Friday, November 23, 2012

Game Recap: Cornell 89, Presbyterian 55 (Las Vegas, NV)

Below, recaps from Friday's game...
The Ithaca Journal

LAS VEGAS — Five members of the Cornell men’s basketball team scored in double figures and the Big Red shot 57 percent, making 11 3-pointers on its way to an 89-55 victory against Presbyterian at the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitation on Friday at Orleans Arena.

The 34-point margin of victory was the biggest in Cornell coach Bill Courtney’s tenure and ended a four-game losing streak for the Big Red (2-4), which plays Longwood in Saturday’s consolation championship game.

Every one of Cornell’s 16 dressed players took the court in Friday’s victory, as the Big Red showed off the depth expected of Courtney’s squad this season, scoring 47 bench points to 8 for the Blue Hose and holding a 36-25 edge in rebounds.

Senior shooting guard Johnathan Gray scored a season-high 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, hitting 3-pointers on Cornell’s first two possession to hand his team a 6-0 lead. The Big Red never trailed, taking its first double-digit lead at 23-12 midway through the first half on Gray’s third long ball of the night.

Cornell’s lead at halftime was 17 and 50 seconds into the second half it ballooned to 20 on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Nolan Cressler, who finished with 14 points and five rebounds. Another 3-pointer by Cressler with 7:22 remaining made the lead 73-42, and with 2:03 on the clock junior Dominick Scelfo connected from long range to give the Big Red its largest lead at 87-49.

Sophomore guard Devin Cherry and senior center Eitan Cherminski added 13 points apiece for Cornell, while sophomore forward Shonn Miller chipped in with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals. Cornell turned the ball over seven times while forcing the Blue Hose into 14 turnovers.Presbyterian (0-5) was the fifth Big Red opponent in six games to shoot less than 30 percent from beyond the arc.

Balanced Scoring, Deep Bench Lead Men's Hoops To Easy Win Over Presbyterian

Box Score (PDF)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Cornell played fast, took care of the ball and snapped its four-game losing streak with a dominant 89-55 victory over Presbyterian at the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational on Friday afternoon at Orleans Arena. The Big Red improved to 2-4, while the Blue Hose fell to 0-5.

The Big Red shot 57 percent from the floor as a team, made 11 3-pointers, turned the ball over just seven times and outrebounded Presbyterian 36-25 in a game that provided the biggest margin of victory in head coach Bill Courtney's tenure at Cornell.

All 16 players dressed saw action, with five reaching double figures. Senior Johnathan Gray snapped out of a shooting slump with a 16-point performance. The senior connected on 3-pointers on the Big Red's first two possessions as Cornell jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never trailed. Freshman Nolan Cressler added 14 points and five rebounds and sophomore Devin Cherry and senior Eitan Chemerinski each had 13. Sophomore Shonn Miller rounded out the group with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals. Just missing double figures was sophomore Galal Cancer with nine points and two steals.

Presbyterian shot just 37 percent overall and was the fifth Big Red opponent in six games this season to shoot less than 30 percent from beyond the arc. Khalid Muutakabbir had 17 points and six rebounds to lead the Blue Hose, while Jordan Downing had 14. The duo shot just 9-of-30 from the floor for their 31 points.

The most obvious difference in a game dominated by the Big Red was Cornell's depth. Playing as the home team on a neutral site, Cornell's bench outscored Presbyterian's 47-8, with Courtney subbing in a fresh five players numerous times in the second half to keep up the Big Red's frenetic pace. Only two players played more than 20 minute (Miller with 27, Gray with 26), leaving the squad fresh for tomorrow's consolation championship game against Longwood, an 86-83 overtime winner over Florida A&M in the first contest of the day.

It was apparent early that the Big Red was ready to snap its losing skid, jumping out to a13-5 lead in the first five minutes and never looking back. Presbyterian briefly got back within four (13-9), but Cornell controlled the action by speeding up the game against the Blue Hose. A 9-0 run over the span of 2:11 turned a single digit game into an 18-point bulge (35-17) with less than six minutes to play in the half as Chemerinski had two buckets and grabbed an offensive rebound and found Cressler for a jumper for another bucket. Cornell couldn't put more separation between the teams and went into halftime leading 45-28. The biggest excitement came with four minutes left when Miller, frustrated at being held, coming around a screen, batted away a defender's hand, then rolled to the rim for a vicious dunk.

Gray had 12 points in the decisive first half, including hitting 3-of-5 from deep. Cornell held a dominant 22-10 rebounding edge, had a 22-0 advantage in bench points and had turned the ball over just twice.


Five Cornell players scored in double-figures and recorded 11 three-pointers to lead the Big Red to the 89-55 win over the Presbyterian College men's basketball team this afternoon at the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational being held at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

PC drops to 0-5 overall, while Cornell improves to 2-4.

The Blue Hose were led by Khalid Mutakabbir, who had 17 points, for his fourth double-figure scoring game of the year. He was followed by Jordan Downing with his 14 on the afternoon. Mutakabbir pulled down a team-leading six rebounds as well. Austin Anderson recorded a career-high two three-pointers and was the team-leader, along with Mutakabbir.

Cornell was led by Johnathan Gray with 16 points and Nolan Cressler with 14. Devin Cherry and Eitan Chemerinski each had 13 points, while Shonn Miller followed with 10. Miller, Cressler and Chemerinski each led the team with five rebounds apiece.

The Big Red were 11-of-26 from beyond the three-point arc and shot 56.9% from the field. PC was 19-of-51 from field goal range and five of seven in three-pointers for a 37.3% and 29.4%, respectively. Cornell posted a 14-7 advantage in turnovers and out-rebounded the Blue Hose 36-25. Both teams connected on 12 free throws, with Cornell attempting three more, 17-14.

Cornell jumped out to a 6-0 lead off back to back three-pointers before PC cut the lead to three off a Truss free throw and Mutakabbir jumper at17:59. After two Downing free throws cut the margin to three, 8-5 at 16:53, Cornell went on a 5-0 run to take a 13-5 lead with 14:39 left on the clock in the half.

Trailing 17-9, Downing hit a three-pointer at 10:53 to make it 17-12, before back to back Cornell three-pointers and another basket gave the Big Red the 25-12 lead with 9:29 left before intermission.

Ryan McTavish scored all five points in a 5-1 run to cut Cornell's lead to nine, 26-17, at the 7:56 mark. The Big Red responded with nine unanswered, highlighted by four points from Chemerinski, to take a 35-17 lead with 5:06 to go in the first. Joshua Clyburn ended the run with a basket at 4:46 with Cornell leading 35-19. Downing added a basket right after as PC cut the lead to 35-21 with 4:27 left.

Both teams traded baskets and free throws down the stretch, with Downing adding a three-pointer as the Blue Hose went into the locker room trailing by 17, 45-28.

Cornell opened the game with a 20-10 run to build a 65-38 lead with 13:37 to go before Downing and Mutakabbir added back to back baskets to cut the margin to 65-42. Cornell ended the small run with a three-pointer by Devin Cherry at 12:03 to give the Big Red the 68-42 lead.

PC used two baskets by Clyburn and a three-pointer by Mutakabbir in a 7-2 run that saw the Blue Hose cut into the Cornell lead and trail 75-49. The Big Red made back the difference with back to back baskets to lead 79-49 at 3:57. It was the start of a 12-0 run by Cornell that saw the Big Red convert two three-pointers and take the 87-49 lead with 1:55 to go.

Austin Anderson's three-pointer at 1:30 and again with 15.4 seconds remaining helped PC cut the margin and make it a final 89-55.

The Blue Hose take on Florida A&M Saturday, Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. (ET). All the games are being held at Orleans Arena and are being broadcast live on WKRI i91.9-FM.

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