 career points. He ended the night with 2,018 points. Both Jeff Foote and Chris Wroblewski scored 12 points in the victory.

CORNELL VS. THE BIG TEN: The Big Red holds a 13-34 all-time record against current members of the Big Ten Conference and is 1-0 all-time against Wisconsin. 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), Penn State (5-5) and Purdue (0-1). Cornell snapped a 39-year stretch without a Big Ten victory when it defeated Northwestern 64-61 on Nov. 10, 2006 and defeated the Badgers in 2009-10 in the second round of the NCAA tournament en route to its Sweet 16 finish. The Big Red has had near misses each of the last two season, leading at halftime against then-No. 13 Minnesota before falling 71-66 on Dec. 4, 2010 and then-No. 24 Illinois before dropping a 64-60 decision on Dec. 19, 2011.

NBA SCHEDULE: Cornell is in the midst of playing six games in 11 days, covering four states (New York, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada)  and three time zones (Eastern, Central, Mountain). Cornell opened on Nov. 16 against St. Bonaventure at home (72-68 loss) and two days later lost to Saint Peter's (68-64). The Big Red hopped a plane on Saturday to play at Wisconsin, then to Arizona State for a Tuesday game before playing against Presbyterian and then either Longwood or Florida A&M on Nov. 23 and 24 in Las Vegas. All told, Cornell will travel 4,400 miles to play its six games.

THE BIG RED AND IN-SEASON TOURNAMENTS: Overall, Cornell is 42-94 in tournament play during the regular season. The program last won an in-season tournament when it dropped Davidson and St. John's to capture the 2009-10 MSG Holiday Classic. The Big Red has also won tournament championships at the 1978-79 and 1967-68 Kodak Classic (both in Rochester, N.Y.) and the 1990-91 USAir-Cornell Classic. Cornell was a perfect 4-0 at the Legends Classic in 2009-10, but due to the tournament format, was not considered to be the tournament champion. Florida (4-0) also finished the tournament unbeaten.

CORNELL VS. RANKED OPPONENTS: Cornell enters its contest against No. 22/20 Wisconsin with a 5-66 record all-time against teams ranked in the top 25. Cornell snapped an 18-game skid against ranked teams by dispatching of No. 12/13 Temple in the NCAA first round and No. 16/19 Wisconsin in the second round of the 2009-10 tournament. The Big Red's previous win was a 74-54 triumph over then-No. 19 California, at the 1992 Seton Hall/Meadowlands Tournament. That team featured Jason Kidd (who sat out the game) and former NBA player Lamond Murray. The Big Red's other wins came against then-No. 17 Syracuse in 1957 (60-54), then-No. 3 Princeton in 1967 (62-56) and a win by forfeit against No. 15 Minnesota in a game vacated by the Gophers after using an ineligible player in 1976.

• Cornell is 94-57 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 57-14 over its last 71 home games, including 40-12 in the last five seasons and 52-13 in the last six years.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 43-38 over the last five seasons.

• 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 16 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 84 3-pointers in 17 games (4.9 per game) on .267 shooting (84-of-315). Only twice in 17 games has a team shot better than 33 percent from beyond the arc. That trend continued so far this season, as Cornell opponents have made just 12 3-pointers (4.0 per game) on .261 shooting (12-of-46).
• 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).

• Several players on both teams were involved in the 2010 NCAA tournament meeting, an 87-69 Cornell victory to advance to the Sweet 16. For the Big Red, Errick Peck played two minutes, while Miles Asafo-Adjei also saw court time in the closing minute. Current Badgers Ryan Evans, Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz all appeared in the game
• 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.
• Cressler was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week after the win over Western Michigan.
• 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.
• Miller ranks first in the Ivy League in blocks (3.3 per game) and fifth in steals (2.3 per game).
• 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 assists, five rebounds, one turnover) in 1998. He is the first player to reach that mark off the bench.
• In three games this season, Cancer has posted 15 assists and just four turnovers a year after being nearly 1:1 (75 assists, 70 turnovers). He leads the Ivy League in assist:turnover ratio at 3.8.
• Over the last two seasons, senior Josh Figini is 14-of-26 from 3-point range (.538).
• Senior Johnathan Gray needs 13 points to reach 400 for his career.

NEXT UP: The Big Red continues play in the Las Vegas Invitational when it meets Arizona State on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET) in a game that will be televised by the Pac 12 Network.

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