Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Nationally Televised Game at St. Bonaventure

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Game #13: Cornell at St. Bonaventure
Tip off: Saturday, Jan. 4, at 2 p.m.
Site: The Reilly Center (5,480), Olean, N.Y.
2013-14 Records: Cornell (0-12, 0-0 Ivy); St. Bonaventure (9-4, 0-0 A-10)
Series Record: Cornell leads 8-6
Last Meeting: St. Bonaventure won 72-68, Nov. 14, 2012 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: NBC Sports Network (Randy Moss, Dalen Cuff)
Live Stats: available at www.GoBonnies.com
Live Video: Not available for this game
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his fourth season at Cornell (35-64, .354; 18-24 Ivy, .429) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

It's a new year with a clean slate and the Cornell men's basketball team will close out the non-conference road schedule with a contest on NBC Sports Network when it visits St. Bonaventure on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. The Big Red will attempt to end an 18-game winless streak dating back to last year and pick up its first win of the 2013-14 campaign when it visits one of the nation's toughest road environments.

Cornell has played some good basketball despite its 0-12 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 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.

The Big Red backcourt has been its strength, with its three starting guards all averaging double figures. Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler is off to a great start for the Big Red, averaging 16.7 points and 4.8 rebounds and freshman guard Robert Hatter is at 11.3 ppg. while chipping in 2.7 assists and 2.3 rebounds. Junior Devin Cherry rounds out the trio at 10.4 ppg. to go along with 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater has been a double-double threat, posting 7.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per night and pacing the team and ranking among the Ivy League leaders in offensive rebounds (2.7 per game). Freshman Robert Onuorah (3.3 ppg., 3.4 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., 1.2 apg.) and freshman guard Darryl Smith (3.7 ppg., 1.8 rpg.) are providing firepower off the bench. The Big Red is scoring 66.1 points on 41 percent shooting and has a neutral assist:turnover ratio. Much of Cornell's troubles have come on the defensive end, where the team is allowing 83.3 points on 49 percent shooting, including 41 percent from 3-point range.

St. Bonaventure has historically been one of the nation's top teams at home on Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center, sporting a 424-188 record (.693) since opening the building and is a perfect 5-0 this season. Led by head coach Mark Schmidt, the Bonnies are off to a 9-4 start to the season. Matthew Wright leads three double figure scorers and seven players at eight points per game with his 16.3 ppg. scoring average. Guards Charlon Kloof and Andell Cumberbatch lead a guard trio posting 41.4 points per game, more than half the team's total. The Bonnies have also owned the backboards, outrebounding its opponents by 6.2 each outing.

• avoid the Big Red's first 0-13 start to a season in program history.
• snap an 18-game losing streak dating back to last season, the longest in school history and the longest skid in Division I.
• end a nine-game road skid.
• extend Cornell's advantage in the series record against St. Bonaventure to 9-6.
• put an end to the Bonnies' three-game win streak in the series to an end.
• make the Big Red 18-22 all-time against current members of the Atlantic 10 conference.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,338 in 114 seasons).

• St. Bonaventure brings a 9-4 record into the New Year after dropping Delaware 80-73 on Monday evening at Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center.
• The Bonnies have won three of their last four games, with the lone loss during that span coming at Wake Forest (77-62).
• SBU has wins over Canisius, Southern Illinois, Wagner, Iona and Niagara, while losing contests to Louisiana Tech, Buffalo and Siena.
• The Bonnies are a perfect 5-0 at home and have won those games by an average of 16.6 points.
• Guard Matthew Wright leads three double figure scorers with 16.3 ppg. He is also posting 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
• Charlon Kloof (12.8 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 4.5 apg., 1.2 spg.) and Andell Cumberbatch (12.3 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 1.5 spg.) are also better than double figures on the season, while four others are posting at least 7.9 points every night.
• St. Bonaventure is shooting 46 percent from the floor while posting 75.5 points per game and has outrebounded opponents by more than six rebounds each time out.
• Seventh-year head coach Mark Schmidt has led SBU to a 97-99 overall record, including the 2011-12 NCAA tournament.

• The Big Red leads the all-time series 8-6, with the Big Red's last win coming in Olean during the 2004-05 season, a 58-54 Cornell victory at the Reilly Center.
• The Big Red had its five-game win streak in the series snapped two years ago before dropping last season's opener in Olean, 79-58. That started SBU's current three-game win streak.
• The teams first met on Jan. 1, 1923, a 28-16 win for Cornell in Olean.

• Cornell is 17-22 all-time against current members of the Atlantic 10.
• The Big Red is 8-6 all-time against St. Bonaventure and has also faced Dayton (0-1), Duquesne (0-2), Fordham (4-4), La Salle (3-2), Massachusetts (1-0), Richmond (0-1), Saint Joseph's (1-3), Saint Louis (0-1) and Virginia Commonwealth (0-2).
• Cornell has never played George Mason, George Washington or Rhode Island.
• The Big Red was a perfect 4-0 against Atlantic 10 teams in 2009-10, topping Massachusetts and La Salle on the road, knocking off Saint Joseph's at home and defeating A-10 champ Temple in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.
• Cornell 6-5 in its last 11 meetings against Atlantic 10 squads dating back to its 58-54 victory at St. Bonaventure in 2004-05, but has lost three consecutive games to the Bonnies over the last three seasons.

• Senior Errick Peck scored 17 points and added seven rebounds off the bench to lead four double figure scorers, but St. Bonaventure held off a late Big Red rally to collect a 72-68 win at Newman Arena.
• In a game that featured 54 fouls (30 on Cornell) and 70 free throws (42 for St. Bonaventure), the Big Red fell just short of what would have been a rally for the ages.
• After trailing by eight points with 90 seconds left, Cornell's defense helped it pull within one.
• Cornell missed a game-tying free throw attempt with under 20 second to play, then a game-tying 3-point attempt in the final 10 seconds. Senior Josh Figini got a clean look from the top of the key, but it went long and the Bonnies were able to hit a game-sealing free throw with 0.6 seconds left to pick up the win.
• The Big Red limited St. Bonaventure to 42 percent shooting overall and a miserable 2-of-14 from 3-point range, but it was able to do just enough to squeak by after taking 42 free throws on the road.
• Peck was joined in double figures by Devin Cherry (14), Galal Cancer (11) and Johnathan Gray (11).
• For St. Bonaventure, Chris Johnson scored a game-high 19 points, while Demitrius Conger and Marquise Simmons each had 14 points and six rebounds.

• Cornell is 107-85 (.557) 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 18 consecutive games, the longest stretch in school history and the longest active losing streak in Division I.

• 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.
• Head coach Bill Courtney will be on the sidelines for his 100th game directing the Big Red program.
• The Big Red brings an 18-game losing streak into the contest, its longest in school history and the longest in Division I.
• In the Big Red's five home games, Cornell is shooting 46 percent from the floor and has 71 assists to just 48 turnovers, but has attempted 66 fewer free throws than its opponents.

• Cornell closes out its non-conference slate when it plays host to Division III Oberlin on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 2 p.m. at Newman Arena.

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