Friday, December 28, 2012

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Saint Francis

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Game #13: Cornell at Saint Francis
Tip off: Friday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m.
Site: DeGol Arena (3,500), Loretto, Pa.
2012-13 Records: Cornell (4-8, 0-0 Ivy); Saint Francis (0-10, 0-0 NEC)
Series Record: Series tied 3-3
Last Meeting: Cornell won 75-54 (Nov. 8, 2005 in Syracuse, N.Y.)

Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
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Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his third season at Cornell (26-42, .382; 13-15 Ivy, .464) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

LORETTO, Pa. -- With the holiday break in the rearview mirror, the Cornell men's basketball team looks to finish the 2012 portion of its schedule strong and build some momentum heading into Ivy League play when it visits Saint Francis on Friday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. at DeGol Arena. The Big Red will attempt to take a lead in the all-time series against the Red Flash, currently tied 3-3.

Cornell brings a 4-8 record and a three-game losing skid into the contest after dropping games to Vanderbilt, No. 1 Duke and Boston University on the road between final exams and the Christmas break to start off a five-game road swing. It will attempt to finish off the season's second road swing in a similar fashion to its first. After opening a week-long road trip earlier in the season with losses at Arizona State and nationally ranked Wisconsin, the Big Red swept through contests with Presbyterian and Longwood prior to returning home. With two games remaining on its road swing, Cornell will again attempt to close strong.

The Big Red has been solid on the defensive end all season, though its last three opponents and four of its last five have hit at an uncharacteristically high 50 percent clip or better. Cornell has struggled on the offensive end its last five games (1-4), averaging nearly 17 turnovers per game and shooting just 37 percent overall (104-of-285) and 25 percent from 3-point range (27-of-107) over that span. One player who hasn't been affected by the Big Red's lull is reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year, sophomore forward Shonn Miller. Miller is averaging 13.8 points and 11.3 rebounds over the team's last four games. He has chipped in 1.8 steals and 2.0 blocks per game while shooting 57 percent from the floor (21-of-37).

Miller is the lone Big Red player to average double figures in the scoring column (10.4 ppg.) and ranks second in the league in rebounding (8.2 rpg.) and blocks (1.8 bpg.) and fourth in steals (1.9 spg.). Freshmen and sophomores rank as the team's top three scorers, with sophomore Devin Cherry second (8.3 ppg.) and freshman Nolan Cressler (7.4 ppg.) third. Seniors Eitan Chemerinski (7.2 ppg., 673 FG%), Erric Peck (7.1 ppg., 4.7 rpg.) and Johnathan Gray (6.5 ppg., 2.4 rpg.) are also among the leaders in a balanced scoring system. Cornell is shooting .732 from the free-throw line as a team, its best mark since the 2007-08 Ivy champs shot a school-record .761 from the charity stripe.

Cornell will be playing a Red Flash team hungry for its first win of 2012 after an 0-10 start. The Red Flash have lost 12 straight and 19 of its last 20 games dating back to last year. With alum Rob Krimmel in his first season as head coach, the Saint Francis program hopes the turnaround begins against the Big Red. To do so, it will need to shore up a defense that is surrendering 74 points per game on 49 percent shooting thus far. It has dropped its last three contests (Lehigh and Bucknell at home, Kent State on the road) by an average of 24.0 points per contest.

• make the Big Red to 5-8 on the season.
• give the Big Red a 4-3 lead in the all-time series with Saint Francis.
• snap a four-game skid overall and a five-game road losing streak.
• be the 1,201st in program history (1,200-1,316 in 114 seasons).

The Red Flash enter the contest looking for their first win of 2012 after 10 consecutive losses to start the year, including five against Patriot League foes. Saint Francis is 0-3 at home and is winless in seven games on the road in large part due to defensive lapses. Opponents are shooting 49 percent from the floor against the Red Flash and a healthy 40 percent from 3-point range while scoring 73.8 points per game. Junior guard Umar Shannon leads the way in scoring (14.1 ppg.) as the team's lone double figure scorer. He is also averaging 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. Ollie Jackson (9.6 ppg.), Stephon Mosely (8.9 ppg., 4.1 rpg.) and Stephon Whyatt (7.9 ppg., 1.2 spg.) have also played a major role in the offense. In his first season as a head coach, Rob Krimmel is in search of his first collegiate win. He was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American as a player for the Red Flash.

Cornell and Saint Francis have split six previous meetings on the hardwood, the last coming during the 2005-06 season opener. The Big Red tied the series at 3-3 with a 75-54 win over the Red Flash in the first round of the 2K5 Sports College Hoops Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on Nov. 8, 2005. Ryan Rourke posted a game-high 25 points and nine rebounds, while Jason Hartford chipped in with a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds). The series began in 1979 with a 75-61 Red Flash victory.

Cornell is 11-10 all-time against current members of the Northeast Conference. The Big Red is 3-3 against Saint Francis and has also faced Bryant (2-0), LIU Brooklyn (0-2), Quinnipiac (2-2), Robert Morris (2-0), Sacred Heart (1-1), St. Francis (NY) (0-2) and Wagner (1-0). Cornell has never played Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth or Mount St. Mary's.

• Cornell is 98-63 (.609) in the last six seasons.
• The Big Red is 51-19 (.729) in its last 70 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 58-15 (.795) over its last 72 home games, including 53-14 (.791) in the last six years.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 46-44 (.511) over the last five seasons vs. scholarship programs.

• Cornell's bench has outscored the opposing bench in 11 of the team's 12 games this year.
• The Big Red has held a rebounding edge over its opponent in six of the last eight games and has allowed just 12 offensive rebounds in the last three games (4.0 per game).
• Cornell has turned the ball over 19 times or more four times this season, but also has three games where it has turned the ball over nine times or less.
• Nine different players have reached double figures in scoring at least once in the team's first 12 games.
• Over the last two seasons, Big Red non-conference opponents have hit just 153 3-pointers in 26 games (5.9 per game) on .296 shooting (153-of-517). Only five times in 26 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 81 3-pointers (6.8 per game) on .335 shooting (81-of-242).
• Cornell's 34-point margin of victory in the 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 dropped a 23-point contest to Stony Brook on Nov. 28, its largest margin of defeat for the Big Red at home in three seasons under head coach Bill Courtney. Its previous biggest loss was a 13-point defeat to Harvard (73-60) in 2011.
• The Big Red lost by 41 at No. 1 Duke on Dec. 19, dropping the team to 0-4 lifetime against the nation's top team. The margin of defeat was Cornell's biggest since it lost by 40 at Penn on Jan. 13, 2006.
• 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 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. 

• Over his last eight games, sophomore Shonn Miller is averaging 11.9 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting .548 in those games from the field.
• Miller has three or more steals in six games this year and has blocked two or more shots in five contests.
• In Cornell's four wins this season, senior Errick Peck has averaged 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 47 percent from the floor. In its eight losses, Peck is averaging 5.4 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 38 percent from the field.
• Freshman Nolan Cressler has made 17 3-pointers in 12 games this season. He has hit multiple 3-pointers in six contests (17-of-32, .531) and has been shut out in six others (0-for-14, .000).
• With his 9-of-12 shooting effort against Longwood, senior Eitan Chemerinski jumped into first place on the school's career field goal percentage list. He surpassed the 100 field goals needed to join the list and is now at .623, ahead of all-time leader John McCord (.583).
• In the last 11 games, sophomore Devin Cherry has posted 100 points (9.1 ppg.) after scoring a total of 40 points in the 2011-12 campaign, spanning 22 games played.
• After opening the year 2-of-20 from 3-point range in the first five games, senior Johnathan Gray then went 12-of-19 over the next four games (.632). Since then, he has hit just 1-of-19 (.053).

Cornell closes out its 2012 schedule when it visits Central New York rival Binghamton on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.


Anonymous said...

And through the first 12 minutes of the half, it's easy to see why St. Francis is one of the worst teams in D 1. Wow are they bad.

Anonymous said...

But just after the half, St. F only down by three. Big Red taking many bad shots, again. This shouldn't be a close game.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they pulled away at the end of that game; the closeness for most of the half was discouraging for a while.

You said that Cornell still looks like they're in 4th place. But Yale has 3 wins in the 150-250 range (Army, Buffalo, Bryant) while most of Cornell's wins, except WMU, have been against bottom 60 teams who are arguably worse than any Ivy. And Brown, who just upset Providence, are in most games until their short roster catches up with them. Today, when it looked like they were going to be exhausted yet again in the closing minutes, they held on.

I'm glad you've at least stopped insisting that Cornell has as much chance of winning the league as anybody. But implying that Cornell still looks top-half, ahead of the other "bottom 5" members, is a bit unfounded. There is still a lot of work to do before the conference.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with Anon 8:13 more. Red Flash has to b one of the worse teams in D1. If this game was agaisnt any Ivy team we would have lost with the rotation Coach C played. Must have given Miller half the night off and Cherry didn't even play the second half...... Even when St F made a run in the second half and came within two baskets Courtney stayed with who he had in and could have very well lost this game if St F had at least one other scorer. Even in victory BigRed did not look good. Can anyone tell me why BigRed doesn't play its best players at the same time!!!!!!!!!!!!!