Cornell (1-17) at Penn (4-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 7, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 1-6, Penn 3-5. Away Record: Cornell 0-11, Penn 1-8. Neutral Record: Cornell 0-0, Penn 0-0. Conference Record: Cornell 0-4, Penn 1-2. Series Record: Penn leads, 146-74.
GAME NOTES: A pair of struggling Ivy League programs meet up at The Palestra on Friday night, as the Penn Quakers play host to the Cornell Big Red.
Cornell's season has been disastrous from the very start, as its only win in 18 tries came at home against Division III program Oberlin College on Jan. 11, 77-55. Since that triumph, the Big Red have lost four in a row to begin Ivy League play, most recently falling on the wrong end of a 61-57 decision at Yale last Saturday.
While Penn has managed a little bit more success than Cornell, it still sits with a disappointing 4-13 overall record. Since winning their league opener at home to Princeton on Jan. 11 (77-74), the Quakers have lost three of four, including an 80-50 blowout at the hands of first-place Harvard last Saturday.
Penn has nearly doubled up Cornell in the storied all-time series, holding firm to a 146-74 advantage. The squads split two games last season, with the road team winning both matchups.
The Big Red trailed by as many as 14 to Yale in the second half of their most recent contest, and while they came storming back to tie the game at 47 on a pair of Nolan Cressler free throws, they could never overtake the lead as they suffered the four-point setback. They outshot Yale from the field, 43.2 percent to 37.7 percent, but they were also outscored from 3-point range, 24-12. Cressler was outstanding despite the setback, shooting 8-of-16 from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 at the foul line for 29 points. Devin Cherry was also stellar with 19 points on 8-of-13 from the field.
As its record would indicate, Cornell was performed poorly on both ends of the floor this season, shooting just 41.5 percent from the field for 64.9 ppg while allowing 78.9 ppg on a lofty 48.2 percent shooting. Cressler is the unquestioned catalyst, scoring 16.3 ppg, although he shoots just 30 percent from 3-point range. Cherry brings 11.6 ppg and 3.1 apg to the table, while Robert Hatter adds 9.4 ppg.
The Quakers never had much of a chance in their latest contest, as they fell behind Harvard by 21 at halftime and continued to struggle in the second stanza on their way to the 30-point loss. They finished the game shooting just 41.2 percent from the field, which included a mere 1-of-7 showing from 3-point range, and they were also outrebounded by a hefty 35-22 margin. Tony Hicks led the way with 14 points, with Miles Cartwright and Darien Nelson-Henry put up 10 points apiece.
Much like Cornell, Penn has failed to impress on either the offensive or the defensive end of the floor. Even though it outshoots its opponents from the field, 44 percent to 42.2 percent, it still owns a -7.6 scoring margin because of its poor rebounding (-3.1) and turnover (-2.8) differentials and a lackluster .671 free-throw percentage. Hicks posts a team-best 14.8 ppg but he has more turnovers (54) than assists (47). Cartwright (11.8 ppg) has drained 35 3-pointers at a 43.2 percent clip, while Fran Dougherty (11.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Nelson-Henry (11.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg) man the paint.
Penn can at least take solace in the fact that its struggles have not been as bad as Cornell's, and at the Palestra, the Quakers should be able to get back on the winning track against the struggling Big Red.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Penn 77, Cornell 70
02/07 10:15:29 ET