Brown (13-10) at Cornell (2-21)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: Brown 8-3, Cornell 2-8. Away Record: Brown 5-7, Cornell 0-13. Neutral Record: Brown 0-0, Cornell 0-0. Conference Record: Brown 5-4, Cornell 1-8. Series Record: Cornell leads, 74-48.
GAME NOTES: The Cornell Big Red will bring their four-game homestand to a close on Saturday night when they welcome the Brown Bears to Newman Arena for Ivy League action.
Brown has alternated wins with losses in six games this month, most recently falling in heartbreaking fashion at Columbia on Friday night, 70-68. The Bears are now 13-10 overall this season at 5-4 in the league, although they have won just five of their 12 road matchups.
Cornell has not only been the Ivy's worst team this season at 1-8 in the league, but it has been one of the most futile teams in the country with just a 2-21 overall record. Since winning their first game versus a Division I opponent when they took down Dartmouth on Feb. 14, the Big Red have lost back- to-back blowouts to Harvard (67-44) and Yale (82-65).
In the first meeting between the teams this season, Brown won on its home floor on Jan. 31, 78-66. The Bears have won two straight in the series, but the Big Red had won the previous 13 and still hold a 74-48 lead all time.
The Bears were locked up in a back-and-forth battle with Columbia all game their last time out, as the contest consisted of eight ties and 22 lead changes, but after taking a four-point lead with 2:20 remaining, they went scoreless down the stretch and Columbia ultimately won following a pair of Maodo Lo free throws with 14 seconds to play. They shot 49.2 percent from the field, much better than Columbia's 39 percent, but they were outscored from 3- point range (27-21) and the foul line (15-3). Sean McGonagill led the way with 20 points and five assists, while Leland King and Cedric Kuakumensah netted 12 points apiece.
Most of Brown's success this season has come thanks to its impressive defense, as it yields just 65.2 ppg on 38.7 percent field goal shooting. Offensively, the squad has performed admirably with 70.3 ppg on 43.5 percent shooting (including 38.4 percent from beyond the arc). McGonagill is on track for an All-Ivy League selection at season's end with 17.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.4 apg and 1.4 spg, and he recently became the program's all-time leader in 3-pointers (233). Rafael Maia (10.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg) and Kuakumensah (7.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.7 bpg) are a sturdy duo in the paint, but Maia missed the Columbia game with an injury.
The Big Red dug themselves a 14-point hole at intermission on Friday night, but while they were able to cut their deficit to seven early in the second half, they eventually fell behind by as many as 20 down the stretch. They could not keep pace with Yale, getting outshot from the field, 53.1 percent to 42.4 percent, while also getting outscored at the free-throw line, 25-5. Devin Cherry was outstanding despite the setback, scoring a career-high 29 points on 11-of-17 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Nolan Cressler added 11 points but did so on just 4-of-15 shooting from the floor.
Cornell has unsurprisingly been a huge disappointment on both ends of the floor this season, as it shoots just 41.3 percent from the field for 64.3 ppg while allowing 78.0 ppg on a lofty 49.1 percent shooting. Adding to its struggles has been poor showings at the free-throw line (.646) as well as in the rebounding (-4.1) and turnover (-2.1) battles. Cressler brings 16.3 ppg to the table, while Cherry adds 12.0 ppg and 3.1 apg.
Brown will be extra motivated to get back on the winning track after such a tough loss on Friday, and even if Maia is unable to suit up once again, it shouldn't have much of a problem taking down the struggling Big Red.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Brown 68, Cornell 61
02/22 11:02:54 ET