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Game #30: Cornell at Dartmouth
Tip off: Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m.
Site: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
2012-13 Records: Cornell (13-16, 5-7 Ivy); Dartmouth (7-19, 3-9 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 103-102
Last Meeting: Cornell won 79-56, Feb. 9, 2013 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Game #31: Cornell at Harvard
Tip off: Saturday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m.
Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,050), Cambridge, Mass.
2012-13 Records: Cornell (13-16, 5-7 Ivy); Harvard (17-9, 9-3 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 90-73
Last Meeting: Harvard won 67-65, Feb. 8, 2013 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: NBC Sports Network (Saturday at Harvard)
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 (35-50, .412; 18-22 Ivy, .450) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.
The Cornell men's basketball team will close out the 2012-13 season looking to propel itself into the offseason and continue its recent road success when it visits Dartmouth and Harvard this weekend. The Big Red will meet the Big Green on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. at Leede Arena in Hanover, N.H., then will play a rare 5:30 p.m. matinee against the Crimson the following day in a contest that will be televised on NBC Sports Network.
Cornell will be trying to bounce back after last weekend's home sweep at the hands of Brown (84-65) and Yale (79-70) in games that were played without three starters, including its two leading scorers. Freshman Nolan Cressler averaged 20.5 points in the two games, while senior Errick Peck made his last home weekend in front of the Newman Nation a memorable one, averaging 16.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals.
Head coach Bill Courtney's squad brings a 13-16 record into the final weekend and is 9-8 in its last 17 games. Cornell enters the weekend just a game out of 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 while affecting the Ivy race with a pair of road wins, where the Big Red is 4-1 so far in league action. 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 - 58.4 points on 38 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 29-5 when scoring 68 or more points under his watch, including 11-2 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.). He missed last weekend's games with an injury. Gray, who missed the last four games, is second in scoring (10.0 ppg.) and leads the team in 3-pointers (50). Cornell also played without starting guard Devin Cherry (6.2 ppg., 2.2 rpg.), who sat out both contests with an injury.
The weekend will be a farewell to Cornell's seniors, including Gray and Peck (8.9 ppg., 4.6 rpg.), as well as Eitan Chemerinski (6.0 ppg., 3.0 rpg.), Miles Asafo-Adjei (2.4 ppg., 2.6 apg.), Josh Figini (3.5 ppg., 1.7 rpg.) and Peter McMillan. As a group, the Big Red seniors have gone 64-55 overall and 31-23 in Ivy League play and have been part of teams that won an Ivy title and made a Sweet 16 appearance. Freshman Nolan Cressler (9.0 ppg., 3.4 rpg.), sophomore Galal Cancer (5.7 ppg., 2.5 rpg., 2.6 apg.) and junior Dominick Scelfo (5.2 ppg.) are also playing key roles.
A WIN OVER DARTMOUTH WOULD:
• make Cornell 14-16 overall and 6-7 in Ivy play.
• make Cornell 8-8 in 2013.
• give Cornell a 10-8 record in its last 18 games.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,324 in 114 seasons).
Dartmouth has been arguably the Ivy League's most improved team despite sitting 7-19 (3-9 Ivy), and the Big Green enters Saturday's contest having lost six of seven contests. Dartmouth has a pair of double figure scorers in Alex Mitola (10.7 ppg., 2.4 rpg.) and Gabas Maldunas (10.5 ppg., 6.8 rpg.), with five other players scoring 5.3 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 42 percent and 34 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 CORNELL-DARTMOUTH SERIES:
• Cornell leads 103-102 after 205 games in a series that dates back to the 1900-01 campaign.
• Cornell has had the best of the series recently, having won 17 of the last 19 meetings.
• The Big Red swept the series a year ago and is looking to sweep the series again this season.
The defending Ivy League champion Crimson bring a 17-9 record (9-3 Ivy) heading into Friday's contest against Columbia, but has slipped to second place in the Ancient Eight after being swept on the road against Princeton and Penn. Harvard holds wins over Boston College, California and Rice, but is 4-3 in league play since starting out the year 5-0. Three different players are averaging double figures, including Wesley Saunders (16.6 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 3.6 apg, 2.0 spg.), an Ivy League Player of the Year contender. Siyani Chambers (12.6 ppg., 5.8 apg.) and Laurent Rivard (10.3 ppg., 3.0 rpg.) join him in double figures. Sixth-year head coach Tommy Amaker has a 285-204 record in his coaching career with stops at Michigan and Seton Hall before Harvard.
THE CORNELL-HARVARD SERIES:
• Cornell leads the series 90-73 dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1901-02 season.
• The Big Red is 11-10 in the last 21 contests, though Harvard has now won five 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 five straight over the Big Red by an average of 10.4 points.
• Cornell is 107-71 (.601) in the last six seasons.
• The Big Red is 56-26 (.683) in its last 82 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 60-22 (.732) over its last 82 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.
• Freshman Nolan Cressler is shooting .506 from the floor and .411 from 3-point range in Ivy League play while averaging 10.8 ppg.
• Since turning the ball over 21 times against Old Westbury, the Big Red has averaged a paltry 11.2 turnovers per game in the last 12 contests with a high of 14. Over the last five games, that average is down to 9.2 per game.
• Over the team's four-game skid, opponents are shooting .530 from the field (105-of-198) and .486 (35-of-72) from 3-point range.
• 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 262 points, freshman Nolan Cressler is 10th on the school's freshman scoring list. He needs 20 points to jump all the way to sixth.
• Cressler's 49 3-pointers ranks fourth all-time among Big Red freshmen. Next up on the list in third is Cody Toppert with 51 in 2001-02.
Dating back to the 2004-05 season (nine years), Cornell's 81-43 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn is second at 80-43, followed by Princeton (71-52) and Harvard (69-55). Rounding out the field is Yale (68-56), Brown (48-76), Columbia (47-77) and Dartmouth (31-93). Going back to the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Red is eight games better than anyone else in the league with its 65-51 mark. Harvard is second (57-39), followed by Penn (55-40), Princeton (55-40), Yale (54-42), Columbia (40-56), Brown (37-59) and Dartmouth (20-76).
The Big Red will begin with the start of practice for the 2013-14 season in October.