Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Visit to Columbia

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Game #15: Cornell at Columbia
Tip off: Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m.
Site: Levien Gymnasium (2,700), New York, N.Y.
2013-14 Records: Cornell (1-13, 0-0 Ivy); Columbia (11-6, 0-0 Ivy)
Series Record: Columbia leads 122-98
Last Meeting: Cornell won 66-63, Jan. 26, 2013 in New York, 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 (36-65, .356; 18-24 Ivy, .429) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

STORY LINES: After the first half of the season ended on a high note, the Cornell men's basketball team will attempt to bring that momentum into the Ivy League's 14-game tournament starting when the Big Red visits Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. at Levien Gymnasium. The game can be viewed live on the Ivy League Digital Network, or you can listen to Barry Leonard's radio call on HITS 103.3 FM.

Cornell has played some good basketball despite its 1-13 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 a year ago. Cornell has shown glimpses of really good play despite its heavy reliance on underclassmen and inexperienced upperclassmen. Three of the team's top five 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.

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 16.5 points and 4.9 rebounds and freshman guard Robert Hatter is at 10.3 ppg. while chipping in 2.4 assists and 1.9 rebounds. Playmaking junior Devin Cherry rounds out the trio at 10.6 ppg. to go along with 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater has been a double-double threat, posting 6.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per night and pacing the team and ranking among the Ivy League leaders in offensive rebounds (2.4 per game). Freshman Robert Onuorah (3.1 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 0.7 bpg.) and junior Deion Giddens (4.2 ppg., 3.3 rpg., 0.8 bpg.) are holding down the middle, while senior guard Dominick Scelfo (3.4 ppg., 1.1 apg.) and freshman guard Darryl Smith (4.1 ppg., 1.9 rpg.) are providing firepower off the bench. The Big Red is scoring 66.2 points on 42 percent shooting and has a near-neutral assist:turnover ratio (175:176). Much of Cornell's troubles have come on the defensive end, where the team is allowing 81.1 points on 48 percent shooting, including 41 percent from 3-point range.

Cornell will be tested early against a strong and confident Columbia team that brings an 11-6 non-conference record into the home-and-home set. The Lions have won four straight and six of seven heading into league play under fourth year head coach Kyle Smith. Maodo Lo (13.9 ppg., 4.4 rpg.), Alex Rosenberg (13.5 ppg., 3.6 rpg.) and Grant Mullins (12.9 ppg., 3.2 rpg., 2.6 apg.) are all averaging double figures to a Columbia team that is shooting 45 percent from the floor overall and 41 percent from the 3-point arc. Do-everything guard Isaac Cohen paced the team in rebounding (5.8 rpg.) and assists (2.6 apg.). Columbia has won four of the last six meetings between the teams, though the squads have split the home-and-home series in each of the last two seasons.

• snap a 10-game road losing streak and give Cornell its first road win since knocking off Brown 69-66 on Feb. 16, 2013.
• give Cornell a win in its Ivy League opener and move the team to 21-37 all-time in Ivy openers.
• make the Big Red 5-2 in its last seven league openers.
• cut Cornell's advantage in the series record against Columbia to 122-99.
• be the 1,211st in program history (1,210-1,339 in 114 seasons).

• Columbia enters Ivy League play with an 11-6 overall record and a four-game win streak.
• The Lions have won six of seven overall, including victories over Colgate and Stony Brook, and are an impressive 8-1 at home.
• Columbia is coming off a 104-78 victory over Division III opponent Central Pennsylvania in a game that featured 18 Lion 3-pointers, two off a conference record owned by Princeton (vs. Ursinus, 2003) and the Big Red (vs. Brown, 2010).
• The Lions have been extremely balanced all season and have three in double figures and six players averaging at least five points per game.
• Leading the way are Maodo Lo (13.9 ppg., 4.4 rpg.), Alex Rosenberg (13.5 ppg., 3.6 rpg.) and Grant Mullins (12.9 ppg., 3.2 rpg., 2.6 apg.).
• Isaac Cohen (4.1 ppg., 5.8 rpg., 2.6 apg.), a 6-4 guard, leads the squad in both rebounding and assists.
• Columbia is shooting 45 percent from the floor and 41 percent from beyond the arc while outrebounding foes by nearly five per game (34.8-30.1).
• Head coach Kyle Smith, in his fourth season on the Columbia sidelines, has a 53-50 overall record. His teams have posted an impressive 39-22 non-conference record.

• Columbia leads the all-time series between the programs 122-98, including 19-15 in Ivy League openers.
• Cornell has won 16 of the last 22 meetings between the squads.
• Columbia has won four of the last six contests, though the Big Red won the last meeting — a 66-63 triumph at Levien Gymnasium.

• Junior Ned Tomic posted career highs of 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks as Cornell picked up its first win of the year by topping Oberlin College 77-55 at Newman Arena.
• Tomic scored 18 of his 20 points after halftime to surpass his previous career high of six points. The native of North Royalton, Ohio scored on an array of fakes, drop-steps and putbacks, connecting on 9-of-13 shots from the floor off the bench.
• Tomic's nine rebounds also nearly doubled his previous high of five. He entered the contest with one career block and ended the day with four.
• While Tomic did all he could to end the Big Red's drought, Nolan Cressler added 12 points, five rebounds and four assists and Devin Cherry notched 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
• The Big Red shot 51 percent from the floor overall, including a sizzling 71 percent (17-of-24) after halftime to pull away from Oberlin.
• Freshmen guards Robert Hatter and Darryl Smith each had seven points and senior Jake Matthews had six. Senior Dwight Tarwater had four points and six boards.
• Cornell dominated in points off the bench (41-24), second chance points (19-1), points off turnovers (24-9) and points in the paint (36-22) while holding a commanding advantage on the backboards (39-24).
• Oberlin had three double figure scorers, with Emmanuel Lewis leading the way with 14 points. Miles Gueno added 12, while Geoff Simpson had 10 points, six rebounds and six assists. The Yeomen shot 41 percent from the floor, but had 15 turnovers.
• Cornell opens its 58th official Ivy League season (the league was formally started prior to the 1956-57 season) with a 20-37 record in conference openers.
• Cornell is 15-19 against Columbia in league openers and 5-21 on the road.
• The programs' records against opponents in Ivy openers: Brown (0-3), Dartmouth (1-4), Harvard (2-5), Penn (0-2), Princeton (1-1) and Yale (1-2).
• Going back to its Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League (a forerunner of the Ivy League), Cornell's record is 45-63 in conference openers (25-28 in the EIBL).

• 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).

• There are numerous way to follow the Big Red through the 203-14 basketball season.
• Men's basketball games will be broadcast on HITS 103.3 FM for the 2013-14 season. Longtime voice of the Big Red Barry Leonard returns on the call with the play-by-play, while former All-Ivy center Eric Taylor'05 is on board to do color analysis.
• A half-hour pregame show and postgame analysis will enable Big Red fans to follow Coach Bill Courtney's team throughout the season.
• The audio of all games will also be available as part of the IvyLeagueDigitalNetwork subscription service.
• The Big Red's home contests will all be broadcast live with streaming video as part of the IvyLeagueDigitalNetwork subscription service. Visit for all the latest information on Cornell broadcasts.
• Cornell will use SIDEARM Live Stats for each of the Big Red's home games in 2013-14. Visit for all of the official statistics.
• You can follow the team on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Highlights, interviews and features on all 36 of Cornell's varsity sports can be found at, or
• Cornell will close out its home-and-home series with travel partner Columbia when the Lions visit Newman Arena on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 12 p.m.


Anonymous said...

Is it possible the first formal year of Ivy play was 1955-56, rather than 1956-57 (as stated in this article)?

Anyone else got some information?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Formal play began in 1903, but the Ivy reorganized in 1954 and began play in basketball under the Ivy name in '55-'56.

Anonymous said...

You are literally the only source which considers the Ivy League to have begun in 1903, including the Ivy League itself. And, by the way, the League office considers the first season to be 1956-57, not 1955-56.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

You are wrong on both counts and I have repeatedly posted numerous sources as the 8 schools referring to themselves as the Ivy League from as far back as 1930.

1954 was a corporate reorganization of the the Ivy League. It was not the founding.

Anonymous said...

Check the list of champions for every sport of every season since the founding of the League. The list is maintained by League office on its main website. The first season with results is 1956-57.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I could provide a whole lot of evidence that the Ivy League existed before 1956-1957.

1954 the 8 presidents created a mission statement and incorporated the name, "Ivy League." However, from 1903-1954, the schools were already involved in formalized competition with each other and referred to the champions as "Ivy League" champions.

Here is the cover of the Cornell Sun after Cornell won the 1954 title:

Anonymous said...

Let's see. . . which is more credible, anecdotal evidence provided by CBB or official records maintained by the Ivy League conference headquarters?

Hmmmmm. . . .

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Anecdotal? I could cite 50 years of media coverage.

Unknown said...

OMG, this has been discussed to death on this website. It's a question of semantics as a Communications professor at Cornell whom I hated once said to me about something on which he was totally mistaken.

The group of 8 was informally known as the Ivy League for decades before it was formally known as the Ivy League (and it was codified in that meeting in 1956).

My Dad's football teams in 1948-50 were some of the best in the country, and they thought they were in the Ivy League. They also played other teams with the same if not more regularity as Ivy schools - Colgate and Syracuse for instance. Their arch-rival was Penn.

All the Ivy schools were listed as independents, but played each other almost annually, with some exceptions (Cornell almost never played Brown for instance).

In some sports, like basketball and hockey, other other affiliations were maintained. like the IEBL and the ECAC. The membership tended to overlap the "Ivy League."

The "Ivy League" was coined by a sportswriter, and was an informal affiliation until 1956. when it was formalized for most of the major sports.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

The EIBL was a FORMALIZED basketball league since 1903.

The members are the same members of the current Ivy League.

The winner of the EIBL received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament (since the tournament's inception).

The Ivy presidents ran the EIBL, they also run the current Ivy League. The Ivy office today in Princeton, NJ works for and under the direction of the 8 presidents. Nothing of substantial significance has changed in 100 years.

While the corporate name from 1903-1954 was "EIBL"-- it was referred to in the media and popular culture as the "Ivy League." Even the EIBL printed media guides with the name "Ivy" on it.

The rules of the EIBL are effectively the same as the rules today in the re-branded Ivy: no scholarships, academics over athletics etc etc.

What are the differences between the two? Nothing, other than the Ivy sought to bring in more sports under the same umbrella. But the EIBL as a basketball league was and always will be the original and ever lasting IVY LEAGUE.

Anonymous said...

Is this incredibly boring argument some kind of smoke screen for the fact that we are winless this season?

Anonymous said...

Uh, no.

The EIBL was a conference with members numbering four, five, six, seven or eight (usually six or seven) in different years for only one sport. The Ivy League is a conference with eight members competing in many sports, currently 33.

That there is an overlap in members does not make the two different organizations the same. A lawyer should know that.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

At the end of the day, it was the same 8 schools, the same rules as today (no scholarships etc), and the schools referred to themselves as the Ivy League, a term which was coined as far back as the 1930s. So yeah, the Ivy was not invented in 1954, it just became a re-organized corporate entity bringing all of the Ivy sports leagues under one umbrella.

To pretend the Ivy League (particularly in basketball) started in 1954 is worse than saying the NFL only started after the AFL-NFL merger. It denies history...