Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Penn/Princeton Weekend

Cornell Game Notes I Penn Game Notes I Princeton Game Notes I Ivy League Game Notes
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Game #21: Penn at Cornell
Tip off: Friday, Feb. 6, at 8:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2014-15 Records: Penn (6-11, 1-2 Ivy); Cornell (10-10, 2-2 Ivy)
Series Record: Penn leads 148-74
Last Meeting: Penn won 69-65, March 8, 2014 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: 98.7 FM The Buzzer (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor '05)
TV: American Sports Network

Game #22: Princeton at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 7, at 6:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2014-15 Records: Princeton (9-10, 2-1 Ivy); Cornell (10-10, 2-2 Ivy)
Series Record: Princeton leads 141-79
Last Meeting: Princeton won 91-51, March 7, 2014 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: 98.7 FM The Buzzer (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor '05)
TV: None

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his fifth season at Cornell (47-88, .348; 21-39 Ivy, .350) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

STORY LINES: The Cornell basketball team will attempt to move up the conference standings when it hosts traditional Ivy League powers Penn and Princeton this weekend at Newman Arena. Friday night's contest with the Quakers will be televised on the American Sports Network at 8 p.m., while the Big Red will face the Tigers on Saturday at 6 p.m. Barry Leonard and Eric Taylor '05 will provide coverage on 98.7 FM The Buzzer, with live video available on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Picked to finish eighth in the Ivy League preseason media poll, head coach Bill Courtney's Big Red team is one of the most improved in the country. Cornell is 10-10 a year removed from a 2-26 campaign. The Big Red has the looks of a team on the rebound, playing suffocating defense (.375 field goal percentage defense, .310 3-point percentage defense, 60.3 ppg. allowed, 5.1 blocked shots per game) in its 20 contests. The Big Red has limited foes to below 40 percent shooting in 14 of its 20 games. Five of its 10 losses have come by five points or less or in overtime.

The biggest difference from last year is the return of first-team All-Ivy selection Shonn Miller, who missed the 2013-14 season with a shoulder injury. The two-time Ivy League Player of the Week paces the conference in scoring (16.2 ppg.), rebounding (8.0 rpg.) and free-throw percentage (.863). Miller also ranks in the top10 in the conference in, blocks (third, 1.9 bpg.) and steals (eighth, 1.3 spg.) to make him an early contender for top Ivy League honors.

Other big differences in Cornell's quick turnaround include the return of senior Galal Cancer (9.3 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 3.2 apg., 1.2 spg.) after a year away from basketball, the move of senior Devin Cherry to point guard (10.3 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 3.8 apg., 0.9 spg.) and the maturation of sophomores Robert Hatter (11.5 ppg., 2.8 rpg., 1.4 spg.) and David Onuorah (2.1 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 1.6 bpg.). A number of other players have added key minutes as reserves over the first 18 contests. Among them are sophomore guards JoJo Fallas, who has become one of the conference's most dangerous shooters off the bench (3.4 ppg., 18 3-pointers, .375 3-point percentage), and Darryl Smith (3.2 pg., 2.1 rpg.). Together with the starting trio, the five make for one of the most talented and deepest backcourts in the Ancient Eight. The senior big man trio of Deion Giddens, Dave LaMore and Ned Tomic are combining to average 4.3 ppg. and 5.2 rpg. and have provided leadership on and off the court.

• make the Big Red 11-10 overall and 3-2 in Ivy League play.
• give Cornell a 5-2 record in its last seven games.
• cut the Quakers lead in the all-time series to 148-75.
• be the 1,222nd in program history (1,221-1,362 in 116 seasons, .473).

• Penn enters the week with a 6-11 mark and a 1-2 Ivy League record after a weekend home split with Dartmouth (W, 58-51) and Harvard (L, 63-38).
• The loss to the Crimson snapped a two-game Quaker win streak.
• The Quakers are shooting 45 percent from the floor on the season and are outrebounding opponents by nearly three boards per contest (33.8-31.0).
• Penn is allowing opponents to shoot 43 percent from the floor and are turning the ball over a league-leading 16.9 times per game.
• Tony Hicks is the team's lone double figure scorer at 13.4 ppg., though both Darien Nelson-Henry (9.9 ppg., 5.8 rpg.) and Matt Howard (9.0 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 1.3 spg.) are right on the precipice.
• Fifth-year head coach Jerome Allen has had success at his alma mater. The former Ivy League Player of the Year and NBA veteran guided the 2012 Quakers to a runner-up finish in the Ancient Eight standings and a spot in the CBI postseason tournament.

• Penn leads 148-74 overall in a series that dates back to the 1903-04 campaign.
• Cornell has had the best of the series recently, winning eight of the last 14 after losing 18 straight contests to the Quakers.
• Penn swept the season series last year, including a 69-65 victory in the Big Red's season finale in Ithaca.

• On Senior Day, it was underclassmen Nolan Cressler and Devin Cherry who tried to will the Big Red to a win to honor their three teammates playing their final game for Cornell.
• It just wasn't enough as Penn claimed a 69-65 victory over the home team on March 8, 2014 at Newman Arena.
• Cressler scored 28 points and grabbed five rebounds, while Cherry notched 12 points and seven assists, but the Big Red shot just 38 percent as a team overall and from 3-point range.
• Cornell's three seniors each got the start, with Dwight Tarwater scoring eight points and grabbing five boards, Dominick Scelfo hitting an early 3-pointer and also grabbing a rebound and adding a steal, and Jake Matthews hitting a pair of treys for six points.
• Dau Jok scored a career-high 21 points and hit six 3-pointers for the Quakers, who were playing without leading scorer Tony Hicks.
• Fellow senior Miles Cartwright had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists and a third senior, Fran Dougherty had 14 points and five boards.
• Penn shot 55 percent in the second half and 48 percent for the game and connected on an impressive 19-of-21 from the free-throw line.

• Princeton enters Friday's contest at Columbia with a 9-10 overall record and a 2-1 Ivy League mark. The Tigers are 6-2 in their last eight games.
• The Tigers' lone conference loss was a three-point home contest against preseason Ivy favorite and defending league champion Harvard.
• Princeton is 0-6 in road contests entering Friday's game.
• Three players are averaging double figures, with Spencer Weisz (12.6 ppg., 4.9 rpg., 2.7 apg., 1.2 spg.), Hans Brase (11.5 ppg., 7.2 rpg., 2.6 apg.) and Steven Cook (10.6 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 1.8 spg.) leading the way.
• Princeton's top three reserves all score between five and six points per game.
• The Tigers are shooting 45 percent from the floor overall and 38 percent from 3-point range, but are allowing opponents to hit 44 percent overall and 37 percent from beyond the arc.
• Fourth-year head coach Mitch Henderson has posted a 67-42 record in his four seasons. His 58 wins in the first three years were the third-best total by a Princeton coach in their first three seasons.

• Princeton leads the series 141-79 dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1901-02 season.
• Cornell has won 11 of the last 20 meetings between the teams overall, though the Tigers have now captured five consecutive games between the teams.

• Princeton hit six 3-pointers without a miss in the first five minutes of the game and ran out to a 25-0 lead en route to a 91-51 victory over Cornell on March 7, 2014 at Newman Arena.
Nolan Cressler scored 16 points to lead the Big Red, while Devin Cherry had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists against just one turnover in the loss.
• Senior Dwight Tarwater, playing in his second to last collegiate game, netted 12 points with five rebounds and fellow senior Jake Matthews had a career-best four steals.
• Princeton had three players in double figures, led by Will Barrett. The senior hit all eight of his field goal attempts, including a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc, as part of a 21-point effort. he added four assists, three rebounds and two blocks to the cause.
• Classmate T.J. Bray also notched 21 points and chipped in eight rebounds and five assists.
• Rounding out the trip was Clay Wilson with 16 points.
• Spencer Weisz had seven points, a career-high 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals as the Tigers outrebounded the Big Red 33-26.
• As a team, the visitors had 23 assists on its 34 baskets and turned the ball over just 11 times.
• Princeton shot 53 percent from the floor overall (16-of-30) and an impressive 63 percent from 3-point range (10-of-16) in the first 20 minutes, but got even hotter after halftime.
• The Tigers made 78 percent of their shots in the second half (18-of-23) to end the contest at a blazing 64 percent for the game.

• The Cornell men's basketball team was picked to finish eighth when the 2014-15 Ivy League preseason media poll was announced during the annual conference call with the league's eight head coaches.
• Harvard, last year's league champion, was the unanimous preseason favorite, picking up all 17 first-place votes and 136 points total.
• Yale was chosen second (108 points), while Columbia (94 points) and Princeton (88 points) weren't far behind in third and fourth.
• Brown was chosen fifth (75 points), while Dartmouth was sixth with 47 points. Rounding out the field was Penn in seventh with 39 points and Cornell in eighth with 25 points.
• Two media members from each school and one national representative voted in the poll.

• Cornell's defense has spearheaded the Big Red's turnaround, as its points per game allowed, field goal percentage defense overall and from 3-point range are significantly down, while its steals and blocked shots are way up over last season.
• The Big Red is limiting opponents to .375 shooting over its first 20 games. In all, Cornell recorded a .495 field goal percentage defense mark in 2013-14
• Cornell has allowed opponents to shoot 50 percent or better 15 times in 28 games a season ago, while this year it has held 14 of its first 20 opponents under 40 percent shooting and just one opponent has hit 50 percent of its shots.

                Scoring Def.        FG% Def.             3pt FG Def.         Steals    Blocks
2013-14                78.4 (331)            .495 (341)            .409 (345)            4.2 (338)               3.5 (267)
2014-15                60.3 (41)               .375 (13)               .310 (63)               6.7 (137)               5.1 (32)

• Cornell has already won eight more games than the entire 2013-14 campaign when it went 2-26. Only 10 teams in the country have won at least five more games this season than last year (as of Feb. 1), topped by Cornell's +8. Lamar, Maryland-Eastern Shore, New Hampshire and UC Davis are all at +7 over last year.
• Senior Shonn Miller has recorded 14 career double-doubles, a mark that ranks fourth all-time at Cornell. Bernard Jackson '91 and Mike Davis '80 each had 18 career games with double figures in scoring and rebounding, while Justin Treadwell '94 and Jeff Foote '10 had 15.
• The Big Red's has limited opponents to .375 shooting. Cornell hasn't held opponents under 40 percent shooting in a season since the 1963-64 campaign.
• Both Galal Cancer (two assists) and Devin Cherry (three assists) are within striking distance of joining the school's top 20 career assist list.
• The Big Red has blocked 102 shots entering the weekend and needs 25 more to match the single season school record.
• Senior Galal Cancer is just the 17th player in school history to register 500 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists in a career.
• Senior Shonn Miller is approaching becoming the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 points. He needs 116 in his last 10 regular season contests (11.6 ppg.).
• Over the team's last 10 games, Cornell is shooting an outstanding .803 from the free-throw line (167-of-208).
• Over its last five games, Cornell has forced an average of 18.6 turnovers while posting 9.6 steals per contest. It has outscored opponents off turnovers 109-30 in those games.
• In its last six contests, the Big Red has 76 assists and just 50 turnovers.
• Cornell's 78-point margin of victory against Alfred State (107-29) was the largest in school history, bettering a 71-point win over Rome Air Force Base in 1943.
• The team's 107 points against Alfred State made for the seventh-highest total in school history and the most in 22 years.
• Cornell allowed just 29 points against the Pioneers, the fewest surrendered in a contest since Sampson Naval Hospital scored 29 in a 68-29 Big Red victory on Dec. 1, 1945.
• The Big Red has posted three of the top 20 free-throw shooting percentage efforts in school history over the first 16 games. Cornell tied a school record with a 13-for-13 effort (one of eight perfect nights with at least 10 attempts) against UMass Lowell and had the best day with a miss in going 21-of-22 for .955 against Penn State. Cornell hit 26-of-28 free throws (.929) in the win over Howard.
• Cornell's 14-point margin of victory over Binghamton (68-54) was its largest in a road game under head coach Bill Courtney and the most by any Cornell team since a 79-59 victory at Yale on March 6, 2010. That mark didn't last long, as the Big Red dropped Siena by 17 (75-58) in Albany 23 days later.
• The rally from a 17-point deficit against Colgate was the largest overcome by a Big Red team this century. It is the largest overcome by a Bill Courtney-coached team, besting the 14-point first half deficit it rallied from in an 85-84 win over Yale on Feb. 10, 2012.
• When Cornell knocked off George Mason, the Big Red defeated its 35th program that has advanced to an NCAA Final Four. The Patriots reached the national semifinals in 2006.
• The Big Red hit 14 3-pointers in the win over Alfred State, the most in a game since hitting 16 in an 83-70 loss at Western Michigan on Nov. 29, 2013.
• Senior Shonn Miller leads the Ivy League in scoring (16.2 ppg.) and rebounding (8.0 rpg.). He is attempting to become the seventh Ivy player to lead the circuit in both since 1961-62, but the third in the last five years.
• Miller blocked a pair of shots against George Mason to surpass the 100 career block milestone. He became the fifth player in Cornell history to reach that plateau and now has 136 to his name.
• Miller had three steals at Radford, pushing his career total to 101. He became the first player in Cornell history to post 100 career steals and 100 career blocks.
• Second-year assistant coach Jon Jaques was a starter and senior captain on the 2009-10 Cornell team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.
• Cornell will play 10 games against teams coming off 20-win seasons and 11 against teams who competed in postseason last year (three vs. NCAA teams, five vs. CIT teams, four vs. CBI teams).
Dwight Tarwater '14 graduated from Cornell last spring with a degree in Applied Economics and Management and is playing an extra year at California-Berkeley.  Through 22 games (13-9), Tarwater is averaging 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds while playing 17.3 minutes per game as a key reserve and spot starter. He has made four starts for the Bears.
• It is the second straight year a Big Red men's basketball player has used his fifth and final year of eligibility at a BCS school, as Errick Peck '13 spent the 2013-14 campaign at Purdue. He served as a captain and part-time starter for the Boilermakers while averaging 4.6 points and 4.4 rebounds and shooting 48 percent from the floor in 32 contests (10 starts).
• Members of the Cornell basketball team represent 13 states and one Canadian province.
• Cornell has played in 46 different states, as well as in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Australia and France. The only states the Big Red has not played in are Alaska, North Dakota, Mississippi and Wyoming.

• Cornell hit four 3-pointer vs. Yale on Jan. 31, 2015 its 734th straight game with at least one made 3-point field goal.
• With six 3-pointers against Oberlin on Jan. 11, 2014, Cornell extended its streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 700.
• The last time Cornell did not hit a 3-pointer was against Denison in the 1988-89 season opener (0-for-2).
• Since the 3-point shot came into effect in NCAA play during the 1986-87 season, Cornell has hit at least one shot behind the arc in 780 of 784 games, connecting on 4,937 treys, an average of 6.3 per game.

• Cornell opened the season with eight games in the first 16 days while covering four states (New York, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina).
• The Big Red kicked off the year with three games in five days, including trips to George Mason (W, 68-60) and Loyola (MD) (L, 71-76), before heading to Charleston, S.C., for three games in four days.
• The Big Red closed the stretch with a home game against Canisius and at Binghamton, both wins.
• When the dust cleared, Cornell went 4-4 in the first 16 days of the year.
• All told, Cornell traveled 2476 miles roundtrip to play its eight games.
• Though impressive, it doesn't touch what the Big Red did two years ago in November of 2012 when it played six games in 11 days, covering four states (New York, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada) and all four continental U.S. time zones (Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific).
• All told, Cornell traveled 4,400 miles to play those six games, finishing 2-4.

• Senior Shonn Miller joined a team made up of collegiate players from Division I, II and III on a goodwill tour through Belgium, The Netherlands and England through the Global Sports Academy from August 14-21.
• The team played five games in seven days against a number of club teams while enjoying numerous sight-seeing opportunities in the three countries.
• Dartmouth assistant coach Jordan Watson leads the team that features five Ivy League players, including Miller. Yale's Javier Duren and Matt Townsend, Dartmouth's John Golden and Princeton's Clay Wilson were also part of the tour.

• Cornell University ranks among the best according to the annual NCAA Division I Academic Progress Report (APR) for 2012-13.
• The APR measures semester-by-semester records for every individual team in Division I with regard to each team members' continuing eligibility, retention and progress toward graduation.
• The NCAA "commends" teams that have APR scores in the top 10 percent within their sport, with the minimum necessary score ranging from 975 to a perfect mark of 1000 depending on the range of team scores within that sport.
• Eight Cornell teams received perfect scores of 1,000, with baseball, men's and women's basketball, field hockey, men's golf, women's gymnastics, women's lacrosse and volleyball each hitting that target.

• Members of the Cornell men's basketball 2009-10 NCAA Sweet 16 squad were chosen to play in The Basketball Tournament, a 32-team, winner-take-all tournament that began in June in Philadelphia, Pa.
• The Basketball Tournament (TBT) was an open, single-elimination, winner-take-all basketball tournament for $500,000.
• A total of 32 teams participated, with 24 having been chosen by fan voting and another eight (including Cornell) chosen as at-large selections by the TBT.
• The Big Red, without leading scorer Ryan Wittman '10, lost in the first round to the Illinois Hoopville Warriors 84-70. Louis Dale '10 had 30 points, while Jeff Foote '10 notched 16 points and 12 rebounds.
• The 2009-10 team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 is celebrating its five year anniversary this year.
• The Ivy League champion was the first school to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament and set team and Ivy records with 29 wins.
• Earned its first two postseason wins in school history, topping higher seeded Temple (No. 5, 78-65) and Wisconsin (No. 4, 87-69) to become the first Ivy school to reach the Sweet 16 since 1979.
• Became just the ninth double-digit seed to win its first two NCAA tournament games by double figures and the first seeded No. 13 or below to do so.
• Its 16 non-conference wins was an Ivy record for a season and its 18 wins away from home (13-3 road, 5-1 neutral) were the most in the country.
• Its 12 non-league victories away from home (7-2 road, 5-1 neutral) were the most of any Division I school.
• First team in Ivy League history other than Penn or Princeton to win three consecutive outright conference crowns.
• Fifth NCAA tournament appearance in school history.
• Set team records for points (2,545), field goals made (913), 3-pointers (326), blocked shots (127) and games played (34).
• Won the 2009-10 Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival tournament title and finished 4-0 at the Legends Classic, joining Florida (4-0) as the only teams to go unbeaten in the 16-team event.
• Earned its first win over a Big East team since 1969 (St. John's) and its first victory over an SEC team since 1972 (Alabama).
• Finished first or second in the Ivy League in 13 of 16 team statistical categories and led the conference in eight.
• Ryan Wittman was named Ivy League Player of the Year.
• Wittman was joined on the All-Ivy first team by Louis Dale and Jeff Foote, becoming the seventh trio of teammates to earn first-team All-Ivy accolades in the same season.
• Foote captured his second straight Defensive Player of the Year nod, making him the only player to ever earn the award (started in 2008-09).

• Head coach Bill Courtney's record is 4-4 in overtime games during his five seasons, including 0-1 this season.
• Cornell went 3-1 in overtime in 2011-12, matching a school record for most overtime games in a season.
• All-time, dating back to the first overtime game against Penn way back in 1922, Cornell is 38-48 in games that go an extra period.
• Cornell is 5-9 in multiple overtime games, with the longest game for the Big Red being a five overtime contest against Princeton, won by the Tigers 66-61 on Feb. 24, 1979 at Barton Hall.
• Cornell is 29-18 in home overtime games, 2-2 in neutral contests and 8-27 in road games.

• Cornell begins a four-game Ivy League road swing when it visits Dartmouth on Friday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., then heads to Harvard on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m.

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