Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Harvard

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Game #22: Harvard at Cornell
Tip off: Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2012-13 Records: Harvard (12-6, 4-0 Ivy); Cornell (10-11, 2-2 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 90-72
Last Meeting: Harvard won 67-63, March 3, 2012 in Ithaca, N.Y.

Game #23: Dartmouth at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2012-13 Records: Dartmouth (5-13, 1-3 Ivy); Cornell (10-11, 2-2 Ivy)
Series Record: Series tied 102-102
Last Meeting: Cornell won 70-57, March 2, 2012 in Ithaca, N.Y.

Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
TV: None
Live Stats: links available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: links available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his third season at Cornell (32-45, .416; 15-17 Ivy, .469) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

STORY LINES: The Cornell men's basketball team will come home for its first Ivy League home weekend and will start with a bang when reigning Ivy League champion Harvard and a much-improved Dartmouth squad visit Newman Arena. Entering the weekend in third place in the Ancient Eight standings, the Big Red will have an opportunity to begin making its move with six of the next eight league contests at home.

Head coach Bill Courtney's squad brings a10-11 record into the weekend and has won six of its last nine games. Cornell enters the weekend in third place in the Ancient Eight standings, two games behind leader Harvard and a game and a half behind Princeton. The top two teams enter the weekend unbeaten in conference action. A sweep would even Courtney's record in Ivy League play in his three seasons.

The Big Red's offense has been most dangerous when it has gotten itself easy shots from its pressure defense pressure. In Cornell's 10 wins it has scored 77.2 points per game on 49 percent shooting. In its losses - 55.5 points on 37 percent shooting. It also has a positive assist-turnover ratio and has limited opponents to 41 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 22-2 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 eight other players score more than 4.6 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 (10.1 ppg.), rebounding (7.0 rpg.), steals (1.8 spg.) and blocks (1.6 bpg.). Seniors Johnathan Gray (9.3 ppg.), Errick Peck (7.9 ppg.) and Eitan Chemerinski (7.1 ppg.) aren't far behind, while classmate Josh Figini is averaging 10.0 ppg. in his last four contests and leads the team in scoring in Ivy action. Also among the balanced scoring group is freshman Nolan Cressler (7.7 ppg.) and sophomore Devin Cherry (6.6 ppg.) in the Big Red's 10-man rotation. Stalwart senior defender Miles Asafo-Adjei leads the team in assists (3.0), while sophomore Galal Cancer has flashed a strong all-court game (6.0 ppg., 2.7 rpg., 2.6 apg.). Junior guard Dominick Scelfo is averaging 8.0 points over his last eight games to raise his scoring to 4.8 ppg.

• make Cornell 11-11 overall and 3-2 in Ivy play.
• make Cornell 5-3 in 2013.
• give Cornell a 7-3 record in its last 10 games.
• be the 1,207th in program history (1,206-1,319 in 114 seasons).

The defending Ivy League champion Crimson are off to a 12-6 start (4-0 Ivy) heading into Friday's contest in Ithaca. Harvard holds wins over Boston College, California and Rice and has played four competitive contests in league play, including overtime wins at home over Dartmouth and Brown, as well as a three-point victory over Yale. Three different players are averaging double figures, including Wesley Saunders (16.3 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 4.1 apg, 2.1 spg.), an Ivy League Player of the Year contender. Siyani Chambers (13.3 ppg., 6.1 apg.) and Laurent Rivard (11.4 ppg., 3.8 rpg.) join him in double figures. Sixth-year head coach Tommy Amaker has a 280-201 record in his coaching career with stops at Michigan and Seton Hall before Harvard.

• Cornell leads the series 90-72 dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1901-02 season.
• The Big Red is 11-9 in the last 20 contests and the teams have split the last 10 meetings, though Harvard has now won four in a row.
• Cornell's last four wins in the series have come by an average of 24.8 points, though the Crimson have won four straight over the Big Red by an average of 12.3 points.

Dartmouth has been arguably the Ivy League's most improved team despite sitting 5-13 (1-3 Ivy). The Big Green is 3-3 in its last six contests, including wins over Army and Yale. Dartmouth has a pair of double figure scorers in Gabas Maldunas (10.8 ppg., 6.2 rpg.) and Alex Mitola (10.1 ppg., 2.0 apg.), with five other players scoring five points per game or more. Dartmouth is shooting 40 percent from the floor overall and 33 percent from 3-point range, but those numbers have risen to 48 percent in Ivy play. Head coach Paul Cormier is in his ninth year at Dartmouth, though just his third year in his second stint. In his first go-round, Cormier led Dartmouth to a pair of league runner-up finishes, the last in 1988-89.

• The series is tied 102-102 after 204 games in a series that dates back to the 1900-01 campaign.
• Cornell has had the best of the series recently, having won 16 of the last 18 meetings, including nine straight at Newman Arena.
• The Big Red swept the series a year ago.

• Cornell is 104-66 (.612) in the last six seasons.
• The Big Red is 53-21 (.716) in its last 74 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 78-38 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn is second at 76-39, followed by Princeton (65-50) and Harvard (64-52). Rounding out the field is Yale (63-53), Columbia (44-72), Brown (44-72) and Dartmouth (29-87). Going back to the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Red is a full 10 games better than anyone else in the league with its 62-26 mark. Harvard is second (52-36), followed by Penn, Harvard (52-36), Yale (49-39), Princeton (49-38), Columbia (37-51), Brown (33-55) and Dartmouth (18-70).

Senior post player Eitan Chemerinski has been named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team for the second straight season and is a nominee for the prestigious Academic All-America team. Chemerinski's 3.86 grade point average in Applied Economics and Management played a large part in earning a second straight spot on the District I team. The Big Red has had five Academic All-Americans in program history, including two-time pick Chris Wroblewski. Chemerinski was one of two Ivy League players chosen to the team, joining Brown senior Matthew Sullivan.

The Big Red heads back on the road to visit Yale (Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.) and Brown (Saturday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m.) next weekend. Cornell returns home for consecutive home weekends, beginning with Penn and Princeton on Feb. 22-23.

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