The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Below, the Sports Network's preview...
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 14, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: NBC Sports Network. Home Record: SBU 1-0, Cornell 0-0. Away Record: SBU 0-0, Cornell 0-0. Neutral Record: SBU 0-0, Cornell 0-0. Conference Record: SBU 0-0, Cornell 0-0. Series Record: Cornell leads, 8-5.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Empire State schools are set to duke it out as the St. Bonaventure Bonnies tangle with the Cornell Big Red at Newman Arena in Ithaca.
The Bonnies come in with a 1-0 record after defeating Bethune-Cookman, 65-55, in their season opener last Friday. St. Bonaventure played very well at the defensive end as Bethune-Cookman converted only 19-of-51 attempts from the floor. The Bonnies were very aggressive offensively which led to 25 free-throw attempts. Coach Mark Schmidt has been steadily rebuilding the program since taking over prior to the 2007-08 season. Schmidt led the Bonnies to an Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament championship win and an NCAA Tournament berth last season.
Cornell also comes in with a 1-0 record after it downed Western Michigan, 63-55, at Newman Arena last Saturday which evened the program's record versus Mid-American Conference opponents at 32-32. The Big Red grabbed 40 rebounds and assisted 17 of their 23 made field goals versus the Broncos. They will try to carry over that success into their bout with an A-10 opponent, who they are 18-20 in history against. Bill Courtney has a 23-34 overall record as Cornell's head coach entering tonight's fray.
The Big Red hold an 8-5 all-time series lead over St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies earned a 79-58 victory in last season's encounter on Nov. 11, 2011 at the Reilly enter in Olean.
St. Bonaventure lost a crucial element of its success when Andrew Nicholson graduated and joined the professional ranks. Nicholson was the first SBU player drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft since Bob Lanier. Although they will miss their star forward, the Bonnies have plenty to work with still Forward Demetrius Conger played a team-high 36 minutes in the season opener and produced 12 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Eric Mosely came off the bench to knock down 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and score a team-high 14 points in 21 minutes. Matthew Wright contributed 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting. The Toronto native led last season's team in assists (90) and steals (30). Youssou Ndoye anchored the defense with five blocked shots versus Bethune- Cookman.
Cornell has to get better production out of its starting five, which went a collective 9-of-32 from the floor in its season-opening win over WMU. Errick Peck was the only starter who managed to net 10 points. Although Shonn Miller went only 2-of-8 from the field offense, he made a huge impact defensively with six blocks and three steals. Courtney may have to insert freshman guard Nolan Cressler into the starting lineup sooner than expected. Cressler scored 20 points in the opener to set a new Big Red rookie scoring record in collegiate debuts.
This one should be much closer than last season's lopsided affair. Both sides have multiple players attempting to adapt to new roles in the early season. The Bonnies' more balanced attack is decent, but they will need to shut down Cressler to pull off the road victory
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 68, St. Bonaventure 66