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Game #28: Brown at Cornell
Tip off: Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2012-13 Records: Brown (10-14, 4-6 Ivy); Cornell (13-14, 5-5 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 73-45
Last Meeting: Cornell won 69-66, Feb. 16, 2013 in Providence, R.I.
Game #29: Yale at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, March 2, at 7 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2012-13 Records: Yale (11-16, 5-5 Ivy); Cornell (13-14, 5-5 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 110-103
Last Meeting: Cornell won 68-61, Feb. 15, 2013 in New Haven, Conn.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
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 (35-48, .422; 18-20 Ivy, .474) ... 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 honor its six seniors and make a final push for a winning record when it plays host to Brown and Yale this weekend at Newman Arena. The Big Red will face the the Bears on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m., then looks for the season sweep when Yale comes to town on Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m.
Head coach Bill Courtney's squad brings a 13-14 record into the weekend and is 9-6 in its last 15 games. Cornell enters the weekend tied with Yale for third place in the Ancient Eight standings. The Big Red has a chance to further solidify its opportunity to finish in the top half of the Ancient Eight standings and make a final run at a winning record. Cornell needs to go 3-1in its final four contests to post a winning record overall and in Ivy League play. The team has already posted its highest win total in Courtney's 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 13 wins it has scored 76.0 points per game on 48 percent shooting. In its losses - 57.1 points on 37 percent shooting. That has always been the case with Courtney's teams at Cornell. The pressure defense has been a constant - and when the offense is clicking, Cornell is tough to beat. It is 29-4 when scoring 68 or more points under his watch, including 11-1 this season.
Sophomore Shonn Miller and senior Johnathan Gray are Cornell's lone double figure scorers. Miller, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year, leads the Big Red in scoring (11.5 ppg.), rebounding (6.8 rpg.), steals (1.9 spg.) and blocks (1.9 bpg.). Gray, who missed the two games last weekend, is second in scoring (10.0 ppg.) and leads the team in 3-pointers (50).
Seniors Errick Peck (8.4 ppg., 4.7 rpg.) and Eitan Chemerinski (6.3 ppg., 3.1 rpg.) have also been consistent contributors, as have seniors Miles Asafo-Adjei (2.0 ppg., 2.6 apg.) andJosh Figini (3.7 ppg., 1.7 rpg.). The Big Red will also be saying goodbye this weekend to Peter McMillan as the seniors play their final home games at Newman Arena. As a group, the Big Red seniors have gone 64-53 overall and 31-21 in Ivy League play and have been part of teams that won an Ivy title and made a Sweet 16 appearance. Freshman Nolan Cressler(8.2 ppg., 3.4 rpg.), sophomores Galal Cancer (5.7 ppg., 2.5 rpg., 2.6 apg.) and Devin Cherry (6.2 ppg., 2.2 rpg.) and junior Dominick Scelfo (5.1 ppg.) are also playing key roles. A sweep would even head coach Bill Courtney's record in Ivy League play at 20-20.
A WIN OVER BROWN WOULD:
• make Cornell 14-14 overall and 6-5 in Ivy play.
• make Cornell 8-6 in 2013.
• give Cornell a 10-6 record in its last 16 games.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,322 in 114 seasons).
Brown enters the weekend with a 10-14 overall record (4-6 Ivy) and is 2-2 in its last four contests, including a 59-50 win over Dartmouth in its last game. The Bears feature three double figure scorers, with Sean McGonagill leading the squad in assists (4.1 apg.) and 3-pointers (52) and ranking second in scoring (13.8 ppg.). Matt Sullivan (14.0 ppg., 4.5 rpg.) and Rafael Maia (10.4 ppg., 7.2 rpg.) are also averaging double figures, while Tucker Halpern isn't far behind (8.8 ppg.) and Cedric Kuakumensah is surging (6.9 ppg., 7.5 rpg.). Brown is shooting under 40 percent from the floor as a team and has struggled away from home (3-7). Head coach Mike Martin, in his first season back at his alma mater, most recently spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Penn.
THE CORNELL-BROWN SERIES:
• Cornell leads the series 73-45, dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1949-50 season.
• The Big Red is 16-1 in the last 17 contests against the Bears and has won 13 straight.
• During Cornell's 13-game win streak, it has won by an average of 13.9 points per game.
Yale enters Friday's contest at Columbia with a 11-16 overall record and a 5-5 mark in Ivy League play. The Bulldogs opened league play 1-3, but has gone 4-2 since and dropped narrow contests over that span to Harvard and the Big Red. Austin Morgan leads the team in scoring (11.0 ppg.), while Justin Sears (10.6 ppg., 5.8 rpg.) has been one of the conference's top rookies. Sophomore guard Javier Duren is averaging 7.4 ppg., 3.6 rpg., and 2.4 apg., while Jeremiah Kreisberg and Matt Townsend have combined for 13.0 ppg. and 6.8 rpg. in the post. Head coach James Jones, the longest tenured head coach in the Ivy League, is in his 14th season at Yale and is looking for his 13th consecutive finish in the top half of the Ivy League standings.
THE CORNELL-YALE SERIES:
• Cornell leads 110-103 overall in a series that dates back to the 1898-99 campaign.
• Cornell has had the best of the series recently, winning 11 of the last 15 meetings.
• The Big Red's last eight wins over the Bulldogs have come by an average of 16.0 points per game.
• Cornell is 107-69 (.608) in the last six seasons.
• The Big Red is 56-24 (.700) in its last 80 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 60-20 (.750) over its last 80 home games.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 50-45 (.526) over the last six seasons vs. scholarship programs.
• The Big Red is 7-1 on the road in its last eight games away from Newman Arena.
• Sophomore Shonn Miller has 99 career blocks and is one shy of becoming the fifth Big Red player with 100 for a career.
• Miller needs two steals to reach 90 for his career, good for 20th in school history. Those two steals would also give him 54 in 2012-13, matching a single-season school record (Wallace Prather in 2001-02, DeShawn Standard in 1997-98).
• Miller needs five blocks to reach the top five at Cornell for single season blocked shots (56).
• With 221 points, freshman Nolan Cressler ranks tied for 13th on the school's freshman scoring list. He needs 29 points to surpass teammate Shonn Miller for 10th on the list (250 points).
• Cressler ranks sixth among Cornell freshmen in 3-pointers made (42). Next up is Louis Dale with 45 back in 2006-07.
Dating back to the 2004-05 season (nine years), Cornell's 81-41 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn is second at 79-42, followed by Princeton (69-52) and Harvard (69-53). Rounding out the field is Yale (67-55), Columbia (46-76), Brown (46-76) and Dartmouth (30-92). Going back to the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Red is eight games better than anyone else in the league with its 65-29 mark. Harvard is second (57-37), followed by Penn (54-39), Yale (53-41), Princeton (53-40), Columbia (39-55), Brown (35-59) and Dartmouth (19-75).
• Cornell has surpassed its win total from each of the first two years under head coach Bill Courtney.
• In its last 15 contests, Cornell has posted 193 assists with just 177 turnovers.
• The Big Red has a pair of contests this season with 10 or more blocked shots, including 13 in the season opener against Western Michigan. That total ranks second in a single game, while the 10 against Dartmouth is tied for third.
• Cornell's bench has outscored the opposing bench in 24 of the team's 27 games this year. It has more than doubled up the opponent in bench scoring in 16 of those games.
• For the year, the Big Red bench has outscored its opponents 829-429 so far this year (an average of 30.7-15.9), 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, 45-19 at Columbia, 27-3 at Princeton, 33-11 vs. Harvard and 29-12 at Brown.
• Only one player is averaging better than 25 minutes per game and no one is playing more than 29 minutes per night. Shonn Miller is averaging a team-high 28.8 minutes.
• In its last 12 wins, Cornell has averaged 77.1 ppg., while shooting 49 percent from the floor (333-of-681).
• Cornell has turned the ball over 19 times or more five times this season, but also has nine games where it has turned the ball over 10 times or less.
• Ten different players have reached double figures in scoring at least once this season.
• 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. This season, the Big Red has hit 182, good for 11th in a single season. It needs 19 in its final four games to move into sixth.
Cornell will have an opportunity to finish strong when it hits the road for the final weekend of the 2012-13 regular season when it meets Dartmouth on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m., followed by defending Ivy League champion Harvard on Saturday, March 9 at 5:30 p.m. The game against the Crimson will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.