Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Visit to Notre Dame

Above, a 2001 Cornell-Notre Dame game program.

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Game #9: Cornell at Notre Dame
Tip off: Sunday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m.
Site: Joyce Center (9,149), South Bend, Ind.
2013-14 Records: Cornell (0-8, 0-0 Ivy); Notre Dame (4-1, 0-0 ACC)
Series Record: Notre Dame leads 7-1
Last Meeting: Notre Dame won 78-48, Nov. 19, 2001 in South Bend, Ind.
Radio: None
Live Stats: available at
Live Video: available at ESPN3
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his fourth season at Cornell (35-60, .368; 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 look to erase a 14-game losing streak in one of the toughest gyms in the country to steal a non-conference road win when the Big Red visits Notre Dame on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m. at the Joyce Center in South Bend, Ind. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.­

Cornell has played some good basketball despite its 0-8 start, with two of the losses coming to 2013 NCAA Final Four squads (Syracuse, Louisville) and four total coming at the hands of 2013 postseason squads (Syracuse and Louisville - NCAA, Loyola - CIT, Western Michigan - CBI) that went a combined 111-40. 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 WMU on Friday night and never let the lead grow to more than two possessions until the final minute.

Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler is off to a great start for the Big Red, averaging 18.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in his first eight games and is coming off a career-high 27 points at Western Michigan on Friday. Sophomore guard Robert Hatter is also averaging double figures (11.4 ppg.) while chipping in 2.9 assists and 2.5 rebounds. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater has been a double-double threat, posting 8.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per night and pacing the team and ranking among the Ivy League leaders in offensive rebounds (3.3 per game). Junior guard Devin Cherry rounds out a foursome of players scoring at least 8.0 points per game (9.3 ppg., 3.4 rpg. and 3.4 apg.). Freshman Robert Onuorah (4.0 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 0.9 bpg.) and junior Deion Giddens (4.8 ppg., 3.3 rpg., 0.9 bpg.) are holding down the middle, while senior guard Dominick Scelfo is providing firepower off the bench (4.4 ppg., 1.4 apg.). The Big Red is scoring 68.9 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 85.5 points on 51 percent shooting, including 44 percent from 3-point range.

Notre Dame is 31-1 in non-conference home games dating back to December of 2009, though it had a 30-game home win streak snapped earlier this season against Indiana State. In its first year as a member of the ACC, Mike Brey's teams have been year-in and year-out one of the most consistent basketball teams in the country. The Fighting Irish have won at least 20 games in each of the last seven season. Notre Dame is off to another great start at 4-1 and have been nationally ranked, reaching as high as No. 22 in the country. One of the better offensive squads in the country, Notre Dame is shooting 47 percent from the floor as a team and 41 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and are led by Jerian Grant at 19.5 ppg. The Fighting Irish have won seven of eight career meetings against the Big Red in a series that dates back to 1909.

• avoid the Big Red's first 0-9 start to a season since opening the 1904-05 campaign with 10 straight losses.
• snap a 14-game losing streak dating back to last season, tied for the second-longest in school history
• end a six-game road skid.
• put an end to a 26-game winless streak against ACC teams.
• give Cornell its first win over Notre Dame on the hardwood in 100 years (last win, 41-12 on Feb. 10, 1914).
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,334 in 114 seasons).

• The Fighting Irish are off to a 4-1 start that includes wins over Miami (OH), Stetson, Santa Clara and Army, all at home.
• Notre Dame's lone loss came at the hands of Indiana State, an 83-70 defeat on Nov. 17.
• Jerian Grant paces three double figure scorers at 19.5 ppg. He is shooting 51 percent fom the floor, 46 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and 86 percent from the free-throw line. Grant is also averaging 5.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest.
• Eric Atkins (13.0 ppg., 5.0 apg.) and Pat Connaughton (11.0 ppg., 6.3 rpg.) are also averaging double figures, while Garrick Sherman (9.5 ppg., 6.5 rpg.) is just shy of that mark.
• Notre Dame is shooting 47 percent from the floor as a team and 41 percent from 3-point range while outrebounding opponents 36.0-29.8. The Fighting Irish have posted an outstanding 1.8 assist/turnover ratio.
• Mike Brey is in his 14th season directing the Irish program and has a 289-143 record with the Irish and a 388-195 mark in 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

• The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 7-1.
• The two teams first met on Feb. 13, 1909 with Notre Dame taking home a 32-13 decision.
• Cornell's lone win over Notre Dame came 100 years ago, when the Big Red topped the Fighting Irish 41-12 on Feb. 10, 1914 in Ithaca as part of a 14-2 season that ended with an Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League (EIBL) championship.
• Notre Dame has won the last six meetings, including a 78-48 decision in the last meeting on Nov. 19, 2001.

• The Big Red is 38-131 against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, including 1-7 against first-year conference member Notre Dame.
• The Big Red has faced Boston College (0-3), Clemson (0-2), Duke (0-5), Georgia Tech (0-3), Maryland (0-2), Miami (FL) (0-1), North Carolina (0-3), North Carolina State (0-5), Pittsburgh (5-11), Syracuse (31-88) and Wake Forest (1-1).
• Cornell has never faced Florida State, Virginia or Virginia Tech.
• Excluding the first year schools (Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse), the team's lone win over an ACC foe came against Wake Forest during the 1951-52 season, a 58-51 victory on the road.
• Since then, the Big Red has lost 26 consecutive games to current members of the ACC by an average margin of 24.5 points per game.
• Only five of those 26 games have been decided by single digits.
• The Big Red opened the season with an 82-60 loss to fellow new ACC squad Syracuse.

• Cornell is 107-81 (.569) 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.
• The Big Red is 7-7 on the road in its last 14 games away from Newman Arena.

• 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.
• The Big Red's 16 3-pointers as a team against Western Michigan is tied for third-most in school history, while its 41 attempts tops the charts.
Robert Hatter established a Cornell freshman record with 32 points against Loyola (MD).
• In his last two games, Hatter is averaging 20.0 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds while making 9-of-20 3-pointers (45 percent).
• Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler has scored at least 19 points in five of the team's eight games.
• Cressler has upped his career high scoring totals twice in his last three games with 25 points vs. Siena and 27 points at Western Michigan.
• 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).
• The Big Red brings a 14-game losing streak into the contest, its longest since Cornell also lost 14 straight during the 1979-80 campaign. The school record for consecutive losses is 16 suffered during the 1972-73 campaign.
• In the Big Red's four home games, Cornell is shooting 47 percent from the floor and has 61 assists to just 37 turnovers, but has attempted 49 fewer free throws than its opponents.
• In its last three games, Cornell has hit 31 3-pointers and 26 free throws.
• Big Red opponents have connected on 50 percent of their field goals in four of the last five games and five times overall this year.

• Going back to the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Red is six games better than anyone else in Ivy League play with its 65-33 mark.
• Harvard is second (59-39), followed by Penn (56-42), Princeton (56-42), Yale (56-42), Columbia (40-58), Brown (38-60) and Dartmouth (22-76).
• Dating back to the 2004-05 season (nine years), Cornell's 81-45 record is tied for the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn is second at 81-45, followed by Princeton (72-54) and Harvard (71-55).
• Rounding out the field is Yale (70-56), Brown (49-77), Columbia (47-79) and Dartmouth (33-93).

• Cornell returns home to face Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m
• The Big Red leads the all-time series 4-3, including last season's 79-67 win in Loretto, Pa.

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