The Cornell Big Red (1-14, 0-1 Ivy) face off against the Columbia Lions (12-6, 1-0 Ivy) at Newman Arena this Saturday at 12:00 EST for their Ivy League home opener. The two teams last faced off last Saturday to open up conference play where Columbia took home the victory 71 – 61 despite late 3 pointers by sophomore guard Nolan Cressler (16.1 Points Per Game) and senior guard Jake Matthews (2.8 PPG) that made the game competitive in the final minutes. Freshman guard Daryl Smith (4.6 PPG) was also a major contributor, scoring 12 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, handing out 2 assists, and blocking a shot in his 32 minutes of play, enough to earn him Ivy League Rookie of the Week this past week.
Despite their poor record, the Big Red have played well recently, being led by their young backcourt entering Ivy League play. Led by Cressler and freshman guard Robert Hatter (10.0 PPG) who has earned Ivy League rookie of the week two times this year, the Big Red have shown offensive promise. Defense, however, has been a liability for the team, which has given up on average 80.5 Points per game, and while the three pointer has been a major part of the Big Red offense it has also been a problem for them on defense, allowing opponents to shoot 40.5% from beyond the arc.
The Columbia Lions come to Newman Arena with a five game win streak in hand and feature a balanced scoring offense, with three players averaging double digits in points and scoring 70.1 points per game. Junior forward Alex Rosenberg leads the way with 13.9 PPG while shooting 52.2% from three point range while sophomore guards Maodo Lo and Grant Mullins follow close behind with 13.8 PPG and 13.3 PPG respectively.
If you can’t make it to the game make sure to listen to the Big Red Sports Network’s coverage of the event online starting just before game time.
You can listen to the game at ustream.tv/channel/brsn-live.