Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Visit to Arizona State



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CORNELL INFORMATION

ARIZONA STATE INFORMATION

GAME INFORMATION
Game #5: Cornell at Arizona State
Tip off: Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7:00 p.m. MT
Site: Kohl Center (17,230), Madison, Wis.
2012-13 Records: Cornell (1-3, 0-0 Ivy); Arizona State (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
Series Record: First-ever meeting

Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: Pac-12 Network
Live Stats: available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his third season at Cornell (23-37, .383; 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 play its second road contest in three days against a major conference opponent as part of the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational when it visits unbeaten Arizona State on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET) at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz. The game will be broadcast on the Pac 12 Network.

Cornell has struggled offensively in a three-game losing skid, but has continued to play excellent defense, limiting opponents to .397 shooting overall and .265 from the 3-point arc while blocking 5.8 shots per game with 7.0 steals per outing. In its three game skid, Cornell is shooting just 34 percent from the floor and 28 percent from beyond the arc. The Big Red hasn't been sloppy with the ball, just not making shots. Cornell is averaging just 13.7 turnovers per game during the stretch.

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. It is shooting just 36 percent from the field overall and 29 percent from behind the arc. Sophomores Galal Cancer (9.0 ppg., 4.0 apg., 4.0 rpg.), Shonn Miller (7.5 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 3.0 bpg., 2.0 spg.) and Devin Cherry (10.3 ppg., 3.0 rpg.) and freshman Nolan Cressler (9.3 ppg., 2.5 rpg.) have led a balanced offense that also prominently features seniors Errick Peck (7.5 ppg., 4.3 rpg.) and Johnathan Gray (5.0 ppg., 3.3 rpg.).

Arizona State is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2009 behind a balanced offense that has put five players in double figures in each of its first two games. The Sun Devils picked up a 97-70 win over Florida A&M on Sunday behind 20 points and seven assists from Jahii Carson and 13 points and 15 rebounds from Jon Gilling. Head coach Herb Sendek's team is looking to bounce back from last season's 6-22 campaign and so far so good. Arizona State has six players averaging in double figures led by Carson at 17.5 points and 6.0 assists, while both Gilling (12.0 ppg., 10.5 rpg.) and Jordan Bachynski (15.5 ppg., 10.0 rpg.) are each averaging double-doubles. Arizona State is shooting 49 percent from the floor overall while scoring 88.0 points per game. Opponents are turning the ball over 18 times per game and shooting just 35 percent from the floor.

A WIN OVER ARIZONA STATE WOULD: 
• make the Big Red 2-3 on the season.
• even Cornell's record in the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at 1-1.
• get the Big Red's road record in 2012-13 back to even (1-1).
• be the first over a Pac-12 school in 20 years (1992 - defeated California 74-54).
• make the Big Red 3-10 all-time against the Pac-12 overall.
• be the 1,198th in program history (1,197-1,311 in 114 seasons).

ABOUT ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State is looking for its first 0-0 start since 2009 after opening the year with wins over Central Arkansas (79-64) and Florida A&M (97-70) behind a balanced offense that has put five players in double figures in each of its first two games. In the win over the Rattlers on Sunday, Jahii Carson scored 20 points with seven assists, while John Gilling notched 13 points and 15 rebounds. Head coach Herb Sendek's team is looking to bounce back from last season's 6-22 campaign and so far so good. Arizona State has six players averaging in double figures led by Carson at 17.5 points and 6.0 assists, while both Gilling (12.0 ppg., 10.5 rpg.) and Jordan Bachynski (15.5 ppg., 10.0 rpg.) are each averaging double-doubles. Arizona State is shooting 49 percent from the floor overall while scoring 88.0 points per game. Opponents are turning the ball over 18 times per game and shooting just 35 percent from the floor.

THE CORNELL-ARIZONA STATE SERIES: This will be the first-ever meeting between Cornell and Arizona State on the hardwood.

CORNELL VS. THE PACIFIC-12: Though Cornell will be playing Arizona State for the first time, it is 2-10 all-time mark against teams currently comprising the Pac-12 Conference. Cornell has also faced Arizona (0-1), California (1-1), Oregon (0-1), Stanford (1-3), Utah (0-2), Washington (0-1), UCLA (0-1), while never having met Colorado, Oregon State, USC or Washignton State. The Big Red's last win over a Pac-12 team came on Dec. 30, 1992 when Cornell upset No. 19 California, 74-54, at the Meadowlands. California's roster included two future NBA players in Jason Kidd and Lamond Murray, though Kidd sat out the game with an injury.

NBA SCHEDULE: Cornell is in the midst of playing six games in 11 days, covering four states (New York, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada) and all four continental U.S. time zones (Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific). 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 (lost, 73-40), and now heads 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 42-95 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.

THE STREAKS
• Cornell is 94-58 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 43-39 over the last five seasons.

TEAM NOTES:
• Cornell is 1-0 when winning the rebounding battle this season, 0-3 when it does not.
• Opponents have been under 30 percent shooting from 3-point range in three of Cornell's four games this season.
• 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 17 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 90 3-pointers in 18 games (5.0 per game) on .267 shooting (90-of-337). Only twice in 18 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 18 3-pointers (4.5 per game) on .265 shooting (18-of-68).
• 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).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES:
• The game will serve as a homecoming for sophomore Deion Giddens. Giddens' family resides in Surprise, Ariz., which is approximately 40 miles northwest of Tempe.
• Former head coach Scott Thompson is also expected to attend the game. Out of basketball and working as the Director of Development for the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Thompson, a former assistant coach for Lute Olson on the Arizona sidelines, served as the Big Red's head coach for four seasons (1996-2000).
• In the last three games, sophomore Devin Cherry has posted 41 points (13.7 ppg.) after scoring a total of 40 points in the 2011-12 campaign, spanning 22 games played.
• 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 entered the weekend ranked first in the Ivy League in blocks (3.3 per game) and fifth in steals (2.3 per game). He's the only player ranked in the top five in both.
• 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 when he did so against Western Michigan. He is the first player to reach that mark off the bench.
• Over the last two seasons, senior Josh Figini is 14-of-27 from 3-point range (.519).
• Senior Johnathan Gray needs 12 points to reach 400 for his career.

NEXT UP: Cornell will play its final two games of the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational beginning with the Big Red's first-ever meeting with Presbyterian on Friday, Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET) at Orleans Arena. Cornell will then play either Longwood or Florida A&M the following day at either 12 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. PT.

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