Cornell (9-10) at Princeton (8-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 1, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854) -- Princeton, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 3-5, Princeton 4-3. Away Record: Cornell 4-5, Princeton 4-3. Neutral Record: Cornell 2-0, Princeton 0-0. Conference Record: Cornell 1-1, Princeton 1-0. Series Record: Princeton leads, 137-79.
GAME NOTES: Riding a season-long, three-game winning streak, the Princeton Tigers return to Ivy League action on Friday night when they host the Cornell Big Red at Jadwin Gymnasium.
Cornell opened its Ivy League slate with a home-and-home series against Columbia, losing the first bout at home (67-58) and winning the second on the road last Saturday, 66-63. The recent triumph improved the Big Red's overall record to 9-10, and they have won three of their past four contests.
After winning its league opener versus Penn on Jan. 12 (65-53), Princeton entertained The College of New Jersey last Sunday afternoon and came away with a convincing 71-33 win. The Tigers are winners of three straight and five of six to surge above .500 (8-7) for the first time since they were 1-0.
After 216 all-time meetings, Princeton holds a 137-79 lead over Cornell in the series, which includes a 75-57 home win the last time these two teams met on Feb. 18, 2012.
Cornell appeared to have its latest matchup with Columbia well in hand up by 15 points with just over 10 minutes to play, and even though it allowed the Lions to cut the deficit to just one in the waning seconds, it held on for the three-point win. Galal Cancer was a difference-maker off the bench, as he shot just 4-of-11 from the field, but missed only one of his 12 free throw attempts on his way to a career-high 19 points. Josh Figini was also solid in a reserve role with 12 points, while Shonn Miller tallied nine points and 11 rebounds. On the season, the Big Red have a solid scoring offense by Ivy League standards, ranking third in points per game with 65.9, but they allow their opponents to net 69.4 ppg. Miller is the team's leading scorer with a modest 10.3 ppg, and he ranks third in the league in rebounding (7.4 ppg), second in blocks (1.6 bpg) and fourth in steals (1.7 spg). Johnathan Gray adds 9.4 ppg, while five others average between 6.1 and 7.8 ppg.
Princeton came off a 15-day layoff in fine fashion as it posted a 38-point win over Division III TCNJ last weekend. The 33 points allowed was the fewest yielded to an opponent since 2007. The Tigers were still plenty rusty at the offensive end though, shooting just 36.2 percent from the field, but they made up for it with a stellar showing at the foul line (22-of-29). Hans Brase tallied a double-double in the win with 11 points and 15 rebounds, while Denton Koon netted 12 points on 5-of-9 from the floor. Sunday's performance kept with the theme Princeton has established this season, as it generally struggles to score (62.0 ppg) but plays outstanding defense (56.9 ppg, first in the Ivy league). Ian Hummer has been the team's catalyst across the board, ranking second in the league in scoring (15.5 ppg) on greater than 51 percent shooting from the field, while also contributing 6.5 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.7 spg and 0.9 bpg. Will Barrett, T.J. Bray, and Koon all complement Hummer nicely by scoring between 8.1 and 8.9 ppg.
Princeton came into the season as one of the favorites to win the Ivy League, and after a slow start it is finally playing up to its potential. At home, the Tigers shouldn't have much trouble knocking off the Big Red.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Princeton 66, Cornell 58
02/01 10:30:43 ET