Friday, November 15, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Meeting at Louisville

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Roster I Schedule & Results I Statistics

Game #4: Cornell at Louisville
Tip off: Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.
Site: KFC Yum! Center (22,000), Louisville, Ky.
2013-14 Records: Cornell (0-3, 0-0 Ivy); #3/3 Louisville (2-0, 0-0 AAC)
Series Record: First-ever meeting
Radio: None
Live Stats: available at
Live Video: available at
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his fourth season at Cornell (35-55, .389; 18-24 Ivy, .429) ... 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 complete a busy week with a second matchup with a Final Four team from a year ago when the Big Red visits defending national champion and No.3 ranked Louisville on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN3.

Cornell has showed glimpses of outstanding basketball despite its 0-3 start with a heavy reliance on underclassmen. Four of the team's top six scorers are freshmen or sophomores and the three top upperclassmen have made a combined 23 career starts entering the year.  The Big Red led No. 8/7 Syracuse by 14 points in the first half and by six at the break, led a Loyola (MD) team that won 23 games a year ago by seven points with five minutes remaining and had a 19-point advantage against Binghamton with 13 minutes left before the team's youth came out and the Big Red went on to drop all three contests.|

Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler is off to a great start, averaging 18.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in his first three games, while freshman guard Robert Hatter is scoring 15.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater is posting 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds and both freshman center Robert Onuorah (7.3 ppg., 6.3 rpg., 2.3 bpg.) and junior guard Devin Cherry (6.3 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 4.0 apg.) round out the starting lineup. The Big Red is scoring 76.0 points on 45 percent shooting while assisting on 16.0 baskets per game, but is allowing 88.0 points.

The Big Red had had a difficult first seven days, facing two 2013 NCAA Final Four squads (Syracuse, Louisville) and three 2013 postseason squads (Syracuse and Louisville - NCAA, Loyola - CIT) that went a combined 88-27. It gets no easier when Cornell visits the Cardinals.

Louisville is off to a 2-0 start with wins over the College of Charleston and Hofstra by an average of 25.0 points. Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino will take the defending Big East champions into the fledgling  American Athletic Conference this season with plenty of firepower to try and compete for a second consecutive national title. All-America guard Russ Smith (25.5 ppg., 5.0 apg.) leads four double figure scorers into action, with the Cardinals also getting back key cogs in junior forward Chane Behanan (9.8 ppg., 6.5 rpg. in 2012-13) and senior swingman Luke Hancock (8.1 ppg.) after missing the first contest of the season.

• snap a nine-game skid dating back to last season.
• be the first over a ranked team since the Big Red defeated No. 16/19 Wisconsin in the second round of the 2009-10 tournament, snapping a seven-game skid against ranked teams.
• match a school record for highest ranked opponent beaten, joining the 1966-67 team that toppled No. 3 Princeton 62-56.
• end a three-game road skid.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,329 in 114 seasons).

• The defending national champion Cardinals have picked right up where they left off a year ago with their 2-0 start, topping College of Charleston and Hofstra by an average of 25.0 points per game.
• In their first season in the newly-formed American Athletic Conference, Louisville returns three starters and eight letter winners from last season's 35-5 squad that toppled Michigan 82-76 in the national championship game last April for the program's third national title. That team won the Big East co-championship and the conference's final tournament title.
• Leading the way for Louisville is senior guard Russ Smith (25.5 ppg., 5.0 apg.) who paces four double figure scorers.
• Junior guard Chris Jones (16.0 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 4.0 apg.), sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell (14.5 ppg., 6.5 rpg.) and junior swingman Wayne Blackshear (10.0 ppg., 4.5 rpg.) are also in double figures, and with the return of junior forward Chane Behanan (9.8 ppg., 6.5 rpg. in 2012-13) and senior swingman Luke Hancock (8.1 ppg.), the Cardinals are among the deepest teams in the country.
• Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino has won 666 games in 29 seasons as a collegiate head coach at Louisville, Kentucky, Providence and Boston University.

• This is the first-ever meeting between Cornell and Louisville on the hardwood.

• Cornell is 4-5 all-time against current members of the brand new American Athletic Conference, though it has never played Louisville.
• Cornell has never played Houston, Louisville, South Florida or UCF.
• This is the only scheduled meeting against an AAC team this year.

• Cornell enters its contest against No. 3/3 Louisville with a 5-68 record all-time against teams ranked in the top 25.
• Cornell snapped an 18-game skid against ranked teams by dispatching of No. 12/13 Temple in the NCAA first round and No. 16/19 Wisconsin in the second round of the 2009-10 tournament.
• The Big Red's previous win was a 74-54 triumph over then-No. 19 California, at the 1992 Seton Hall/Meadowlands Tournament. That team featured Jason Kidd (who sat out the game) and former NBA player Lamond Murray.
• The Big Red has lost seven straight games against top 25 teams since with two coming by five points or less and three by single digits.
• The Big Red's other wins came against then-No. 17 Syracuse in 1957 (60-54), then-No. 3 Princeton in 1967 (62-56) and a win by forfeit against No. 15 Minnesota in a game vacated by the Gophers after using an ineligible player in 1976

• The Big Red defeated Kentucky, also the defending national runner-up, 92-77 on Dec. 28, 1966 in Lexington, Ky.
• Greggory Morris, a 6-0 junior, scored 37 points on 16-of-21 shooting for the Big Red and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Walt Esdaile scored 18.
• Kentucky's team featured Louie Dampier (18 points) and Basketball Hall of Famer Pat Riley (24 points, 11 rebounds).
• Cornell shot 58 percent from the floor in the victory.

• Cornell is 107-76 (.585) in the last six seasons.
• The Big Red is 56-28 (.667) in its last 84 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 60-24 (.714) over its last 83 home games.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 50-48 (.510) over the last six seasons vs. scholarship programs.
• The Big Red is 7-4 on the road in its last 11 games away from Newman Arena.

• The Big Red brings a nine-game losing streak into the contest, its longest since Cornell also lost nine in a row spanning the 2000-01 (final four games) and 2001-02 seasons (first five games).
• Cornell has increased its win totals in each of the last two seasons under head coach Bill Courtney, from 10 in 2010-11 after graduating eight seniors from the previous year's NCAA Sweet 16 team, to 12 in 2011-12 to 13 a year ago.
• Freshman Robert Hatter established a Cornell freshman record with 32 points against Loyola (MD).
• Sophomore Nolan Cressler needs seven 3-pointers to climb into Cornell's career top 20 list.
• Cressler had 20 points in the first half against #8/7 Syracuse, nearly matching his career high of 22 points. He established a new personal best with his 23 points in the game.
• Cressler has a streak of seven consecutive double figure scoring games dating back to last year.
• Senior Dwight Tarwater had 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Greyhounds, nearly matching his junior year scoring total (30 points) and surpassing his rebounding total from a year ago (eight).
• Junior Devin Cherry had a career-best 17 points against Binghamton.

• The Big Red will visit Central New York rival Colgate on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Cotterell Court in Hamilton, N.Y.
• Cornell leads the all-time series against the Raiders 71-53, with the Big Red winning the last meeting 70-63 last season in Ithaca.
Shonn Miller had 20 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and three steals in the victory.

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