Friday, February 20, 2015

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Below, news and notes for Friday...


  • The San Francisco Chronicle called the Penn-Princeton series the 8th best rivalry in college basketball, but notes, "Losing ground because first Cornell, then Harvard took over the Ivy League."
  • The Ivy League named Shonn Miller to its weekly Honor Roll and notes:
Shonn Miller, Cornell (Sr., F - Euclid, Ohio)
17 points, 15 rebounds at Dartmouth
10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks at Harvard
PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Week 1, 11/17/14-Shonn Miller, Cornell
Week 2, 11/24/14-Justin Sears, Yale
Week 3, 12/1/14-Wes Saunders, Harvard
Week 4, 12/8/14-Javier Duren, Yale
Week 5, 12/15/14-Cedric Kuakumensah, Brown*
Week 6, 12/22/14-Maodo Lo, Columbia
Week 7,12/29/14-Shonn Miller, Cornell
Week 8, 1/5/15-Javier Duren, Yale
Week 9, 1/12/15-Henry Caruso, Princeton
Week 10, 1/19/15-Javier Duren, Yale
Week 11, 1/26/15-Justin Sears, Yale/Alex Mitola, Dartmouth
Week 12, 2/2/15-Justin Sears, Yale
Week 13, 2/9/15-Wes Saunders, Harvard
Week 14, 2/16/15-Justin Sears, Yale
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK

Week 1, 11/17/14-Antonio Woods, Penn
Week 2, 11/24/14-Mike Auger, Penn
Week 3, 12/1/14-Amir Bell, Princeton
Week 4, 12/8/14-Darnell Foreman, Penn
Week 5, 12/15/14-Sam Jones, Penn*
Week 6, 12/22/14-Kyle Castlin, Columbia
Week 7, 12/30/14-Aaron Young, Princeton
Week 8, 1/5/15-Kyle Castlin, Columbia
Week 9, 1/12/15-Makai Mason, Yale
Week 10, 1/19/15-Antonio Woods, Penn
Week 11, 1/26/15-Aaron Young, Princeton
Week 12, 2/2/15-Kyle Castlin, Columbia
Week 13, 2/9/15-Miles Wright, Dartmouth
Week 14, 2/16/15-Miles Wright, Dartmouth
* = Cornell idle
 Shot selection keeps holding the Big Red back

We are a little more than halfway through the Ivy slate and Cornell is just as up as it is down.  12-12 on the season and 4-4 in conference.   Satisfied?  Disappointed?  I don’t think you’ll find a Big Red fan in too much anguish. To suffer over a team bouncing back from its lowest win total in school history and fewest wins in league play since the 1970-71 campaign would be unreasonable, but who said sports fans have to be reasonable?  We’re a fickle group, easily frustrated and often disillusioned.
This is why when a team picked to finish dead last finds itself in the top half of the standings past the midway point of play, we can’t help but ask ourselves, why not more?

Cornell can be dangerous because of its ability to play a style of defense that isn’t often seen in the Ivy League.  But what is becoming increasingly clear is that defense alone isn’t enough win games.  In its Ivy opener, Cornell held Maodo Lo, the league’s leading scorer, scoreless on just two field-goal attempts.  In the first half of last Saturday’s game at Harvard, Cornell’s suffocating defense blanked Wesley Saunders, arguably the league’s most lethal scoring threat.  These two games have something in common besides Cornell’s defense stifling stars.  In both contests, Cornell held Columbia and Harvard below their season per game scoring average, and lost.  In fact, the Big Red have held opponents at or below its average scoring mark in 17 of 24 games this season, only winning 11 of these contests.  The only game the Red has won in which their opponent eclipsed its season scoring average was an overtime win at Dartmouth.
It is clear defense has taken the Red as far as they can go.  To consistently win, you need to make shots, something Cornell has not done.  In those losses to Columbia and Harvard, Shonn Miller shot a combined 4-for-23.  Even with a stout defense, Cornell isn’t good enough to overcome shooting performances like this from its best player.  These shooting woes can’t be brushed aside as a one-off occurrence nor can they be pinned on one guy.  Cornell’s shooting this season can go toe-to-toe with the worst in school history.
To date, the Red have shot 40 percent from the field.  No Cornell team has shot this poorly since the 2001-02 campaign, a team that shot a meager 38 percent for the season.  My impression is that Cornell’s shooting deficiencies are more a product of shot selection than anything else.  The stats back this up.  The three-point shooting run Cornell is on is historic, and unfortunately, it’s not historic in a good way.
This is the 29th season that the three-point shot has been part of college basketball.  Only four teams in Cornell history have shot a worse percentage from deep than what we’ve seen from Cornell the past two seasons.  Of course a team can’t excel in every aspect of the game, but what is alarming is this team has shown such a resolve to continue slinging it from deep, turning a blind eye to the results.
This season, more than 36 percent of Cornell’s field goal attempts have been three-pointers.  To put this in perspective, of the top 10 3-point shooting teams in school history (by three-point field goal percentage), only three have shot a higher percentage of three-pointers.
Rank Season 3-Point FG Percentage Percent of FGs attempted that were 3-Pointers
- 2014-2015 32.4% 36.7%
1 1989-1990 43.8% 23.3%
2 2009-2010 42.9% 40.0%
3 2008-2009 41.1% 33.8%
4 2007-2008 40.9% 35.7%
5 2006-2007 39.6% 36.5%
6 1988-1989 37.9% 24.1%

2004-2005 37.9% 35.5%
8 1990-1991 37.4% 29.6%
9 2010-2011 37.3% 42.5%
10 2005-2006 36.4% 37.2%

What the 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2005-06 teams all have in common is at least one player who ranks in the top 10 all time in career three-point field goal percentage in the school’s record book.  This year’s squad doesn’t come close.  Cornell has three players who have attempted at least 75 3-pointers and are on pace to jack up 100 or more (Devin Cherry is on pace to attempt 98 … close enough).  This group’s three-point shooting percentage ranges from 26 to 33 percent.  I don’t know what the Mendoza Line is for three-point field goal percentage, but I can tell you that’s not high enough to go out there and play the “live by the three, die by the three” game.  These numbers scream that Cornell’s offensive system is broken.  This team has arguably the best all-around player in the league, a shoo-in first team All-Ivy selection, and an offense that isn’t designed to get him the ball where he can be most effective.
I will give this team and this coaching staff some credit.  With six games left to play, the Red hold a one-game lead over Columbia for the final spot in the top half of the Ivy League standings.  Cornell has only occupied real estate in the top half of the final Ivy standings six times in last 20 years, something it has never done under Bill Courtney.  With the Ivy League title free from the shackles of its former Penn-Princeton geographical confinement, it’s not enough to hang your hat on a top-half league finish.  But, this season, for this team, it’s something.  Cornell wasn’t going to challenge Yale and Harvard at the very top of the standings— it’s simply not as good.  A top-half finish would be this team approaching, not shattering through, but approaching its ceiling.  Flaws or not, it has been a long time since we’ve seen the Big Red do this.
I just wish we saw more.
The Yale men’s basketball team will host Cornell and Columbia this weekend at the John J. Lee Amphitheater, looking to complete its second two-game sweep in as many weekends.
Both opponents sit at the middle of the Ancient Eight table with six games to play, and both seem epitomize the unpredictable results of Ivy League play so far this season.
The Elis (18–7, 7–1 Ivy) will first face fourth-place Cornell (12–12, 4–4) on Friday, which is coming off a roller-coaster weekend on the road. The Big Red defeated now last-place Dartmouth in an 81–72 overtime thriller, only to be easily handled 61–40 by a strong Harvard team that appears to be hitting its stride at the right time, having won its last six games.
Columbia (11–11, 3–5), which rests one spot behind the Big Red in the standings, had a frustrating pair of games a week ago after taking Harvard to the wire only to lose by four, and falling by 12 to Dartmouth.
The Bulldogs are coming off of a hot-shooting road sweep, blowing out Penn on Friday night by 27 and holding off a ferocious Princeton comeback on Saturday to win by eight.
Standout forwards Justin Sears ’16 and Matt Townsend ’15 credited the bench play for much of the success over the weekend. In particular, Townsend praised the composure of guard Makai Mason ’18 in the second half of the Princeton game.
“Makai hit some big-time shots down the stretch in our second half comeback,” Townsend said of Mason’s 5–5 effort against Princeton, which complemented his 14-point outing the night before against the Quakers.
Mason has seen much more court time as of late, playing at least 20 minutes in six of his last seven games, compared to just two such games before that stretch. He likened his role on the team to a shot of energy off the bench.
Sears also noted Mason’s developing maturity, as well as the growing intensity and invaluable impact of captain Greg Kelley ’15.
“It’s Greg’s last go-around, and you can see that in his sense of urgency,” Sears said.
Regarding preparations for this weekend’s matchups, Townsend said forcing Columbia to take different shots and limit its opportunities from long range will be key.
As for the Big Red, both Townsend and Mason agreed that breaking Cornell’s defensive pressure is paramount on Friday.
“Cornell likes ball pressure. We’ve been working in practice on handling that full court press,” Townsend said.
Mason agreed, commenting on the Cornell players’ length and athleticism. He added that there has been an emphasis in practice on moving the ball around with our motion and getting guys open shots — something that proved to be a struggle in Yale’s lone conference loss against Harvard.
Though it is hard to predict how either competitor will challenge this weekend, one thing is for sure: With Cornell’s away record of 2–5 and Columbia’s at 5–5, the Bulldogs will be sure to try and take advantage of these two teams’ road game woes.
Yale has certainly realized a strong home-court advantage this season — having gone 6–2 in contests at Payne Whitney — especially with the prospects of an Ivy League title and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament at hand. The Elis currently control their own fate in the Ancient Eight and do not need to rely on any upsets or Harvard’s misfortune to get a berth to the Big Dance for the first time in over 50 years.
However, guard Javier Duren ’15 maintains that there has been no change in strategy as a result of this potential title.
“Coach [James Jones] has constantly told us that our focus shouldn’t be an Ivy League title but on the next game,” Duren said. “In that, we’ve been able to remain humble and take it one game at a time.”
The tip off for both Friday and Saturday’s games will be at 7 p.m. in the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
The Cornell men’s basketball team spent February Break in snowy New England taking on Dartmouth and Harvard in two pivotal Ivy League games. On Friday, the squad defeated the Green in overtime, 81-72, but dropped its Valentine’s Day showdown with the first place Crimson the following evening, 60-41. The Red now sits in fourth place with a 4-4 record in the conference.
The Red’s matchup with Dartmouth was an odd one. Although the offense did not appear to flow smoothly, four of the squad’s five starters hit double figures, including a 17 point, 15 rebound performance from senior forward Shonn Miller. Despite a fantastic performance from Miller, most of the credit for the victory should be given to the Cornell backcourt. Sophomore guard Robert Hatter stole the show with his game-high 19 point performance, but freshman guard Wil Bathurst had a crucial role in the second half. The Olean, New York native scored seven points, including his own individual 5-0 run to keep the Green from making a run late in the game.
In addition to their offensive production, the Red guards disrupted Dartmouth’s offensive movement with tenacious ball pressure and sound rotations forcing 14 turnovers from the Green. The Red have been using a ball pressure and trap heavy defensive scheme for the majority of the league season and it has proved vital to the squad’s success and ability to stay in games. Head coach Bill Courtney expects the team to maintain these defensive trends as the season winds down.
“We know there are only a few weeks left in the season, and the guys played hard and got a win,” Courtney said. “Every game matters in this conference, and we will keep playing the way we know how coming down the stretch.”
The Red dominated the overtime period, outscoring Dartmouth, 17-8. Cornell made all of their shots from the field during the period and held the Green to only 3 for 7 shooting.
After the win, the squad hit the road for Cambridge to face league leaders Harvard, led by senior standout Wesley Saunders. The Red kept Saunders at bay, holding him to eight points on 27.3 percent shooting from the field and 11 rebounds. Despite the squad’s ability to keep the Crimson star in check, the Red struggled with their own shot, shooting just 24 percent from the field for the game.
Despite struggling from the field, the Red went into halftime leading by three points. However, they were blown away in the second half as Harvard outscored them, 40-16. Additionally, the Red starters failed to convert a field goal attempt in the half, a stat that would doom the best of teams.
“We allowed them to make a run at the start of the second half, and weren’t able to keep up or recover from that,” Courtney said. “We didn’t hit shots later in the game and they did.”
In the end Harvard, the preseason Ivy League favorite, came out victorious and now is in a race with Yale for the top spot in the conference and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Red are not out yet, but the way Harvard and Yale are playing at the moment, it looks as if the only teams who can beat them are each other.
The Red hit the road again this weekend for vital games against Yale and Brown. With just six regular season games left, teams are continuing to fight for their NCAA Tournament lives as well as bids in other postseason tournaments.
  • The Dartmouth also recapped last week's action and writes in part:
The men’s basketball team returned home to Leede Arena this past weekend for the first leg of a two-weekend Ivy League homestand. The Big Green (9-13, 2-6 Ivy) showed mixed results over the weekend, taking a heartbreaking loss in overtime to Cornell University (12-12, 4-4 Ivy) 81-72 before stifling Columbia University (11-11, 3-5 Ivy) in a 61-49 victory.
The weekend pitted the top two scorers in the Ivy League — Maodo Lo of Columbia, who averages 16.2 points per game, and Cornell’s Shonn Miller, who follows closely behind with 16.1— against Dartmouth’s stingy defense, which leads the Ivies with 7.6 steals per game.
In the end, restricting those two scorers’ access to the net was the key difference between winning and losing.
Against the Big Red, Dartmouth started strong and opened with an 11-2 lead less than three minutes into the game, and the men maintained a lead over Cornell throughout much of the match. During the run, Miles Wright ’18 chipped in two three-pointers and Connor Boehm ’16 added a three and a jumper to put the visitors at an early disadvantage.
Once again, Wright led the Big Green in scoring for the weekend. After breaking out with an average of 20.5 points per game last weekend and being named Ivy League Rookie of the Week, the freshman finished with 19 points against Cornell and led both teams with 16 against Columbia.
“I’m more comfortable with the offense now,” Wright said. “I know my role, and I know the coaching staff is more comfortable with me and I know my teammates are more comfortable with me taking the shots that I’m taking. When everyone else believes in you, it makes it easy to believe in yourself.”
After Dartmouth’s hot start, Cornell crawled back into the game. With five minutes left in the first half, Cornell’s Robert Hatter sank a three to give the Big Red its first lead of the night with 25-23. The Cornell sophomore finished the night tying Wright’s game-high 19 points.
After a tight first half, the two teams entered the locker room tied at 31-31.
The Big Green pulled away from the gridlock and opened the second period with an 8-4 run on the strength of a Wright jumper and free throws from co-captain Gabas Maldunas ’15 and John Golden ’15.
The second half played out similarly to the first. Dartmouth held a slight margin for most of the period but never led by more than six. Down six with five minutes to play, Cornell’s Hatter converted a four-point play to spark a late rally from the Big Red, leading to a 60-60 tie with four minutes left in the game.
With 1:41 to go, Cornell’s Miller hit a jumper to give Cornell its first lead, 64-62, since the opening seconds of the second half. Dartmouth took a timeout, but it failed to help the team recuperate and they returned to the court with misses by both Golden and Malik Gill ’16. Maldunas managed to come away with the offensive rebound on Gill’s attempt and pulled the score even on an impressive layup with only 27 seconds remaining. On the final possession of regular time, Cornell’s Miller attempted a buzzer-beater, but failed to close the match when the ball bounced off the rim.
Neck and neck at 64 points, the two teams headed to overtime, Dartmouth’s first since edging Northern Illinois University 58-55 on Dec. 19. Cornell lost its only prior overtime game of the season to Saint Peter’s University 59-52 on Dec. 28.
Over the course of the game, Cornell led for only 8:33, compared to Dartmouth’s 31:37 time spent ahead. The Big Red, however, peaked when it mattered most and dominated overtime play. Cornell opened scoring on a layup by senior Devin Cherry and a free throw by Miller. Dartmouth didn’t score its first basket until Alex Mitola ’16 hit a jumper with 3:34 to go, cutting the score to 66-67.
“We collapsed a little bit and we didn’t hit shots when we needed to,” Maldunas said.
After Mitola’s three, Cornell pulled away with a 7-0 run, capped off by a three. Wright hit a three to pull the game within four with just under a minute remaining, but the Big Green wouldn’t find the bottom of the net for the rest of the game. Cornell sealed the affair by hitting 5-for-6 from the line in the final minute.
The game featured strong offensive performances from both teams. Wright led the way for Dartmouth with 11 points in the first half en route to his 19 for the overall game. Maldunas posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards, and Boehm and Tommy Carpenter ’16 had 10 points each...
The men’s basketball team’s New York road trip — in which the squad lost consecutive games to Cornell and Columbia — was Bruno’s worst weekend of the season, as the team fell to 0-4 in league play. But the Bears (11-14, 2-6 Ivy) welcome the Big Red Friday and the Lions Saturday with the opportunity to serve a double dose of revenge.
“It does provide a lot of extra motivation, especially since we lost two games we thought we were in,” said guard J.R. Hobbie ’17, adding that since the Bears have seen these teams before, they know what to expect.
***
Cornell (12-12, 4-4)
Cornell has been the surprise of the Ivy League this year, though some predicted its bounce-back season because of the return of dynamic forward Shonn Miller. Miller trails only Lo on the Ivy scoring leaderboard and is tied with Maia for the league’s top rebounder. Thanks in large part to Miller, the Big Red has won four conference games, including an upset over Princeton (11-12, 4-3) Feb. 7. Rejuvenated Cornell is a comparable team to Brown, as evidenced by their Jan. 30 meeting, which was tied with 1:18 left before Cornell pulled it out 57-49.
The first meeting was a war of attrition: neither defense yielded much and neither offense took control. Brown’s defense was stingy behind Maia. The center denied Miller all game, allowing him to score just eight points and grab only three rebounds. If Maia can repeat his performance Saturday, Bruno will be in the game.
Devin Cherry and Galal Cancer stepped up to lead the Big Red in the last meeting, with the latter scoring seven consecutive points for Cornell as it overtook Brown in the last minute.
“We focused a lot on guarding our individual matchups,” Hobbie said, noting the impact that Miller can make and the importance of Maia and the rest of the defense containing him.
Only four Cornell players score more than three points per game. But the Bears can only exploit their opponent’s lack of depth if they can score themselves, which they failed to do against the Big Red last time around. Only one Bear, Blackmon, scored in double digits, and he needed 14 attempts from the field and six attempts from the line to get there. Hobbie is unlikely to have any more luck finding shots against Cornell, which holds opponents to the lowest three-point percentage of any team in the conference.
“Columbia and Cornell key on guarding the three-point line, so it should open up a lot for guys on the interior and guys driving,” Hobbie said. “I’ll just have to step up and make the shots I get.”
Cornell’s defense relies on forcing turnovers and contesting three-point attempts. Though a nonfactor offensively, Big Red center David Onuorah blocked seven shots and grabbed eight rebounds in a stout defensive performance against Brown earlier this season.
The Big Red has sent four of its last five opponents to the line for 23 or more free throws. This trend favors Blackmon and Steven Spieth ’17, who can draw fouls and are instrumental from the line.
With Harvard and Yale pulling away from the rest of the Ivy League, this weekend’s games at the Pizzitola Center may not feature any team in serious contention for an Ivy title. But Bruno’s disastrous start to league play could be a distant memory if the Bears climb to fourth in the conference with two wins. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
  • Cornell Athletics' Game Notes for this weekend is as follows:

FOLLOW THE BIG RED
Cornell Game Notes I Yale Game Notes I Brown Game Notes I Ivy League Game Notes
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CORNELL INFORMATION
Roster I Schedule & Results I Statistics I History

YALE INFORMATION
Roster I Schedule & Results I Statistics

BROWN INFORMATION
Roster I Schedule & Results I Statistics

GAME INFORMATION
Game #25: Cornell at Yale
Tip off: Friday, Feb. 20, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,532), New Haven, Conn.
2014-15 Records: Cornell (12-12, 4-4 Ivy); Yale (18-7, 7-1 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads the series 110-107
Last Meeting: Yale won 65-57, Jan. 31, 2015 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: 98.7 FM The Buzzer (Barry Leonard)
TV: None

Game #26: Cornell at Brown
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 21, at 6:00 p.m.
Site: Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800), Providence, R.I..
2014-15 Records: Cornell (12-12, 4-4 Ivy); Harvard (15-5, 5-1 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 74-48
Last Meeting: Cornell won 57-49, Jan. 30, 2015 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: 98.7 FM The Buzzer (Barry Leonard)
TV: None

HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his fifth season at Cornell (49-90, .353; 23-41 Ivy, .359) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

STORY LINES:
The Cornell men's basketball team begins the stretch run with its eyes on potential postseason play when the Big Red visits first-place Yale on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., then looks for a season sweep of Brown on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. Barry Leonard will provide coverage on 98.7 FM The Buzzer, with live video of both contests 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 12-12 a year removed from a 2-26 campaign. The Big Red has the looks of a team on the rebound, playing suffocating defense (.382 field goal percentage defense, .321 3-point percentage defense, 61.2 ppg. allowed, 5.0 blocked shots per game) in its 24 contests. The Big Red has limited foes to below 40 percent shooting in 15 of its 24 games. Six of its 12 losses this season 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 rebounding (8.3 rpg.), ranks second in scoring (16.1 ppg.), and in the top 10 in free-throw percentage (fifth, .835) blocks (third, 1.9 bpg.) and steals (seventh, 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 (9.4 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 3.2 apg., 1.1 spg.) after a year away from basketball, the move of senior Devin Cherry to point guard (10.4 ppg., 4.2 rpg., 3.5 apg., 0.8 spg.) and the maturation of sophomores Robert Hatter (11.5 ppg., 2.8 rpg., 1.3 spg.) and David Onuorah (2.2 ppg., 3.7 rpg., 1.5 bpg.). A number of other players have added key minutes as reserves over the first 24 contests. Among them are guards JoJo Fallas (3.2 ppg., 21 3-pointers, .368 3-point percentage), Pat Smith (2.7 ppg.) and Darryl Smith (2.9 pg., 1.9 rpg.). Together with the starting trio, the six 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 4.5 ppg. and 5.3 rpg. and have provided leadership on and off the court.

A WIN OVER YALE WOULD:
• make the Big Red 13-12 overall and 5-4 in Ivy League play.
• give Cornell a 7-4 record in its last 11 games.
• give head coach Bill Courtney his 50th career victory at Cornell.
• improve the Big Red to 3-1 on the road in Ivy play this season.
• give the Big Red a 111-107 lead in the all-time series between the programs.
• be the 1,224th in program history (1,223-1,364 in 116 seasons, .473).

ABOUT YALE:
• At 18-7 overall and 5-1 in Ivy play, Yale enters the week tied atop the Ivy League standings with Harvard.
• The Bulldogs are 6-2 on the road this season and also own a 10-5 mark away from home, including a victory over defending national champion Connecticut earlier this season.
• Justin Sears (14.6 ppg., 7.3 rpg., 2.6 bpg.) and Javier Duren (13.5 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 4.2 apg.) both average double figures this season.
• Five other players average between 5.0 and 9.6 points each night, including Jack Montague (9.6 ppg.), who hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer earlier this season against the Huskies.
• Yale limits opponents to 42 percent shooting and outrebounds opponents by more than five per game (38.2-32.9).
• James Jones, in his 16th season on the Yale sidelines, is the winningest coach in school history. The dean of Ivy coaches has won an Ivy League title and has helped the Bulldogs to three postseason appearances, including last year's CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT).

THE CORNELL-YALE SERIES:
• Cornell leads 110-107 overall in a series that dates back to the 1898-99 campaign.
• Cornell has had the best of the series recently, winning 11 of the last 19 meetings.
• Yale has won five of the last six meetings between the teams and three of the last four in New Haven, Conn.

LAST TIME VS. YALE:
• Cornell took a brief lead midway through the second half, but Javier Duren's 3-pointer on the ensuing possession triggered an 8-0 Yale run and the Big Red never recovered in a 65-57 loss to Yale on Jan. 31, 2015 at Newman Arena.
• The Big Red shot just 33 percent for the game and 19 percent from 3-point range, but stayed in the contest with its defense.
• The Bulldogs turned the ball over 16 times and shot under 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from the arc, but its clear advantages on the glass (46-31) and at the free throw line (22-13) were too much to overcome in a grind-it-out type game.
Shonn Miller had 15 points, 11 rebounds and two steals, but like his teammates, struggled from the floor with 6-of-20 shooting. '
Devin Cherry added 14 points and five assists and Galal Cancer had 12 points and two steals in the loss.
• Cornell had nine steals that led to an 18-7 Big Red advantage off turnovers and turned the ball over themselves just eight times, allowing them to stay within shouting distance until the final five minutes.
• Justin Sears had a game-high 19 points and Javier Duren notched 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
• Matt Townsend rounded out the double figure scorers with 13 points.
• Armani Cotton had a solid all-around floor game, scoring seven points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out three assists.

ABOUT BROWN:
• At 11-14 on the season, the Bears have won two of their last three contests prior to Friday's matchup with Columbia.
• Three Brown players are averaging double figures, led by Tavon Blackman (10.8 ppg., 4.2 apg.).
• Both Cedric Kuakumensah (10.6 ppg., 7.3 rpg., 2.6 bpg.) and Steven Spieth (10.2 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 2.2 apg.) are also averaging double figures for the Bears, while Rafael Maia (9.3 ppg., 8.3 rpg.) and JR Hobbie (8.1 ppg.) aren't far behind.
• Brown outrebounds its opponents by nearly two per game (37.0-35.2).
• Brown is turning the ball over 15.2 times per game, but is hitting 42 percent of its field goals on the offensive end.
• Third-year head coach Mike Martin sports a 39-43 record with the Bears and led them to a CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) last year.

THE CORNELL-BROWN SERIES:
• Cornell leads the series 74-48, dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1949-50 season.
• The Big Red is 17-4 in the last 21 contests against the Bears.
• Brown ended Cornell's 13-game win streak in the series in March of 2014, then won three straight before the Big Red won the first game in the series this season.

LAST TIME VS. BROWN:
• Up six points with under 20 seconds to play, Big Red sophomore David Onuorah blocked Tavon Blackman's drive into the lane. It was that kind of night for Cornell's defense in a 57-49 win over Brown on Jan. 30, 2015 at Newman Arena.
• Onuorah's career-best seventh block was the 11th of the night for the home team. Both marks rank third in a single game in school history.
• Even more than that, the intimidation factor played a huge role in limiting the Bears to 30 percent shooting in capturing its second Ivy win of the season, surpassing last season's total.
• The 6-9 center added eight rebounds and two steals, but it was senior Galal Cancer's key late plays that pushed the home team over the top. Cancer ended the night with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals without a turnover.
• Backcourt mate Devin Cherry had 11 points, five rebounds and three assists with only one miscue.
• Overall, Cornell turned the ball over just five times in the victory.
• Cornell held the Bears scoreless for the final 3:30 after Brown's Cedric Kuakumensah hit a free throw to give the visitors a 49-47 lead. They wouldn't score again.

CORNELL EIGHTH IN IVY PRESEASON POLL:
• 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.

DEFENSIVE TURNAROUND:
• 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 .382 shooting over its first 24 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 15 of its first 24 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    61.2 (54)      .382 (20)     .321 (88)       6.6 (138)    5.0 (31)

NOTES TO KNOW:
• With the Big Red's next win, Bill Courtney will get his 50th career victory as head coach at Cornell.
• Cornell has already won 10 more games than the entire 2013-14 campaign when it went 2-26. Only 21 teams in the country have won at least five more games this season than last year (as of Feb. 16), topped by Cornell's +10, a mark shared by UC Davis, New Hampshire and Temple. Five schools have won eight more games than a season ago.
• Cornell's 17 points in the overtime win over Dartmouth is tied for the third-highest OT scoring period in school history and the most since the Big Red scored a school-record 21 points at Bucknell is a 73-65 win on Jan. 2, 1993.
• Senior Shonn Miller has recorded 16 career double-doubles, a mark that ranks third all-time at Cornell. Bernard Jackson '91 and Mike Davis '80 each had 18 career games with double figures in scoring and rebounding.
• The Big Red's has limited opponents to .382 shooting. Cornell hasn't held opponents under 40 percent shooting in a season since the 1963-64 campaign.
• Miller had 15 rebounds in the second half and overtime of the win at Dartmouth. His 11 rebounds in the second half alone was the most by a Big Red player in a half under head coach Bill Courtney.
• Last weekend, both Galal Cancer and Devin Cherry jumped into the school's top 20 career assist list. Cancer is 17th with 227 assists, while Cherry is 20th with his 221.
• The Big Red has blocked 121 shots entering the weekend and needs six more to match the single season school record.
• Seniors Galal Cancer (557 points, 232 rebounds, 227 assists) and Devin Cherry (800 points, 300 rebounds, 221 assists) are just the 17th and 18th players 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 54 in his last six regular season contests (9.0 ppg.).
• Over the team's last 12 games, Cornell is shooting an outstanding .787 from the free-throw line (248-of-315).
• In its last 10 contests, the Big Red has 110 assists and just 96 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 rebounding (8.3 rpg.) and is second in scoring (16.1 ppg.). 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 146 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 26 games (16-10), Tarwater is averaging 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds while playing 18.8 minutes per game as a key reserve and spot starter. He has made eight starts for the Bears. He hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 20 seconds to play to lift Cal over UCLA on Feb. 7,
• 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 BEYOND THE ARC — 700 AND COUNTING:
• Cornell hit four 3-pointers at Harvard on Feb. 14, 2015 its 738th 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 784 of 788 games, connecting on 4,960 treys, an average of 6.3 per game.

NEXT UP:
• Cornell closes out its home season against Harvard on Friday, Feb. 27 and Dartmouth on Saturday, Feb. 28.
• The Big Red will look for the season split with the Crimson on CBS Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. at Newman Arena.
• Cornell will honor its six seniors (Galal Cancer, Devin Cherry, Deion Giddens, Dave LaMore, Shonn Miller, Ned Tomic) prior to Saturday's 6 p.m. matchup with the Big Red.
  • Yale Athletics' Game Notes for the weekend is as follows:

Yale Game Notes  |  Cornell Game NotesColumbia Game Notes
Ivy League Digital Network Video  |  WYBC Audio
Yale-Cornell Live Stats | Yale-Columbia Live Stats
Yale Basketball On Twitter  |  Yale Basketball On Facebook
NEW HAVEN, Conn.  – The Bulldogs begin the second go-round of Ivy League play by hosting Cornell on Friday and Columbia on Saturday. Tip off on both nights is slated for 7 p.m. at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Yale (18-7, 7-1 Ivy) enters the weekend in a first-place tie with Harvard. Princeton (4-3) sits in third place. With a victory Friday, the Bulldogs would match last year's 8-1 Ivy start, and wins in both games would mark the best league start since the 2001-02 team won nine of its first 10 Ivy games. Yale also could get to 20 overall wins for the first time since 2001-02 and only the sixth time in school history with a sweep.
The Bulldogs, No. 9 in this week's collegeinsider.com mid major poll and No. 61 in the NCAA RPI through games on Wednesday, are coming off an impressive road sweep of Penn and Princeton. Yale was particularly sharp on the offensive end, shooting 56.1 percent (55-of-98) from the field and 51.4 percent (18-of-35) from three-point range in the two games. Justin Sears, who averaged 16 points, six rebounds and blocked seven shots, was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for his performance. Sears, though, had plenty of support. Freshman Makai Mason (14.0 ppg.) was 10-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Javier Duren (12.5 ppg.), Jack Montague (11.5 ppg.) and Matt Townsend (10.5 ppg.) also averaged double figures.
Montague, who was 6-of-10 from three-point range, continues to lead the league in three-point field goal percentage at .480. Over his last four games, Montague is shooting 63.6 percent (14-of-22) from beyond the arc.
Yale leads the league in a number of categories, including scoring offense (69.8 ppg.), scoring margin (+7.5), three-point field goal percentage (.382), rebounding margin (+5.6), assists (14.4 per game) and offensive rebounds (11.7).
KEYS FOR YALE
Run Offense – The Bulldogs will be facing two of the top defensive teams in the league. Cornell limits its opponents to 38.2 percent shooting from the field, while Columbia yields just 60.2 points per game.
Bench Play – Yale's bench only contributed 13 points in the two games against Cornell and Columbia three weeks ago.
Don't Foul – Cornell (74.1 percent) and Columbia (71.2 percent) are two of the top foul shooting teams in the league so the Bulldogs will want to keep them off the line.
HISTORY LESSONS
The Bulldogs have won the last four meetings with Cornell, including a 65-57 victory in Ithaca three weeks ago. Justin Sears scored 19 points, Javier Duren added 16 and Matt Townsend had 13 to lead the way. The Bulldogs have won three of the last four games against the Big Red in Lee Amphitheater. Cornell leads the all-time series 110-107. The teams first played in 1899, a 49-7 Yale victory. It was the Bulldogs' first game against an Ivy League opponent.
Yale is 11-2 in its last 13 games with Columbia and has won six in a row at Lee Amphitheater. In the first meeting this year, Sears scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots, including one in the final seconds to help the Bulldogs to a 63-59 win at Levien Gym. Yale and Columbia have met at least once every year since 1902, which ties the series with Yale-Princeton as the oldest continuous series in Division I. The Lions lead the all-time series 124-104.
Yale has swept the Cornell-Columbia home weekend in three of the last four years.
SCOUTING CORNELL
Cornell (12-12, 4-4 Ivy) is led by Shonn Miller, who is second in the Ivy League in scoring (16.1 ppg.) and tied for the league lead in rebounding (8.3 rpg.). The Big Red is stingy on defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 38.2 percent. The Big Red has limited foes to below 40 percent shooting in 15 of its 24 games. Six of its 12 losses this season have come by five points or less or in overtime. Cornell is one of the most improved teams in the country. The Big Red was 2-26 overall last year.
SCOUTING COLUMBIA
The Lions (11-11, 3-5 Ivy) play at Brown on Friday. They feature the Ivy League's leading scorer in Maodo Lo (16.2 ppg.). Lo recently became the 27th player in school history to score at least 1,000 career points. Columbia is second in the league in scoring defense, allowing 60.2 ppg. The Lions have made 10 or more shots from three-point range eight times this season and Columbia's 8.8 triples per game ranks 18th in the nation.
#TEAMSOBER EVENT SATURDAY
Yale is holding an event at Saturday's game against Columbia to raise awareness for #TeamSober, an organization co-founded by Javier Duren to provide an alternative to the harmful drinking culture on the Yale campus. Based on a twitter hashtag, #TeamSober seeks to provide a community of individuals who enjoy having fun at social functions but are comfortable and confident with themselves to not feel as if they have to consume alcohol in order to be accepted by their peers. Each member is held accountable by a pledge which they must sign at the beginning of each school year stating they will abstain from the consumption of alcohol if they are under 21 but allows drinking in moderation for those over 21 years of age.
  • Brown Athletics' weekend Game Notes is as follows:
Game Notes
Providence, R.I. -  Brown's men's basketball team returns to the Pizzitola Sports Center for a four-game homestand, starting with Columbia on Friday, February 20 at 8pm, and Cornell on Saturday, February 21 at 6pm. Friday's match-up with the Lions will be televised live on the American Sports Network and picked-up locally on NESN-Plus. Both games this weekend will also be available on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Bears-Lions On American Sports Network:  Friday's game between Brown and Columbia will be televised live on the American Sports Network, starting at 8 pm.  MSG's Carl Reuter will call the play and Ben Braun will provide the analysis. The game will be aired on NESN-Plus locally, and on the following nationwide affiliates: https://ivyleague.prestosports.com/x/0igir

Brown's Record: Brown (11-14, 2-6 Ivy) split games on the road with Princeton and Penn last week, falling to Princeton, 75-64, and beating Penn, 71-55 behind JR Hobbie's '17 career-high 21 points. 

Did You Know?: Forward Rafael Maia '15, who had 16 rebounds vs. Princeton, is averaging nearly a double-double in Ivy games with 11.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Overall, Maia leads the Ivy League with 8.3 rebounds per game and is second in the league in field goal percentage (.542)… Brown's offense is directed by point guard Tavon Blackmon '17, who ranks fourth in the Ivy League with 4.2 assists per game.  He has scored in double figures in six of Brown's last seven games, including a career high 25 points vs. Harvard…Guard Steven Spieth '17 scored 19 points vs. Penn, connecting on 10-of-11 free throws. He ranks second in the Ivy League in free throw percentage (.845)…Guard JR Hobbie '17 scored a career high 21 points vs. Penn after connecting on 5-of-7 treys.
The Brown vs. Columbia Series Record: Brown and Columbia have met 134 times, dating back to 1900-1901, with the Lions holding a 70-64 series advantage. Columbia earned an 86-65 win over the Bears earlier this season in New York City, despite Brown getting 13 points and 11 rebounds from Cedric Kuakumensah '16. The two teams split games last year. Brown earned a 64-56 decision on 2/1/14 in Providence behind Rafael Maia's '15 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Columbia rallied for a 70-68 decision in New York City on 2/21/14.
The Brown vs. Cornell Series Record: Brown and Cornell will be meeting for the 125th time, dating back to 1949-1950, with the Big Red holding a 75-49 series advantage. Brown had won the last three games with the Big Red, before falling, 57-49 to the Big Red earlier this year. The Bears swept Cornell last year, 78-66 in Providence behind 18 points each by Steven Spieth '17 and JR Hobbie '17, and 81-75 in Ithaca, behind Cedric Kukumensah's 30 points and seven blocks.
Maia Named To Capital One Academic All-District Team: Brown senior forward Rafael Maia (Sao Paulo, Brazil) has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District Men's Basketball Team for the second straight year as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).  His name will be placed on the national ballot for Academic All-American consideration. 
Blackmon Leads Brown's Scoring Attack: Sophomore point guard Tavon Blackmon (Upper Marlboro, MD) exploded for a career high 25 points and a career-best nine assists in Brown's overtime loss to Harvard. He leads the Brown team in scoring with 10.8 points per game after scoring in double figures in six of Brown's last seven games. He ranks fourth in the Ivy League in both assists with 4.2 per game and seventh in free throw percentage (.820). Blackmon netted 15 points vs. Princeton and 14 points vs. Penn last week. He scored a team-high 14 points vs. Cornell and had 13 points and seven assists vs. Columbia. Blackmon had a complete game vs. Yale with 15 points, five assists and four rebounds. He tossed in 11 points and handed out five assists vs. Lyndon State after scoring 10 points, handing out four assists and grabbing four rebounds vs. New Hampshire. Blackmon scored 13 points, dished out a career-best eight assists and made a career-best three steals in Brown's win over Sacred Heart, while connecting on 7-of-8 free throws. He came back vs. Rhode Island with 13 points and seven assists. Blackmon scored 16 points vs. Central Connecticut on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from the free throw line. He played the most complete game of his career vs. Providence, scoring 11 points, and handing out seven assists, while turning the ball over just two times against the Friars pressure in 40 minutes of play.  He connected on 4-of-4 free throws in the last 52-seconds and also forced PC's high-scoring guard Kris Dunn into six turnovers. Blackmon tossed in 11 points and pulled down four rebounds in Brown's win over Bryant. He registered 18 points in Brown's season-opening win over St. Peter's, connecting on 8-of-8 free throws down the stretch. His 3.5 assists per game last year ranked fifth in the Ivy League, including a season-high seven assists against Harvard, Yale and Longwood.

More Bear Facts: Freshman guard Jason Massey (Cooper City, FL) scored seven points and grabbed two rebounds in the Bears' win over Dartmouth. He scored nine points vs. Prairie View, and earned starts vs. Johnson & Wales and American… Freshman guard Patrick Triplett (St. Louis, MO) scored a career-best 11 points vs. Lyndon State…Senior forward Longji Yiljep earned a starting role vs. Prairie View.  He had two points and two rebounds vs. Lyndon State…Senior forward Jon Schmidt (Baltimore, MD) had four rebounds and two points vs. Lyndon State.
Spieth Among Ivy Leaders: Sophomore guard Steven Spieth (Dallas, TX) is Brown's third leading scorer with 10.2 points per game, and ranks second in the Ivy League in free throw percentage (.845). Spieth tossed in 19 points vs. Penn on 10-of-11 shooting from the free throw line. He scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in the Bears' overtime loss to Harvard. Spieth scored 11 points vs. Columbia, hitting 4-of-4 free throws, and scored 17 points vs. Yale on 13-of-14 shooting from the free throw line, while grabbing eight rebounds. Spieth played a major role in Brown's win over Providence with 15 points on 9-of-9 shooting from the free throw line, while grabbing six rebounds and handing out three assists. He paced the Bears with 19 points and 10 rebounds in Brown's win over Central Connecticut. Spieth scored 12 points vs. Bryant, hitting 8-of-8 free throws, but played a huge role defensively, holding Bryant's high-scoring Dyami Starks to just 5-of-18 shooting overall. He connected on 11-of-13 free throws in scoring 15 points vs. Johnson & Wales, and scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field vs. Prairie View in the final game of the Las Vegas Invitational. Spieth tossed in a career-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds against Illinois in the Las Vegas Invitational in Champaign, Ill., connecting on 7-of-10 field goals and 6-of-8 free throws. Spieth distributed a career-high seven assists against Indiana State. Last year, Spieth started all 29 games and was a three-time Ivy Rookie of the Week. He ranked second in the Ivy League in free throw percentage (.860).  Spieth registered a double-double in a win over Penn with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and scored a then career-high 20 points vs. Dartmouth, hitting 11-of-13 free throws.
Rafael Maia – Tops Ivy League In Rebounding: Senior forward Rafael Maia (Sao Paulo, Brazil), a two-year captain for the Bears, led the Ivy League in rebounding in each of the last two seasons, averaging 8.1 rebounds per game a year ago. He pulled down a career high 16 rebounds while scoring 16 points on the road against Princeton and is the Ivy League leader in rebounding with 8.3 per game. He ranks second in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 77-of-142 field goal attempts (.545).  Maia registered a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds in Brown's win over Dartmouth.  He grabbed nine rebounds vs. Cornell and scored 11 points vs. Columbia. Maia scored a season high 18 points on the road at Yale on 5-of-6 shooting from the field, while grabbing nine rebounds. He posted a double-double vs. Yale at home with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and 12 rebounds. Maia pulled down 10 rebounds in Brown's win over Central Connecticut. He scored a team high 15 points vs. New Hampshire and grabbed 12 rebounds, while scoring nine points vs. Lyndon State. He stepped up vs. Sacred Heart with 13 points and nine rebounds, and came back vs. URI with nine points and six rebounds. Maia netted 12 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds vs. Johnson & Wales. He scored 11 points vs. Prairie View at the Las Vegas Invitational after missing the previous game (Austin Peay) due to illness. He scored nine of his 13 points in the opening half against Illinois, while grabbing six rebounds. Maia opened the season by scoring 13 points and pulling down seven rebounds against St. Peter's. He came back with 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds against Northwestern. Maia was named the Ivy League's best rebounder by Lindy's Sports Annuals.   A CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, Maia started 22 games last season, missing seven due to injury. He had nine games with double-figure rebounding, including a season-high 14 rebounds vs. UMass Lowell. An Academic All-Ivy honoree, he also led Brown and ranked seventh in the Ivy League in field goal percentage (.478). The rugged Brazilian played for Brazil in the World University Games in Russia in the summer of 2013.
Where are they now?  Former two-time first team All-Ivy guard Sean McGonagill '14, Brown's third all-time leading scorer, is playing for the Giants Dusseldorf in Germany.
Bears Stun Providence:  Brown defeated defending Big East Champion Providence College for the second time in the last three years, 77-67, with tenacious defense and 12-of-13 shooting from the free throw line down the stretch at the Dunkin Donuts Center in the 121st meeting between the two Providence schools. Junior forward Cedric Kuakumensah earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors after scoring 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Steven Spieth threw in 15 points on 9-of-9 shooting from the free throw line, while pulling down six rebounds. 
Kuakumensah – Records 200th Career Blocked Shot: Junior forward Cedric Kuakumensah (Worcester, MA), the Ivy League leader with 2.6 blocked shots per game, is the premier defensive player in the Ivy League, having been named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year for two straight years. He holds the Brown school record for blocked shots in a career with 222, and became the fourth player in Ivy basketball history to block 200 or more shots. Kuakumensah's 63 blocked shots in 2014-15 are third in the Brown record book. His 10.6 points per game are second on the Brown team, while grabbing 7.3 rebounds per game, fifth in the Ivy League. Last week, he had 12 points and eight rebounds vs. Princeton, and nine points and nine rebounds vs. Penn. Kuakumensah had 15 points vs. Harvard and 11 rebounds vs. Dartmouth. He registered a double-double vs. Columbia with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kuakumensah posted a double-double vs. New Hampshire with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while adding three blocked shots. He scored 21 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots vs. Rhode Island, followed by a 14 rebound, six blocked shot performance against UMass Lowell. Kuakumensah turned in a strong performance in Brown's win over Central Connecticut with 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. He was named the Ivy League Player of the Week after his dominating performance in a win over Providence with 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots against the defending Big East Champions. Kuakumensah exploded for 20 points vs. Bryant and completed the double-double with 15 rebounds, while blocking four shots. He also netted a team high 17 points vs. American. Kuakumensah blocked four shots, scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds vs. Austin Peay at the Las Vegas Invitational. Kuakumensah opened the season by scoring 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, while grabbing seven rebounds and blocking three shots vs. St. Peter's. Last year, Kuakumensah established a new Ivy League single-season record with 93 blocked shots, and ranked sixth nationally with 3.2 blocked shots per game. He scored a career-high 30 points against Cornell last year on 12-of-19 shooting from the field, while grabbing a career-best 14 rebounds and blocking seven shots against the Big Red. He has blocked seven shots four times in his career, a Brown single-game record. Kuakumensah, who played at the St. Andrew's School in Barrington, RI, averaged 7.2 rebounds per game last year, third best in the Ivy League.
Ivy League Career Blocked Shots – Top 5
1.         252 ... Brian Gilpin (Dartmouth, 1993-97)
2.         225 ... Walter Palmer (Dartmouth, 1986-90)
3.         222…Cedric Kuakumensah (Brown, 2012-present)
4.         213 ... Greg Mangano (Yale, 2009-12)
5.         195 ... Geoff Owens (Penn, 1997-01)
Brown: Individual Single Season Blocked Shots
1.            93*…Cedric Kuakumensah (2013-14)            * Ivy League record 
2.            66…Cedric Kuakumensah (2012-13)
3.           63…Cedric Kuakumensah (2014-15)
4.            59…Matt Mullery (2008-09)
Hobbie From Three:  Sharpshooting sophomore JR Hobbie (Spring Lake, NJ), who has started Brown's last six games, exploded for a career-high 21 points vs. Penn on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Hobbie, who ranks fifth in the Ivy League in treys made per game (2.2) and seventh in three-point FG percentage (.391), connected on 5-of-8 treys in scoring 17 points in Brown's win over Dartmouth. He scored 12 points in a starting role vs. Columbia, scored seven points vs. Yale, and led the Bears with 12 points in a win over UMass Lowell. Hobbie netted 12 points with four treys vs. Lyndon State.  He scored 13 points in Brown's win over Providence, connecting on 4-of-7 treys and converting a four-point play. Hobbie scored 13 points in Brown's win over Johnson & Wales and eight points vs. Bryant.  He played a big role in Brown's win over Prairie View with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. He stepped up against Northwestern with 12 points, after scoring eight points in Brown's season opening win over St. Peter's, connecting on 2-of-3 treys. He netted six points vs. Holy Cross on 2-of-4 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Last year, Hobbie was a three-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week, who ranked fifth in the Ivy League in three-point field goal percentage and seventh in treys made (1.7 per game). He scored a career-high 20 points vs. Daniel Webster, connecting on 6-of-13 treys, and netted 18 points vs. Cornell on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.

Williams Contributes In The Backcourt:  Freshman Tyler Williams (West Chester, OH) scored a career-high eight points in three straight games: eight points vs. Rhode Island on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, including 2-of-2 from behind the three-point arc; eight points again, this time vs. UMass Lowell; and eight points vs. New Hampshire. Williams earned the starting point guard role in Brown games against Holy Cross, Indiana State and Yale. He netted four points and handed out three assists vs. Indiana State, and earned his first career starting role vs. Holy Cross, scoring four points.  Williams tossed in five points and pulled down two rebounds against St. Peter's in Brown's season opener.
Head Coach Mike Martin: Former Brown basketball standout Mike Martin '04, the 31st head men's basketball coach in the program's 109-year history, has changed the direction and culture of the program in two years as head coach of the Bears, with the building blocks in place to develop an Ivy Championship team. Martin took over the reins of the program in 2012-13 and was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall Award as the nation's outstanding first-year head coach after leading the Bears to a turnaround season with a 13-15 overall record, including a fourth-place finish in the Ivy standings with a 7-7 mark after winning four of its last five games. Martin's 2013-14 team posted a 15-14 overall record and hosted Brown's first-ever home postseason game, playing Holy Cross in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament at the Pizzitola Sports Center.  In addition, Cedric Kuakumensah '16 was named the Ivy League's Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. Martin's first recruiting class proved to be one of the most honored in Brown basketball history, with three different freshmen being named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week a school record 10 times. A four-year starter at Brown, Martin was part of the winningest class in Bears' basketball history, posting a 63-45 four-year record from 2000-04. He also helped the Class of 2004 to a school-record 39-17 Ivy League mark during that period - the best by an Ivy League team, other than Penn and Princeton, since 1970. An Agawam, Mass., native, Martin launched his coaching career at Brown as an assistant coach in 2005-06 and was an assistant coach at Penn from 2006-12.

Walker – Impact In The Middle: Senior forward Dockery Walker (Magnolia, DE), who has started 45 career games for the Bears, netted seven points and grabbed three rebounds vs. Dartmouth. He scored six points and grabbed six rebounds in Brown's first meeting with Yale. Walker grabbed seven rebounds in back-to-back games vs. Cornell and Columbia. He pulled down 11 rebounds and scored seven points vs. Lyndon State, and scored seven points and pulled down three rebounds in Brown's win over Sacred Heart. Walker also had six points and four rebounds in the Bears' win over UMass Lowell and added seven points and three rebounds vs. New Hampshire. Last year, Walker earned two starts in 29 games played, and scored 17 points against UMass Lowell and Daniel Webster.  Walker pulled down a season-high nine rebounds in wins over Daniel Webster and UMass Lowell, and scored in double figures seven times. He missed all of the 2012-13 season due to injury.  As a sophomore in 2011-12, he scored in double figures 13 times, including a career-high 23 points against Cornell, connecting on 10-of-11 field goals, while completing the double-double with 17 rebounds against the Big Red.  Walker, who started 19 games as a sophomore, was Brown's second-leading rebounder with 4.6 rpg.

Bears On The Air:  Brown's entire 31-game schedule is being broadcast on WPRV-AM 790 with Scott Cordischi, the voice of Brown basketball and football, calling all the action. Former Brown basketball star Russ Tyler '71 (1,133 career points) provides the color analysis. Brown fans can also listen to the broadcast on BrownBears.com.

Watch Live Video of The Bears On BrownBears.TV: Brown fans can watch a multi-camera HD broadcast of all Brown home games and away Ivy League contests on BrownBears.TV as part of the Ivy League Digital Network. Powered by NeuLion, the Brown Channel is a part of the Ivy League's completely redesigned, nine-channel digital network that includes an easy-to-navigate interface, a League-wide network schedule and new interactive features, such as simultaneous four-game viewing, full DVR controls and social media integration. These new features enhance the viewing experience for the expanded range of events and other content offerings, all of which are available on computer, mobile and tablet devices without the use of an app. Packages for BrownBears.TV are $89.95 for 12 months, $39.95 for four months, $10.95 for one month and $9.95 for a single day and include multi-camera HD coverage of all available home and Ivy away games in football, and men's and women's basketball.

Next Game:  Brown completes its Pizzitola Sports Center home schedule next week, hosting Penn on Friday, February 27 at 7pm, and Princeton on Saturday, February 28 at 6pm. Saturday's game against the Tigers is Senior Night, with seniors Rafael Maia, Jon Schmidt, Dockery Walker and Longji Yiljep being honored in ceremonies prior to the game.
Purchase Brown Tickets:  Tickets for all Brown men's basketball home games can be purchased online at brownbears.com, calling the Brown Athletics Ticket Office at (401) 863-2773, or walking up to the Box Office located in the Pizzitola Sports Center, open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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