Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for St. Francis PA

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Roster I Schedule & Results I Statistics

Game #10: Saint Francis at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Dec. 7, at 4 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2013-14 Records: Saint Francis (1-6, 0-0 NEC); Cornell (0-9, 0-0 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 4-3
Last Meeting: Cornell won 79-67, Dec. 28, 2012 in Loretto, Pa.
Radio: Hits 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
TV: 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 (35-61, .365; 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 squad is hoping a return to campus from some of its greatest teams will give the Big Red a spark when it plays Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at Newman Arena. The annual Alumni and Friends Weekend comes at just the right time, as the Big Red is looking to snap a 15-game losing streak dating back to last year and propel itself into a successful second semester. Cornell will honor the 1953-54 and 2008-09 EIBL/Ivy League championship teams.

Cornell has played some good basketball despite its 0-9 start, with two of the losses coming to 2013 NCAA Final Four squads (Syracuse, Louisville) and five total coming at the hands of 2013 postseason squads (Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame - NCAA, Loyola - CIT, Western Michigan - CBI) that went a combined 136-50. Cornell has shown glimpses of outstanding basketball despite its heavy reliance on underclassmen and inexperienced upperclassmen. Three of the team's top six scorers are freshmen or sophomores and the three top upperclassmen had 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 and a 10-point lead with four minutes to play against Siena before the team's youth came out and the Big Red went on to drop all four contests. Most recently, Cornell held a second half lead over Western Michigan.

Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler is off to a great start for the Big Red, averaging 18.1 points and 4.7 rebounds and is coming off a 17-point, nine-rebound effort at Notre Dame. Sophomore guard Robert Hatter is also averaging double figures (11.8 ppg.) while chipping in 3.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater has been a double-double threat, posting 8.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per night and pacing the team and ranking among the Ivy League leaders in offensive rebounds (2.9 per game). Junior guard Devin Cherry rounds out a foursome of players scoring at least 8.0 points per game (9.0 ppg., 3.1 rpg. and 3.2 apg.). Freshman Robert Onuorah (3.6 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 0.9 bpg.) and junior Deion Giddens (4.4 ppg., 3.3 rpg., 0.9 bpg.) are holding down the middle, while senior guard Dominick Scelfo is providing firepower off the bench (4.2 ppg., 1.3 apg.). The Big Red is scoring 68.7 points on 42 percent shooting and has a positive assist:turnover ratio. Much of Cornell's troubles have come on the defensive end, where the team is allowing 87.2 points on 51 percent shooting, including 44 percent from 3-point range.

Saint Francis brings a 1-6 record into a midweek contest at Lehigh and has dropped five contests in a row. Second-year head coach Rob Krimmel has been a part of Red Flash basketball for 17 seasons as a player, assistant and head coach. Malik Harmon (10.7 ppg., 3.4 apg.) and Earl Brown (10.6 ppg., 8.1 rpg.) are averaging double figures, but the Red Flash have struggled on the offensive end, scoring 55.1 points on 36 percent shooting overall and 30 percent from 3-point range.

• avoid the Big Red's first 0-10 start to a season since opening the 1904-05 campaign (0-10).
• snap a 15-game losing streak dating back to last season, the second-longest in school history.
• end an eight-game home skid.
• improve Cornell's lead in the all-time series against Saint Francis to 5-3.
• make the Big Red 11-8 all-time against members of the Northeast Conference.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,335 in 114 seasons).

• Saint Francis brings a 1-6 record into a Wednesday game at Lehigh and has a five-game losing streak in tow.
• The Red Flash has two players, Malik Harmon (10.7 ppg., 3.4 apg.) and Earl Brown (10.6 ppg., 8.1 rpg.), averaging in double figures.
• Offensively, the Red Flash are scoring 55.1 ppg. on 36 percent shooting from the floor and 30 percent from 3-point range. Saint Francis is being outrebounded by 10.9 boards per contest (38.6-27.7) and is being outscored by 16.3 points every night (71.4-55.1).
• Second-year head coach Rob Krimmel sports a 6-30 record and has long been part of the program. He played four seasons and served as assistant and associate head coach and interim head coach during his Red Flash career.

• Cornell has a slight 4-3 lead in seven previous meetings on the hardwood, the last coming a year ago in a 79-67 Big Red victory in Loretto, Pa.
• The Big Red had tied the series at 3-3 with a 75-54 win over the Red Flash in the first round of the 2K5 Sports College Hoops Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse on Nov. 8, 2005.
• The series began in 1979 with a 75-61 Red Flash victory.

• Cornell is 12-10 all-time against current members of the Northeast Conference.
• The Big Red is 3-3 against Saint Francis and has also faced Bryant (2-0), LIU Brooklyn (0-2), Quinnipiac (2-2), Robert Morris (2-0), Sacred Heart (1-1), St. Francis (NY) (0-2) and Wagner (1-0).
• Cornell has never played Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth or Mount St. Mary's.

• At shootaround Friday, Cornell head coach Bill Courtney implored his team to put their focus on the defense. He said that if energy was put into the defensive end, the offense would start to come around. After a senior-driven 79-67 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Dec. 28, 2012 at DeGol Arena, Courtney looked like a bit of a prophet.
Johnathan Gray and Errick Peck each had 21 points and classmate Eitan Chemerinski chipped in 15 as Cornell shot 51 percent from the floor, outscored the Red Flash 40-14 in the paint and dictated the pace throughout to snap a three-game skid.
• Gray added five rebounds, two blocks and two steals, while Peck added seven rebounds and four assists.
Galal Cancer just missed double figures with nine points, four rebounds and four assists.
Miles Asafo-Adjei had six assists without a turnover and Shonn Miller had six rebounds in just 17 minutes while battling foul trouble.
• The Red Flash had five players score double figures, with Earl Brown posting an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double.
• Greg Brown scored 16 points, Stephon Wyatt notched 14 points, Umar Shannon had 13 and Ollie Jackson scored 12.
• Saint Francis hit 10 3-pointers to keep the home team in the game.

• Cornell is 107-82 (.566) 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 60-26 (.698) over its last 86 home games.
• Cornell has lost 15 consecutive games, its second-longest losing streak in school history. The most consecutive defeats is 16 during the 1972-73 campaign.

• The Cornell men's basketball program will host Alumni and Friends Weekend from Dec. 6-8 in Ithaca.
• Included will be a Friday evening reception, Saturday's game against Saint Francis (Pa.) and a postgame reception, then Sunday's annual alumni game.
• Cornell will honor the 1953-54 and 2008-09 Big Red championship teams that weekend.

• The Big Red will head to Stony Brook on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m.

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