Saturday, January 26, 2013

Ithaca Journal Previews Cornell at Columbia

The Cornell men’s basketball team will look to avoid an 0-2 Ivy League start Saturday evening when it visits Levien Gym to take on Columbia in the teams’ second meeting in a week.
The game will tip off at 7 p.m., following the Big Red vs. Lions women’s game at 4:30. The 2,700-seat Levien Gym is sold out for Columbia’s “Pack the House” event.
Coach Bill Courtney’s Big Red men (8-10, 0-1) will look to turn the tables on the Lions (9-6, 1-0), who came to Ithaca last weekend and went home with a 67-58 victory. A 13-0 run midway through the second half keyed the win for Columbia, which shot 11-for-18 after halftime and rode a game-high 18 points from 6-foot-9 senior center Mark Cisco. Senior point guard Brian Barbour added 16 points.
Cisco, who also grabbed nine rebounds, was named Ivy Co-Player of the Week for his effort against the Big Red. He was also honored by the league after getting 18 points and 20 rebounds in a 61-56 victory against Cornell on Jan. 21, 2012, in New York.
Cornell will be seeking its fourth consecutive road victory, a feat it has not accomplished since 2009-10’s NCAA Sweet Sixteen team. The Red was 5-24 away from Newman Arena in Courtney’s first two seasons.
The Big Red’s offense is led by 6-7 sophomore forward Shonn Miller (10.4 points, 7.2 rebounds per game). Five other Cornell players average more than seven points, including senior guard Johnathan Gray (9.7) and senior forward Errick Peck (8.0) and freshman reserve guard Nolan Cressler (8.0).
Columbia is led by Barbour (13.4) and freshman backcourt mate Grant Mullins (11.5). Sophomore guard Steve Frankoski (10.3), who missed last season due to injury, has scored in double-figures in each of the past six games.
Columbia leads the series with Cornell, 122-97, in one of the most played rivalries in college basketball. The Lions have won four of the past five meetings, and will look to sweep the season series for the second time in three seasons.

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