- For a preview of tonight's game, checkout the Game Notes from Cornell Athletics and Pitt Athletics. Sports Chat Place has its tips for those who gamble (hopefully legally). See also previews of the game from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (which writes, "The Big Red (3-2) will visit Petersen Events Center tonight to face Pitt (2-0), and although Cornell is not similar to Detroit in style of play, it is skilled offensively and tough to guard because it can shoot well from every spot") and Dream Backfield which writes:
This Panthers enter this week at 2-0 after wins against St. Joseph’s (Ind.) and University of Detroit. Up next on the schedule will be two more home games, these two will feature Cornell and Kent State.
A lot like the last two games the Panthers will be expected to win both of these contests. The first matchup is on Wednesday at 7 P.M. against Cornell, while the second game of the week is on Saturday at 4 P.M. Cornell is 2-2 on the year with wins versus Colgate and Binghamton, then loses to Georgia Tech and Canisius. Kent State on the other hand is 2-1 winning against Youngstown State and Marist, their lone loss coming at the hands of Southern Illinois. Even though on paper Pitt should dominant they cannot not lose focus, because winning out this week would put them at 4-0 when they play 21st ranked Purdue on December 1st.
The Big Red let it fly from deep at a rate of 26 three-point shot attempts per game. However, they also make them at an impressive 39.4% clip. Against Detroit the Panthers were not at their best defending the long ball, so that will be a necessity on Wednesday. Limiting Cornell from doing what they do best will force them into an uncomfortable position.
2.Take Advantage on Offense
Pitt’s offense has been great averaging 89.5 points per contest. Cornell’s defense has some noticeable holes as they let up 90 points per game. It is clear Michael Young and company should be able to put up big numbers. If the offense is going to succeed continuing to let it fly from deep will also help with that.
3.Slow Down Hatter and Morgan
This backcourt tandem has been great for Big Red in their first four games. Matt Morgan is only a freshman and averages 18 points per game on 39.7% from the field. While his teammate junior Robert Hatter is one of the more dangerous scorers Pitt will see in the early part of this season. On the season he has put up 19.8 points per game on 51.9% from the field and 38.9% from three.
Matchup to Watch
Pitt Bench vs. Cornell Bench
Head coach for Cornell, Bill Courtney, employs a similar strategy as Dixon by going deep into his bench. On the season he has ten different players averaging ten minutes or more per game. In comparision Dixon also has ten different guys playing ten minutes or more. Dixon has praised his bench depth and against a Big Red team who utilizes their bench similarly they could make or break this contest.
Cornell’s defense has been a liability all season and even though Pitt has struggled on defense at times they still should be able impose their will. The Panthers offense has plenty of firepower to come away with a commanding win.
Final: Pitt-100 Cornell-75