The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Below, the Sports Network preview of today's game...
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 5:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (18,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 1-2, Longwood 0-1. Away Record: Cornell 0-2, Longwood 0-3. Neutral Record: Cornell 1-0, Longwood 1-0. Conference Record: Cornell 0-0, Longwood 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the Longwood Lancers and the Cornell Big Red is on tap for Saturday as part of the championship round in the 2012 Las Vegas Invitational.
The Lancers struggled during their first four games of the season, coming out on the short end of each of those endeavors, but on Friday the team turned the corner with an 86-83 overtime victory against the Rattlers of Florida A&M in the third round of this event.
As for the Big Red, they too were dealing with a four-game slide, after opening the 2012-13 campaign with a 63-55 triumph versus Western Michigan. Like the Lancers, the change in scenery also benefited Cornell as the program took out Presbyterian in a lopsided 89-55 final yesterday.
Cornell went from shooting 53.3 percent from the floor in the first half against the Blue Hose on Friday to connecting on an even better 60.7 percent after the break to easily put away Presbyterian on Black Friday. Johnathan Gray stepped up with 16 points to lead five in double figures for the Big Red. Nolan Cressler accounted for 14 points, followed by reserves Devin Cherry and Eitan Chemerinski with 13 apiece. Shonn Miller chipped in 10 points, five rebounds and three steals for a team that turned the ball over just seven times. Despite the huge effort yesterday, Cornell is still scoring just 62.8 ppg and only Cherry is hitting for double-digits with his 10.2 ppg. Cressler is drawing near with his 9.5 ppg, thanks mostly to his 13-of-24 (.542) shooting beyond the arc.
Nik Brown converted a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining in overtime, leading the Lancers to the three-point win over Florida A&M in third-round action of the tournament yesterday. Despite missing a pair of free throws near the end of regulation that could have given Longwood the win, Tristan Carey still led the Lancers to their first win of the season with a game-high 30 points. Carey was 11-of-17 from the floor and hit seven 3- pointers in the victory. Brown had a strong game offensively as well, pouring in 21 points, while Michael Kessens recorded a double-double for Longwood with 14 points and 16 rebounds and Jeylani Dublin registered 11 points and 11 boards. With his huge scoring effort yesterday, Carey now leads the team overall with his 15.4 ppg, followed by Kessens (12.2 ppg) and Dublin (10.4 ppg), but still this is a unit that is giving up a massive 91.8 ppg
Obviously the Lancers can score significant point totals on a regular basis, but until the team gets a better performance at the defensive end of the floor, wins will continue to elude them.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 72, Longwood 65