Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Longwood (Las Vegas Invitational)

Above, former Cornell assistant coach Ricky Yahn (standing right) is now coaching at Longwood....

Men's Hoops Looks To Leave Vegas With Second Win When It Meets Longwood
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Game #7: Cornell vs. Longwood
Tip off: Saturday, Nov. 24, at 2:30 p.m. PT
Site: Orleans Arena (9,500), Las Vegas, Nev.
2012-13 Records: Cornell (2-4, 0-0 Ivy); Longwood (1-4, 0-0 Big South)
Series Record: First-ever meeting

Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: None
Live Stats: available at
Live Video: not available for this game
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his third season at Cornell (24-38, .387; 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: Cornell snapped its four-game losing streak in a big way on Friday and now looks to close out its holiday trip with another win at the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., before going home. The Big Red will play Longwood on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 2:30 p.m. PT in the sub-regional final.

The Big Red controlled the game from the tip in an 89-55 win over Presbyterian on Friday, posting the largest margin of victory in any game under head coach Bill Courtney. Cornell shot 57 percent from the floor overall, made 11-of-26 shots from 3-point range, turned the ball over just seven times, dominated the battle of the boards (36-25) and defended as it had all season long, limiting the Blue Hose to 37 percent from the field.

Cornell has defended as well as any team in the country, allowing opponents to shoot just 39 percent from the floor overall and 28 percent from 3-point range while blocking 4.5 shots with 7.5 steals per game. Its problems in the 2-4 start have come on the offensive end, where it is connecting on just 39 percent of its shots and 33 percent from beyond the arc. That is, before yesterday's explosion. Cornell's lone double figure scorer in sophomore guard Devin Cherry (10.2 ppg.). With its top four scorers freshmen or sophomores, the Big Red has gone through some understandable growing pains on the offensive end, but players like reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year Shonn Miller (8.8 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 2.3 spg., 2.0 bpg.), sophomore classmate Galal Cancer (7.8 ppg., 3.0 rpg., 3.5 apg.) and freshman Nolan Cressler (9.5 ppg., 3.5 rpg.) join seniors Errick Peck (6.3 ppg., 4.0 rpg.), Josh Figini (4.8 ppg.), Johnathan Gray (6.0 ppg., 3.0 rpg.) and Eitan Chemerinski (5.3 ppg., 3.7 rpg.) in forming a solid nucleus.

Longwood picked up its first win of the 2012-13 season with an 86-83 overtime win over Florida A&M to improve to 1-4 on the year. Tristan Carey scored 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Michael Kessens had 14 points and 16 rebounds and Nik Brown scored 21 points with six assists in the win for the Lancers, who shot 50 percent from the floor and hit on 8-of-17 3-pointers. The Lancers had dropped contests to Marshall, Norfolk State, Arkansas and Creighton prior to its win over the Rattlers.

• make the Big Red 3-4 on the season.
• advance the Big Red's record against Big South teams to 5-1.
• give Cornell its first win streak of the year.
• give Cornell a final 2-2 record in the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational and win the consolation sub-regional.
• be the 1,199th in program history (1,198-1,312 in 114 seasons).

ABOUT LONGWOOD: At 1-4 overall, Longwood is looking for its second straight win for head coach Mike Gillian, who was on the same staff as Bill Courtney when both were assistants for Jim Larranaga at both Bowling Green and George Mason. Junior Tristan Carey leads the Lancers in scoring (15.4 ppg.), including a 30-point effort in yesterday's overtime victory over Florida A&M. Freshman forward Michael Kessens has also been particularly impressive, averaging a douuble-double of 12.2 ppg. and 10.2 rpg. He is also averaging 1.8 blocks and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 63 percent from the floor. Longwood is allowing opponent 91.8 points on .517 shooting this season, are being outrebounded by -8.0 per game and are turning the ball over more than 20 times per contest. In his seventh year directing the Longwood program, Gillian was the 2009 Independent Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 17-14 record.

THE CORNELL-LONGWOOD SERIES: This will be the first-ever meeting between Cornell and Longwood on the hardwood.

CORNELL VS. THE BIG SOUTH: Though Cornell will be playing Longwood for the first time, it is 4-1 all-time mark against teams currently comprising the Big South Conference. Cornell has faced Presbyterian (1-0), VMI (2-0) and Winthrop (1-1), while never having met Campbell, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Liberty, Radford and UNC-Asheville. Cornell could also face Longwood on Saturday if their first round results match up. The Big Red's last win over a Big South team came — yesterday. Cornell defeated fellow Big South school Presbyterian 89-55.

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 (L, 73-40), then off to Arizona State for a Tuesday game (L, 64-53). Cornell now is in Las Vega, and after beating Presbyterian (89-55), the Big Red will close the trip against Longwood. All told, Cornell will travel 4,400 miles to play its six games.

CROSS OFF ANOTHER STATE: Cornell's schedule in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational has allowed the Big Red men's basketball team to cross off two states on its list of states the team has played in. Cornell's game at Arizona State was the first-ever contest in Arizona, and its two games at Orleans Arena will cross off Nevada. They are the 44th and 45th states the Big Red has played in. After the 2012-13 campaign, Alaska, North Dakota, Mississippi, Texas and Wyoming will have never hosted a game involving Cornell. Over the years, the Big Red has also played games in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Australia and France.

THE BIG RED AND IN-SEASON TOURNAMENTS: Overall, Cornell is 43-96 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 is 95-59 (.617) in the last five seasons.
• The Big Red is 51-19 (.729) in its last 70 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 57-14 (.802) over its last 71 home games, including 52-13 (.800) in the last six years.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 44-40 (.524) over the last five seasons.

• Cornell's 34-point margin of victory in yesterday'89-55 victory over Presbyterian was the largest in a game under head coach Bill Courtney and the largest by a Big Red team since topping Harvard 86-50 on Jan. 30, 2010.
• The Big Red's .569 field goal percentage in the win over Presbyterian is the second-highest under head coach Bill Courtney, behind only a torrid .638 against Wofford (30-of-47) on Dec. 30, 2010.
• Cornell's bench has outscored the opposing bench in each of the team's six games this year.
• Three days after turning the ball over a season-high 23 times against Arizona State, the Big Red coughed the ball up a season-low seven times against Presbyterian.
• Opponents have been under 30 percent shooting from 3-point range in five of Cornell's six games this season.
• Eight different players have reached double figures in scoring at least once in the team's first six games.
• Cornell hasn't allowed a non-conference team to shoot 50 percent in 19 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 Wisconsin and BCS schools Mayland, Penn State and Arizona 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 their shots (27-of-54).
• Over the last two seasons, Big Red non-conference opponents have hit just 103 3-pointers in 20 games (5.2 per game) on .270 shooting (103-of-381). Only twice in 20 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 31 3-pointers (5.2 per game) on .277 shooting (31-of-112).
• 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).

• In the last five games, sophomore Devin Cherry has posted 61 points (12.2 ppg.) after scoring a total of 40 points in the 2011-12 campaign, spanning 22 games played.
• Sophomore Devin Cherry made all five field goals (including 3-pointers) without a miss against Presbyterian. It's the most shots made by a Big Red player without a miss since Errick Peck was also 5-for-5 against Dartmouth on Feb. 20, 2010.
• In six games this season, freshman guard Nolan Cressler has made 13 3-pointers. He has hit multiple 3-pointers in four contests (13-of-21, .619) and has been shut out in two others (0-for-3, .000).
• Sophomore Shonn Miller has three or more steals in four games this year. He has blocked two or more shots in three contests.
• Senior Johnathan Gray has connected on 53 career 3-pointers and needs just six more to move into the top 20 all-time at Cornell.

NEXT UP: The Big Red returns home for a two-game set prior to final exams beginning with a meeting against defending America East regular season champion Stony Brook on Wednesday, Nov. 28 beginning at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall.

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