Cornell (1-15) at Brown (9-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 31, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Pizzitola Center (2,800) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 1-6, Brown 5-2. Away Record: Cornell 0-9, Brown 4-5. Neutral Record: Cornell 0-0, Brown 0-0. Conference Record: Cornell 0-2, Brown 1-1. Series Record: Cornell leads, 73-46.
GAME NOTES: Seeking their first win of the season against another program from Division I, the Cornell Big Red face off against the Brown Bears in Ivy League action at the Pizzitola Center on Friday evening.
One of the weakest teams in the nation, Cornell is sporting just a single win through 16 outings. Making that record all the more painful is the fact that the lone triumph came against Oberlin College (77-55) at home a few weeks back. Since taking down Oberlin, a program that operates at the Division III level, Cornell has fallen to Columbia twice to open league play.
The first battle with the Lions two weeks ago was decided by 10 points, 71-61, while the meeting last weekend saw the Big Red suffer a 74-58 setback at Newman Arena.
As for the Bears, this is just their sixth game in the month of January and the squad had a chance to finish up on a high note tonight. Brown has won three of the last four outings, the most recent being a 73-56 triumph against Yale at home last Saturday, just a week after bowing to the Bulldogs in the league opener, 74-67.
Cornell is ahead in the all-time series by a count of 73-46, dating back to the first meeting during the 1949-50 campaign.
The Big Red was certainly in the mix in the second straight meeting versus Columbia, but that was before the Lions closed out the meeting with a 23-7 run to claim the victory in Ithaca. Cornell, which shot just 29.6 percent from the field after intermission, was outscored at the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes, 23-4. Devin Cherry scored a team-best 12 points for the hosts, followed by Ned Tomic and Robert Hatter with 11 points apiece, the former also clearing seven rebounds off the bench.
There is a huge discrepancy between what the Cornell offense is able to generate these days and how well the defense can control opponents. Through 16 games, the Big Red is putting up a real small 65.4 ppg, but at the same time allowing a hefty 80.1 ppg, one of the highest yields in the country. Nolan Cressler may not have scored in double figures the last time out, but he is still the leading scorer overall for Cornell with 15.5 ppg, followed by Cherry with his 11.0 ppg.
The Bears turned up the pressure on defense against Yale last weekend, limiting the visitors to just 25 points in the first half and 36.2 percent shooting from the floor overall. The Bulldogs, who converted just 3-of-17 behind the 3-point line, didn't do themselves any favors with a mere 19-of-38 at the free-throw line. Sean McGonagill tallied a game-high 29 points for the hosts, shooting a spectacular 7-of-9 behind the 3-point line, followed by Dockery Walker with 10 points off the bench.
One of three players to have started every game for the Bears, McGonagill is shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range and 46.2 percent from the floor overall as he generates 19.3 ppg. Of the team's 123 triples, 60 have been accounted for by McGonagill, but he is much more than just a perimeter sniper with his 4.1 rpg and 3.4 apg for a squad putting up 72.6 ppg and outscoring the competition by almost six points per contest.
At some point the Big Red will have to finally break into the win column, although nothing is guaranteed these days. Unfortunately, being out on the road against a solid offensive foe in conference play is not the best way to finally pick up that elusive victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Brown 74, Cornell 62
01/31 10:31:16 ET