Friday, November 23, 2012

Sports Network Predicts/Previews Cornell in Las Vegas vs. Presbyterian

Above, photos tweeted by Cornell Athletics from the team's journeys in Las Vegas...

DATE & TIME: Friday, November 23, 4:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (18,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Presbyterian 0-0, Cornell 1-2. Away Record: Presbyterian 0-2, Cornell 0-2. Neutral Record: Presbyterian 0-2, Cornell 0-0. Conference Record: Presbyterian 0-0, Cornell 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The Blue Hose of Presbyterian continue to seek out their first win of the season as they contend against the Cornell Big Red as part of the Las Vegas Invitational at Orleans Arena.

Presbyterian has yet to play a game at home and the team is not due for such an outing until Nov. 27 when it hosts Toccoa Falls at the Templeton Center. The team has been humbled by the first four opponents of the year, losing to Clemson, Georgia Tech, Creighton and Wisconsin all by double figures. The latest setback was a dismal 88-43 final versus the Badgers on Tuesday.

As for the Big Red, if not for a 63-55 win over Western Michigan in the season opener a couple weeks ago, they'd be in the same boat at the Blue Hose. Since that victory, Cornell has fallen in four consecutive outings, the most recent coming on Tuesday versus Arizona State, 64-53, in Tempe.

The winner of this first-ever meeting will take on the winner of the Florida A&M/Longwood outing, with the losers also matching up in Saturday action.

Presbyterian didn't stand a chance against the Badgers earlier this week, hitting on a mere seven field goals in the first half and missing all seven attempts beyond the arc in the frame. Once the smoke cleared, the Blue Hose has made just as many field goals (16) as they had turnovers. Khalid Mutakabbir scored 14 points for the visitors, adding four assists and four rebounds, but he was also charged with five miscues as well. Joshua Clyburn tacked on 10 points and William Truss contributed six points, seven boards and three blocked shots. Presbyterian is being beaten up all over the floor thus far, shooting only 36.0 percent from the floor en route to a meager 45.8 ppg. The squad is being outscored by more than 30 ppg and has recorded just 23 offensive rebounds over four games. Jordan Downing (11.5 ppg), Mutakabbir (10.5 ppg) and Clyburn (10.0 ppg) stand as the three primary scorers for the group.

Like the Blue Hose, Cornell also had a tough time in its latest outing as it suffered with more turnovers (23) than made field goals (19), which is never the best way to go after a win. Trying to keep the Big Red relative, Shonn Miller recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, adding three steals along the way as well. Josh Figini tacked on another 12 points for a team that shot just 35.2 percent from the field and 6-of-18 behind the three- point line. After shooting 40.4 percent from the floor in both of the first two games of the season, Cornell has headed south rather dramatically, the low point coming against Wisconsin when the team converted a mere 16-of-61 (.262), including 2-of-15 behind the three-point line. Defensively the team has been respectable, allowing 66.4 ppg and holding foes to 38.9 percent accuracy from the field, yet they are still not surviving. There isn't a single player on the team who is scoring in double figures right now, with reserve Devin Cherry coming the closest with his 9.6 ppg.

If the Cornell defense can keep the Blue Hose from gaining any early confidence, the Big Red should be in store for the win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 62, Presbyterian 58

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