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Game #20: Cornell at Princeton
Tip off: Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m.
Site: Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854), Princeton, N.J.
2012-13 Records: Cornell (9-10, 1-1 Ivy); Princeton (8-7, 1-0 Ivy)
Series Record: Princeton leads 137-79
Last Meeting: Princeton won 75-57, Feb. 18, 2012 in Princeton, N.J.
Game #21: Cornell at Penn
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m.
Site: The Palestra (8,722), Philadelphia, Pa.
2012-13 Records: Cornell (9-10, 1-1 Ivy); Penn (3-15, 0-1 Ivy)
Series Record: Penn leads 145-73
Last Meeting: Penn won 73-66, Feb. 17, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
Live Stats: links available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: links available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR
HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his third season at Cornell (31-44, .413; 14-16 Ivy, .467) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.
STORY LINES: After an important early season conference road win, the Big Red will attempt to continue its recent winning ways away from home when it visits Princeton and Penn this weekend in what has traditionally been a treacherous trip for Ivy opponents. Cornell has won four straight away from Newman Arena.
The Big Red earned a split of the home-and-home series after a 66-63 triumph over the Lions on Jan. 26 at Levien Gymnasium. The two teams were picked to finish third (Columbia) and fourth (Cornell) in the preseason Ivy League media poll and have widely been picked to finish in the upper division prior to the season. This weekend the Big Red will have opportunities to see where they stand in the league race - Princeton was picked as the preseason league favorite, while Penn was picked to finish next to Cornell (fifth).
The Big Red's offense has been most dangerous when it has gotten itself easy shots from its pressure defense pressure. In Cornell's nine wins it has scored 77.9 points per game on 49 percent shooting. In its losses - 55.1 points on 36 percent shooting. It also has a positive assist-turnover ratio and has limited opponents to 40 percent shooting in the triumphs. That has always been the case with Courtney's teams at Cornell. The defense has been a constant - and when the offense is clicking, Cornell is tough to beat. It is 21-2 when scoring 70 or more points under his watch.
Cornell has been tremendously balanced on the offensive end, with only one player averaging in double figures, though seven other players score more than 4.8 points per game. Leading the way is sophomore Shonn Miller, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Miller leads the Big Red in scoring (10.3 ppg.), rebounding (7.4 rpg.), steals (1.7 spg.) and blocks (1.6 bpg.). Seniors Johnathan Gray (9.4 ppg.), Errick Peck (7.6 ppg.) and Eitan Chemerinski (7.1 ppg.) aren't far behind. Also among the balanced scoring group is freshman Nolan Cressler (7.8 ppg.) and sophomore Devin Cherry (7.1 ppg.) in the Big Red's 10-man rotation. Stalwart senior defender Miles Asafo-Adjei leads the team in assists (3.1), while sophomore Galal Cancer has flashed a strong all-court game (6.1 ppg., 2.7 rpg., 2.6 apg.). Junior guard Dominick Scelfo is averaging 9.0 points over his last six games to raise his scoring to 4.8 ppg.
A WIN OVER PRINCETON WOULD:
• make Cornell 10-10 overall and 2-1 in Ivy play.
• make Cornell 4-2 in 2013.
• give Cornell a 6-2 record in its last eight games.
• be the team's fifth straight road win.
• be the 1,206th in program history (1,205-1,318 in 114 seasons).
Princeton, winners of three straight games and five of its last six, bring an 8-7 overall record and a 1-0 Ivy mark into the weekend after its 71-33 win over Division III TCNJ. Senior Ian Hummer, a league Player of the Year candidate, is averaging 15.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor. Will Barrett (8.9 ppg., 4.6 rpg.), Denton Koon (8.5 ppg.) and T.J. Bray (8.1 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 3.5 apg.) also play big roles in the Tigers' balanced offense. Princeton has wins over Bucknell, Elon, Kent State and Buffalo on its resume for second-year head coach Mitch Johnson.
THE CORNELL-PRINCETON SERIES:
• Princeton leads the series 137-79 dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1901-02 season.
• Cornell has won 11 of the last 16 meetings between the teams overall, including last season's Ivy-opening win at Newman Arena.
Penn enters the weekend with a 3-15 overall mark (0-1 Ivy) and has lost 10 of its last 11 contests prior to Friday evening's home contest against Columbia. Fran Dougherty, who has missed eight contests this season, is averaging team-highs of 15.7 ppg., 8.8 rpg. and 1.3 bpg., while Miles Cartwright is posting 13.5 ppg. The Quakers are being outscored by 7.8 ppg. and are being outrebounded by 4.6 per contest while turning the ball over nearly 17 times per game. Fourth-year head coach Jerome Allen helped direct the Quakers to a second-place Ivy finish a year ago.
THE CORNELL-PENN SERIES:
• Penn leads 145-73 overall in a series that dates back to the 1903-04 campaign.
• Cornell has had the best of the series recently, winning seven of the last 10 after losing 18 straight contests to the Quakers.
• Penn swept the series last year, including a 73-67 win over the Big Red in the Palestra.
• Cornell is 103-65 (.613) in the last six seasons.
• The Big Red is 52-20 (.722) in its last 72 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 59-17 (.776) over its last 76 home games.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 50-45 (.526) over the last six seasons vs. scholarship programs.
Dating back to the 2004-05 season (nine years), Cornell's 77-37 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn is second at 75-38, followed by Princeton (63-50) and Yale (63-51). Rounding out the field is Harvard (52-52), Columbia (44-70), Brown (43-71) and Dartmouth (28-86). Going back to the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Red is a full 10 games better than anyone else in the league with its 61-25 mark. Penn is second (50-35), followed by Harvard (50-36), Yale (49-37), Princeton (47-38), Columbia (37-49), Brown (32-54) and Dartmouth (17-69).
• In its last seven contests, Cornell has posted 103 assists with just 87 turnovers.
• Taking away the 21 turnover game against Old Westbury, Cornell has averaged just 10.8 turnovers in its last six games.
• Cornell's bench has outscored the opposing bench in 18 of the team's 19 games this year. It has more than doubled up the opponent in bench scoring in 13 of those games.
• For the year, the Big Red bench has outscored its opponents 601-276 so far this year (an average of 31.6-14.5), including 35-14 vs. Western Michigan, 47-8 vs. Presbyterian, 46-12 vs. Longwood, 29-2 vs. Vanderbilt, 48-24 vs. Boston University, 32-13 vs. Saint Francis (Pa.), 28-3 vs. Binghamton and 45-19 at Columbia.
• Only one player is averaging better than 24.0 minutes per game. Shonn Miller is playing 28.6 minutes every night.
• In its last seven wins, Cornell has averaged 79.8 ppg., while shooting 50 percent from the floor (230-of-464).
• Cornell has turned the ball over 19 times or more five times this season, but also has six games where it has turned the ball over 10 times or less.
• Ten different players have reached double figures in scoring at least once in the team's first 18 games.
• 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.
• In its last four games, Cornell has connected on 32-of-68 shots from 3-point range (.471).
• Sophomore Shonn Miller has three or more steals in seven games this year and has blocked two or more shots in eight others.
• Miller enters the Princeton game with 310 career rebounds, becoming the first Big Red player to hit 300 rebounds by the end of their sophomore year since Walt Esdaile grabbed 315 in 1966-67 (freshmen weren't eligible). To put 300 rebounds in perspective, he is just the 67th player in school history to hit that mark. Miller is on pace to end the year with more than 400 rebounds, a mark that has only been hit by 43 players all-time for the Big Red.
• In his last two games, Josh Figini has averaged 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots while making 7-of-10 shots overall (.700) and 4-of-7 from 3-point range (.571).
• In games where he's played 15 minutes or more, Figini has averaged 8.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals while shooting 44 percent from 3-point range and 51 percent overall.
• In Cornell's nine wins this season, senior Errick Peck has averaged 10.4 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 49 percent from the floor. In its 10 losses, Peck is averaging 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds while shooting 33 percent from the field.
• Freshman Nolan Cressler has made 30 3-pointers in 19 games this season, including multiple treys in 10 contests. In the eight games he has been shut out from behind the arc, Cressler is 0-for-18.
• In his last four games, spanning 101 total minutes, Cressler has hit 16-of-25 shots (64 percent), including 9-of-14 3-pointers (64 percent), for 42 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and five steals.
• 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 .624, ahead of all-time leader John McCord (.583).
• Senior Johnathan Gray is averaging 14.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in his last seven games.
• After opening the year 2-of-20 from 3-point range in the first five games, Gray then went 12-of-19 over the next four games (.632). After a 1-of-19 stretch (.053), he has made 21-of-45 (.467) in his last seven games (Cornell 5-2).
• In his last six contests, senior Miles Asafo-Adjei has 23 assists and five turnovers. He has taken just 10 shots in his 126 minutes of court time.
• In his last six games, sophomore Galal Cancer has 24 assists and 12 turnovers.
• Cancer needs one steal to hit 50 for his career.
Cornell returns home for matchups against reigning Ivy League champion Harvard on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. before Dartmouth comes to town on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. in Newman Arena.