Friday, December 6, 2013

Cornell Daily Sun Previews St. Francis PA

While most Cornellians were enjoying Thanksgiving with their families at home, the men’s basketball team was on the road fighting for its first victory of the season. The Red took a trip to visit the Broncos of Western Michigan and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Both contests were marked by close games at the half. However, the Red was unable to stay competitive in the second periods of both games. This led to two more losses on the Red’s record.
Cornell did take some positives from the games. The Red had some major performances that may give hope for the team going forward. Most notably, senior guard Nolan Cressler once again proved to be the Red’s most consistent and efficient scorer, as he led the team with 27 points against Western Michigan and 17 against Notre Dame. Additionally, freshman guard Robert Hatter secured his second Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor after posting impressive stat lines that showed his versatility and well-roundedness on the court in both games.
Next up on the Red’s schedule is a Saturday afternoon home game against St. Francis at 4 p.m. The Red Flash will come to Newman Arena with a 1-7 record. Out of all the chances the Red has had to overturn its season with a victory, Saturday’s matchup presents the most opportunity for success.
The Red will be coming off a six-day break from play, while St. Francis will be playing its second game in two days. The extra rest and practice that Cornell has had over the past week will certainly add cohesion to the Red’s game plan. Additionally, St. Francis is currently on a six-game losing streak. Although Cornell has yet to win a game, the Red has faced elite teams from around the region and beyond. On the flipside, St. Francis has been losing in blowout fashion to average teams so far this season.
The Red’s play in recent contests does not truly reflect its winless record. The team has played great basketball in the first half throughout the season. Recurring second half breakdowns on defense and a reliance on the three-point shot later in games has led to the team’s struggles. However, it seems as if an individual player is able to step up and make a big statement in every game.
Saturday’s game will also be the last one the Red plays at home in 2013. A loss would lead to Cornell’s first 0-10 record in over 100 years. The players are trying to make sure that the team can end the year at Newman on a high note.

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