Saturday, January 4, 2014

GAME RECAPS: St. Bonaventure 81 Cornell 57

St. Bonaventure shot better than 50 percent from the floor after halftime and made 10 3-pointers overall in handing the Cornell men’s basketball team its 19th straight defeat, 81-57, on Saturday in non-conference action at the Reilly Center.
Sophomore Nolan Cressler scored 19 points to lead the Big Red, which dropped to 0-13 on the season in extending the longest losing streak to start a campaign in program history. The overall losing streak, dating to mid-February of last year, is also a school record.
Cressler had 15 of his points in the first half to keep Cornell within reach during the first 20 minutes. Junior Devin Cherry added 13 points and three assists, while freshman Darryl Smith had six points and five rebounds in his first collegiate start.
St. Bonaventure had four players in double figures, led by Jordan Gathers with 20 points off the bench. Mathew Wright chipped in 16, Dion Wright had 14, and Charlon Kloof added 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
Cornell shot 42 percent from the floor, with Cressler going 8-of-16, but the Big Red turned the ball over 14 times and trailed 42-14 in bench scoring. The Bonnies shot 50 percent from the field for the game, 53 percent after halftime.
After trailing by eight points early, the Red pulled back to within three, thanks in part to a Ned Tomic spinning layup and a Cherry fast break bucket off a Bonnies turnover. St. Bonaventure responded after a timeout by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers and kept Cornell at bay for the rest of the half.
The Bonnies led 38-28 at halftime, then ran away with the game in the second 20 minutes, going on a 10-0 run over a span of three minutes to push its lead to 18. The lead grew to as many as 28 points late in the game.
Cornell returns home at 2 p.m. Saturday to face Division III Oberlin College at Newman Arena in its final non-conference game of the season. Ivy League play opens for Cornell on Jan. 18 when it travels to Columbia.

Box Score

Box Score (PDF)

OLEAN, N.Y. -- Sophomore Nolan Cressler had 19 points and five rebounds, but St. Bonaventure shot 53 percent after halftime and connected on 10 3-pointers to outlast Cornell, 81-57, on Saturday afternoon at Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies improved to 10-4, while the Big Red slipped to 0-13.

Cressler scored 15 of his points in the first half to keep the Big Red in the game and connected on 8-of-16 field goals overall. Junior Devin Cherry added 13 points and three assists in the loss, while freshman Darryl Smith had six points and five rebounds in his first collegiate start. Ned Tomic also had six points and five boards off the bench.

The Big Red shot 42 percent from the floor, but turned the ball over 14 times and were outscored 42-14 off the bench. The Bonnies had four double figure scorers, led by 20 points off the pine from Jordan Gathers. Matthew Wright added 16, Dion Wright had 14 and Charlon Kloof chipped in 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in the win.

Cressler did his best to keep the Big Red within arm's length with 15 points in the first half as Cornell went into the break trailing 38-28. St. Bonaventure nailed 6-of-13 from 3-point after averaging just over four makes per game for the entire season. Wright scored 13 and Gathers had 12 to pace the home team. Dwight Tarwater had two points and five rebounds as the visitors were able to scrape by the Bonnies on the backboards (19-15).

Tomic hit a spinning layup and after a St. Bonaventure turnover, Cherry went coast-to-coast with a great finish to force a Bonnies' timeout with 9:15 left as the visitors got back within 17-14 after trailing early by as many as eight early. The Bonnies answered with consecutive treys by Wright and Gathers to build it back up to nine, and except for a short run that got the Big Red back within five (23-18), St. Bonaventure methodically built its lead. Four straight free throws by Wright and six consecutive points by Gathers put the home team up 10 after 20 minutes.

The Big Red got back within eight early in the second half after consecutive baskets by Cressler and Cherry made it 40-32, but SBU went on a 10-0 run over a span of three minutes to push its lead to 18, and Cornell wasn't able to get closer than 16 the rest of the way. The lead ballooned to 28 points late in the contest as the team's went deep into their benches.

Cornell returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 11 when it plays host to Division III Oberlin at Newman Arena.

Via NBC Sports: With the Cornell Big Red entering the game with an 0-12 record, the key for St. Bonaventure was to show up motivated to play with their Atlantic 10 opener against Richmond just four days away. Mark Schmidt’s Bonnies did just that, shooting 50% from the field and knocking down ten three-pointers in their 81-57 victory.  Jordan Gathers knocked down five of those three-pointers, scoring 20 points off the bench to lead four Bonnies in double figures. Matthew Wright added 16 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists, and as a team St. Bonaventure racked up 21 assists with just seven turnovers. Nolan Cressler paced the Big Red with 19 points, and they should be able to end their current winless run next Saturday when they host Oberlin College.

Recap | Box Score | Preview
Final Score: St. Bonaventure 81, Cornell 57
Location: Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center – St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
Records: St. Bonaventure 10-4 | Cornell 0-13
The Short Story:
Powered by another good defensive game and a season-high 10 three-pointers, St. Bonaventure defeated Cornell 81-57 on Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center. The Bonnies led 38-28 at halftime and opened a 20-point lead seven minutes into the second half as Cornell never led. Jordan Gathers (5-7) and Matthew Wright (4-8) led the way as the Brown and White made 10 of 22 (.455) three-pointers on the day.  Gathers' five threes are a career high.
The Bonnies completed their non-conference schedule 10-4, marking the first time since 1997 the program recorded 10 wins in a season against non-Atlantic 10 opponents. St. Bonaventure remained undefeated at home, now at 6-0.
Video highlights coming soon.
St. Bonaventure Starters: #3 G Charlon Kloof, #24 Matthew Wright, #23 G Andell Cumberbatch, #33 F Marquise Simmons, #35 C Youssou Ndoye
How It Happened:
  • Against a winless Cornell team, St. Bonaventure opened an early 13-5 lead and never gave away the lead, even when Charlon Kloof picked up two fouls in the first half and played only nine of the opening 20 minutes.
  • Devin Cherry scored to pull Cornell within three at 17-14 with 9:20 left in the first half, but the Bonnies responded with three-pointers by Matthew Wright and Gathers to go ahead 23-14.
  • Cornell got as close as six points but St. Bonaventure got a lift from its bench, especially Gathers who came on to score 12 points in the first half on 3-5 shooting from three-point range.
  • Matthew Wright also set the standard in the first half, scoring 13 of his 16 points on the day.
  • The Bonnies led by 13 after a Gathers three-pointer with 1:33 left until halftime, but Nolan Cressler drained one of his own to make it a 38-28 game at the break.
  • Early in the second half St. Bonaventure led 40-32 when it went on a 10-0 run that essentially put the game away.  Dion Wright had a pair of layups in that run and Kloof capped it with a three-pointer at the 14:25 mark to put the Bonnies up 50-32.
  • From that point, the Bonnies' lead only grew. Another Gathers three made it a 25-point game at 66-41 with 9:51 to play.
  • Gathers hit his fifth three of the game, setting a new career high, with 4:21 to go, and the Bonnies cruised the rest of the way to their 10th win of the season.
  • St. Bonaventure wound up making 10 of 22 three-pointers (.455), tying their season high for three-pointers made set previously against Southern Illinois.
  • Despite only playing a season-low 21 minutes due to his foul troubles, Kloof still ended up with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
  • Dion Wright enjoyed another strong game with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes.
  • Coach Mark Schmidt was able to utilize his reserves who don't normally see extended action and, in particular, got a strong contribution from freshman Denzel Gregg, who had four points, three blocks, two rebounds and two assists in 10 minutes of action.
  • The Bonnies held Cornell to 42 percent shooting overall including 4-17 (.235) from three-point range. The Big Red entered the game averaging eight three-pointers per game. 
Beyond the Box Score:
  • Overall, the Bona bench outscored Cornell's 42-17.
  • Cornell's 57 points marked the fifth time this year St. Bonaventure has held a team under 65 points. Only five times have the Bonnies allowed opponents to shoot better than 45 percent.
  • Youssou Ndoye had an apparent block on a fastbreak by Cornell called goaltending by the officials in the second half. The call led to catcalls of protest from the RC faithful.
  • St. Bonaventure has now defeated Cornell four years in a row since the schools renewed the series in 2011.
  • The Bonnies are now 9-2 when leading at the half and 8-1 when they win the rebounding battle.
  • The game was shown by NBC Sports Network, the first of the Bonnies' four games on national TV this year.
  • The last St. Bonaventure team to record 10 wins in non-conference play was the 1997-98 club, which went 10-3. That team finished 17-15 overall and made the NIT.
  • For the second time this year the Bonnies wore their "third" gold uniforms.
Up Next: St. Bonaventure opens Atlantic 10 Conference play next Wednesday, Jan. 8, at home against Richmond. Game time is 7:00.

ST. BONAVENTURE — For the last two games, Jordan Gathers has had to wear protective eye goggles after being poked in the eye during practice.
The junior guard said it’s just a precautionary measure and that he should be able to discard the eyewear in the next couple of contests. Clearly, though, they aren’t having much of an effect on his ability to play. In fact, they may be helping him.
The junior guard tallied a career-high 20 points, which included a Bona-best five 3-point makes on seven attempts, as the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team ran away from Cornell, 81-57, before 3,244 observers on Saturday afternoon in the Reilly Center.
Gathers’ career afternoon helped to ensure that the Bonnies, now 10-4, reached the goals they had set a couple of weeks, and even months, earlier: to close the non-conference season on a three-game streak and capture 10 OOC victories. And in doing so, they set the standard for non-league wins under coach Mark Schmidt and became the first Bona team to hit 10 of that variety since the 1997-’98 NIT team.
“It was great,” Gathers said of the way his team closed the out-of-conference schedule. “We all did it together and we preach brotherhood, so to get 10 wins and finish off the non-conference strong, it gives us momentum going into conference play next week.”
Gathers’ performance was contagious, as he led four players who finished with 12 points or more and a Bona offense which shot 50 percent for the game, tied a season-high with 10 3-pointers and, perhaps most impressively, assisted on 21-of-30 made baskets.
Matthew Wright had one of his most complete games of the year, totaling 16 points, six rebounds and six assists, with no turnovers. Dion Wright, in another impressive performance, recorded 14 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Charlon Kloof, despite early foul trouble, finished with 12 points, four rebounds and four helpers, also with no turnovers.
Up 17-14 at the 9:20 mark, Bona scored 15 of the next 21 points to build a double-digit advantage and had a 10-point lead at the break (38-28). It very quickly built it to 20 in the second half and led by as many as 28 in improving to 6-0 at home and nailing down its fifth double-digit triumph of the season.
Schmidt’s team wasted little time demonstrating how it would respond to the team which currently possesses the longest live losing streak in the nation, which is now at 19 games.
“Everybody’s asking are the guys going to be ready, are we going to underestimate Cornell,” the seventh-year coach said afterward, “and I told you guys that we didn’t have dumb players. They understood the importance of the game. They had tremendous respect for Cornell because of the three (close) games we had with them before this year.”
His players proved it from the outset, limiting Cornell to just 1-for-8 to start the game in taking a quick 13-5 advantage.
“I thought the intensity was there right from the get-go defensively,” Schmidt noted, “and that’s how you can tell when a team is ready to play. They respected them by going out and playing as hard as they’ve done all year.”
On a day in which almost everybody got involved, the Bonnies, who have won four of their last five overall, had perhaps their best shooting game of the season, finishing 30-of-60 from the field, including 10-for-22 from 3-point range. In this one, they also hit their free throws, making 11-of-15.
Gathers and Wright got Bona going, connecting on six first-half 3-pointers to help extend the SBU lead. The two guards finished an impressive 9-for-15 from 3-point range on the afternoon.
“Some people say we can’t shoot,” Schmidt quickly chimed in. “We shot pretty good today. Jordan shot the heck out of the basketball. Shooting to me is like a snowball effect. When you hit a couple early and one guy starts hitting them, the basket opens up a little bit.
“I thought Jordan and Matthew (going 9-for-15), that’s a big key to the game because now they can’t double team as much inside. Hopefully that can continue.”
No matter what the Big Red, a team that was ranked No. 345 (of 350) in the RPI coming in and one that fell to 0-13 on the year, threw at the Bonnies, they seemed to have answer — whether it was shooting well against the zone or attacking their man-to-man.
And Schmidt knew why.
“We were sharing the ball,” he pointed out. “Twenty-one assists on 30 baskets, that’s terrific. We were aggressive. We didn’t push the ball as much as we probably could have. But I thought in the halfcourt, we were looking for each other.
“We played together, we attacked, and when we had open shots, we knocked them down. We played unselfishly and that’s what you like to see as a coach.”
Added Matthew Wright, whose team held Cornell, which had been averaging eight 3-pointers a game, to just 4-for-17 from the beyond the arc, “Today was a good one. Everyone played from top to bottom. Everyone was enthusiastic and supporting each other. I was looking for Jordan, he was looking for me. I felt like we had a really good game team-wise.”
Gathers, who has more than doubled his scoring average from last year, and, like both Wrights and Charlon Kloof, become much more of an offensive threat this season, has played particularly well since returning from a strained groin. He’s gone for 17, 14 and now 20 points in three of his last five games.
He’s become a guy Schmidt can depend on, and that’s a big factor in why the Bonnies will be hosting Richmond Wednesday on a three-game win streak.
“He has,” Schmidt said. “He’s accepting his role. He’s playing hard, he’s playing with energy and he’s giving us a lift. He’s not just doing it from an offensive standpoint; he has the ability to give us energy defensively.
He added: “Jordan and Dion have been terrific players for us coming off the bench and that’s what you need on a good team. It’s not always the guys that start, it’s the guys that are getting the minutes. Those are the guys you need and Jordan has done a terrific job since coming back from (his injury).”

ST. BONAVENTURE — Mark Schmidt said it four times ... but he wasn’t being a repetitive jerk.
He was making a point that was hard to argue.

Schmidt’s St. Bonaventure basketball team had just throttled Cornell, 81-57, on Saturday afternoon before 3,244 observers at the Reilly Center.
The victory ended the Bonnies ‘out-of-conference schedule at 10-4, heading into their Atlantic 10 Conference slate, which begins on Wednesday night at the RC against Richmond.
Schmidt merely wanted to remind the constituency of the significance of that record.
ON THE surface, Bona’s triumph was as predictable as freezing temperatures for the Southern Tier in January. Especially against a team that owns the nation’s longest Division I losing streak, which was extended to 19 straight.
But, before the game was played, Schmidt correctly noted, “They’re a team that’s right there ... they’re going to get somebody.”
That’s the way coaches, especially successful ones, have to think.
And, to be sure, the Bonnies didn’t play as if there were hosting a team ranked 345th of the nation’s 350 D-I teams.
They were protective of the ball ... making a season-low seven turnovers.
They handed Cornell its third-worst defeat of a disappointing season.
Plus, Schmidt’s crew also gave up its third-fewest points of the campaign and, not once, appeared indifferent about playing a less-than-quality foe.
AS THE seventh-year Bona boss pointed out, “The intensity was there right from the get-go defensively and that’s when you can tell if a team is ready to play. They respected (Cornell) by going out and playing as hard as they have all year.
“Ten wins, (that’s) the most since 1997 (in non-conference games) ... and a 3-0 (win streak) going into league play gives us some momentum because we know what is about to hit us.  The best way to go into league play is with some confidence and hopefully we have that.”
And while cynics point to the “weakness” of Bona’s non-conference schedule, comparing it to some of the abysmal slates crafted by Tom Chapman in the early ‘90s, the analogy isn’t apt.
Bona’s current Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) — a computerized assessment of a team’s schedule and its performance against it — is 123, a bit out of the top third in the country, but directly in the middle of the 13-team Atlantic 10.
Yeah, among the Bonnies victories — besides Cornell — are those over Niagara (321, RPI), UMass-Lowell (336), Southern Illinois (291), Wagner (261), Abilene Christian (240) and South Dakota (236).
But the other three wins were over Canisius (98) and Delaware (113) at home and Iona (161)  on the road.
The four defeats were at  Wake Forest (74), Louisiana Tech (103) on a neutral court,  at Buffalo (152) and at Siena (228).
But, three of those losses were by five-or-fewer points and Bona had an 8-point lead over Wake Forest, of the Atlantic Coast  Conference, at intermission.
AFTER THE win over Cornell, Schmidt was asked about his assessment of the non-conference schedule.
“Up and down,” he said. “You always want to win all of your games ... but winning 10 games, with what people were saying about us — where our offense was going to come from, who are our players — I think our guys had a little chip on their shoulder and they played to prove some people wrong.
 “But we know it’s only halfway and now we have to do the same in the conference schedule. Ten and four, I think,  is good and if we hit some foul shots we’d be better than that.”
Like three wins.
There were a dozen misses in the 72-70 loss to Siena, 11 in a 76-72 defeat by Louisiana Tech and 14 in falling 78-73 against Buffalo.
Still, Schmidt was quick to add, “If somebody said before the season, ‘You’ll be 10-4,’ I’d probably take that.
“You want to win ... (and) we got 10 wins and we could have gotten some more. But (those victories) give you confidence and winning breeds winning. That’s what the goal was and now we go into the conference with some confidence.”


Anonymous said...

when oh when do we get a coach who can recruit ivy talent?????gonna be a long ivy round-robin!

Old grad said...

Rebounding. Both ends. I don't know who coaches the big men, but he needs to do a better job.

BigRed1965 said...

It's times like this that I wish college basketball had a trading period. Oh do we need a big fellow underneath! Tarwater and Tomic are game players, but they are not the tall bruisers we need desperately. Our guys get eaten up underneath.

Still not inclined to blame the coach. There have been such unfortunate developments beyond his control: Miller out injured, Giddens ill, Bunce apparently hobbling, Peck denied money by Cornell and going to Purdue, Cancer quitting, now Hatter with an ankle injury (which is hopefully on the mend). PS Do I ever miss the unsung hero Miles Asafo-Adjei! He would have lent some stability and defensive grit to this team were he still here.

Anonymous said...

To: BigRed1965

Which of these guards would you take out of the game to play MAA. Offense would suffer even more!
What this team needs is a Big presence down low with soft hands, quick feet and an a low post game!

The four guards we have Cressler, Cherry, Hatter and Smith are probably the best set of guards on any Ivy team not name Harvard!

BigRed1965 said...

My response to anonymous: If Miles were still here, he could certainly rotate along with the other guards. (Cressler from my old-fashioned way of thinking is virtually playing as a 3-spot forward.) Yes, his scoring wasn't great but he would drive to the basket with authority. That would give some points plus open up the perimeters for our good shooters. Anyway, it's all academic (pun intended) - he has graduated.

Old grad said...

Deion could do some damage underneath if he put on some muscle and got off the floor. He has shown some good work, but gets pushed around.

Anonymous said...

I think Tomic and Tarwater did well
Tomic in 17 min had 5 board and 6 pts and Tarwater had 6 boards in 30min. David Onuorah looks like he is struggling, in 18 min 1 board, no points, 2 TO and 4 fouls, Ouch!

Looking at the stat line
TO our 14 vs 7
3pt our 22% vs 46%.

Tomic and Tarwater are just not that big they are more of a 3/4 player positions. We struggle to get the ball inside against big centers like 7Ft Ndoye, so our guards take outside shots.

I'm thinking/hoping in Ivy play our inside game/size will be more effective.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:47 AM

Can u please be more specific in who you believe not to be Ivy talent. Is it Cressler or Cherry, Hatter or Smith or some other player who Courtney recruited. Maybe Lamore or Giddens, Tarwater or Tomic.

All these players are qualified to play in the Ivy League in my opinion, so please explain who you think does not belong and why if you could be so kind!

Anonymous said...

-ANON 5:36PM

If you look closely at Columbia's guard group of Cohen, Lo, Lyles, and Mullins, and then realize that Frankoski will be back for league play, you will see a group that is playing way better than Cornell's guards and is actually deeper than Harvard's.

Check the TO's and steals, the "quiet" things guards are supposed to do well. Columbia has 81 and 51 in 1504 mins. Cornell has 103 and 26 in only 1179 mins.

A tiny bit of this is schedule-related, but the Lions' backcourt looks very good from here.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Hear the same noise about Columbia EVERY year dating back to the Jones era.

When Columbia decides to play a decent schedule and proves it is good, wake me up.

As of right now, they are bunched in the middle with Brown, Yale, Dart.

Anonymous said...

To: Anon 11:09 PM

When a team has significant scoring options in the low post that would take a lot of pressure off the backcourt. Would not be able to run Cressler off the three or clog the lane to keep Cherry out of it without paying the price of giving up higher percentage shots to the Bigs down low. The increase of options that gives you would automatically help the backcourt improve over what has thus far been a pretty productive season for this backcourt.

Cressler 16.7ppg in the top 5 in scoring and 4.8 rebounds/g
Cherrry 10.6ppg while in the top five in assist/g without a significant low post presence
Hatter 10.5 ppg in only approximately 20min/g
Smith giving significant production off the bench with rebounds, scoring and defense in limited role thus far.

And did i say that all these guys will be around after this season and most for another 2-3 years.

But if there is only one School other than Harvard you can come up with to be in the discussion then that should say it all that out off the Eight Ivy League Schools this set of Guards BigRed has is at present the second or third best in the League. I still say its the second best!