Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Visit to St. Peter's

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Roster I Schedule & Results I Statistics

Game #12: Cornell at Saint Peter's
Tip off: Saturday, Dec. 28, at 2 p.m.
Site: Yanitelli Center (3,200), Jersey City, N.J.
2013-14 Records: Cornell (0-11, 0-0 Ivy); Saint Peter's (3-7, 0-2 MAAC)
Series Record: Saint Peter's leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Saint Peter's won 68-64, Nov. 16, 2012 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
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 (35-63, .357; 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 attempt to close out the 2013 calendar year on a high note when it meets Saint Peter's on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. at Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, N.J. The Big Red will be attempting to end a 17-game winless streak dating back to last year and pick up its first win of the 2013-14 campaign.

Cornell has played some good basketball despite its 0-11 start, with two of the losses coming to 2013 NCAA Final Four squads (Syracuse, Louisville) and six total coming at the hands of 2013 postseason squads (Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame - NCAA, Stony Brook - NIT, Loyola - CIT, Western Michigan - CBI) that went a combined 161-58. Cornell has shown glimpses of really good play despite its heavy reliance on underclassmen and inexperienced upperclassmen. Four of the team's top eight scorers are freshmen or sophomores and the three top upperclassmen had made a combined 23 career starts entering the year.  The Big Red led then-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 and led Western Michigan in the second half. Cornell went on to drop all five games.

Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler is off to a great start for the Big Red, averaging 16.3 points and 4.9 rebounds. Sophomore guard Robert Hatter is also averaging double figures (12.1 ppg.) while chipping in 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater has been a double-double threat, posting 7.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per night and pacing the team and ranking among the Ivy League leaders in offensive rebounds (2.8 per game). Junior guard Devin Cherry rounds out a foursome of players scoring at least 8.0 points per game (9.5 ppg., 3.5 rpg. and 3.3 apg.). Freshman Robert Onuorah (3.5 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 0.8 bpg.) and junior Deion Giddens (4.1 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 0.8 bpg.) are holding down the middle, while senior guard Dominick Scelfo (3.6 ppg., 1.1 apg.) and freshman guard Darryl Smith (3.8 ppg., 1.6 rpg.) are providing firepower off the bench. The Big Red is scoring 66.7 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 84.8 points on 50 percent shooting, including 42 percent from 3-point range.

Saint Peter's brings a 3-7 record into the weekend and has dropped four of its last five contests, though the lone win during that stretch was an impressive 83-80 triumph at Seton Hall on Dec. 14. The Peacocks, under eighth-year head coach John Dunne, feature a pair of double figure scorers, including double-double performer Marvin Dominique (18.1 ppg., 9.9 rpg.) down low. Guard Desi Washington is also scoring 13.3 ppg. Saint Peter's has used its size and strength to outrebound opponents by 3.4 boards per game. The Peacocks have been to the NCAA tournament as recently as the 2011 campaign when they won the MAAC tournament title.

• avoid the Big Red's first 0-12 start to a season in program history.
• snap a 17-game losing streak dating back to last season, the longest in school history and the longest skid in Division I.
• end an eight-game road skid.
• even Cornell's series record against Saint Peter's at 1-1.
• make the Big Red 62-51 all-time against members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,337 in 114 seasons).

• Saint Peter's is 3-7 this season and has dropped four of its last five games, though the lone win was an impressive overtime contest at Seton Hall (83-80) on Dec. 14.
• The Peacocks will have been off for a full week since its last contest, a 66-56 defeat at Hartford.
• Junior forward Marvin Dominique (18.1 ppg.) leads the Peacocks in scoring and is shooting 49 percent from the floor for the season while logging 9.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
• Junior guard Desi Washington is also in double figures at 13.3 ppg.
• As a team, the Peacocks are averaging 66.1 points on 43 percent shooting and hit 32 percent from 3-point range. Saint Peter's is outrebounding its opponents by 3.4 per game (36.1-32.7).
• Eighth-year head coach John Dunne led the Peacocks to the 2011 NCAA tournament and recently served as the Chair of the NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee (2013).

• Saint Peter's won the only previous meeting between the teams, a 68-64 decision over the Big Red last season at Newman Arena in Ithaca.

• Cornell is 61-51 all-time against current members of the MAAC, including 0-1 against Saint Peter's.
• The Big Red has also played Canisius (25-17), Fairfield (0-2), Iona (0-2), Manhattan (1-1), Marist (2-3), Niagara (27-20), Quinnipiac (2-2), Rider (3-0) and Siena (1-3).
• Cornell has never played Monmouth, who like Quinnipiac, is in its first year in the MAAC.
• This is the second of two games Cornell is scheduled to play against MAAC schools this season. The Big Red dropped a 71-70 decision to Siena on Nov. 22 at Newman Arena.

• A Saint Peter's offensive rebound gained the Peacocks an extra possession they were able to convert on in the final minute as the visitors escaped Newman Arena with a 68-64 win on Nov. 16, 2012.
Devin Cherry scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead four double figure scorers, while Shonn Miller (13 points, three blocks, three steals), Galal Cancer (13 points, five rebounds, four assists) and Nolan Cressler (10 points, three rebounds) also contributed offensively.
• Saint Peter's scored 32 points in the paint and were able to consistently get in the lane, while hitting seven timely 3-pointers.
• The Peacocks turned the ball over just 12 times against Cornell's pressure and connected on 47 percent of its shots overall. Blaise Ffrench had a career-high 22 points and Yvon Raymond added 14.

• Cornell is 107-84 (.560) 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 60-27 (.690) over its last 87 home games.
• Cornell has lost 17 consecutive games, the longest stretch in school history.

• Cornell will open up the 2014 calendar year when it visits St. Bonaventure on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. at the Reilly Center.
• The game will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network for the second straight year.
• The Big Red leads the all-time series 8-6, though the Bonnies have won three straight, including last season's 72-68 Cornell defeat in Ithaca.

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