Cornell (9-11) at Penn (4-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Palestra (8,722) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 3-5, Penn 3-3. Away Record: Cornell 4-6, Penn 1-9. Neutral Record: Cornell 2-0, Penn 0-3. Conference Record: Cornell 1-2, Penn 1-1. Series Record: Penn leads, 145-73.
GAME NOTES: The Penn Quakers continue their season-long, four-game homestand on Saturday night, as they play host to the Cornell Big Red in a Ivy League bout at The Palestra.
Cornell traveled to Princeton for a Friday night tilt and came away with a 76-59 setback for its second loss in its first three games in Ivy League competition. While the Big Red have avoided prolonged stretches of futility, they have been anything but stellar at just 9-11 overall.
Penn has been downright disappointing this season, as it has managed to win just four of its 19 games. After losing their first league game of the season at Princeton a few weeks back, the Quakers evened their Ivy League record at 1-1 on Friday night thanks to a 62-58 triumph over Columbia.
Penn has nearly doubled up Cornell in the all-time series, 145-73, although the Big Red have won seven of the last 10 meetings.
Cornell put up a fight in the first half against Princeton only to falter down the stretch en route to the 17-point loss. It was outshot from the field, 52.9 percent to 41.5 percent, and it made just 4-of-15 from 3-point range on the evening. Josh Figini provided a spark off the bench with 13 points on 5-of-9 from the field, while Shonn Miller tallied 12 points, six rebounds, three steals and two blocks. The Big Red have an above-average offense by Ivy League standards, scoring 65.6 ppg behind a 42.1 percent shooting effort, but their biggest problem has been at the other end of the court where they allow nearly 70 ppg. Miller has proven himself to be one of the most dependable forwards in the league, netting 10.4 ppg on 49 percent from the field while adding 7.3 rpg, 1.8 spg and 1.6 bpg. Johnathan Gray adds 9.3 ppg to the mix, and Miles Asafo-Adjei pulls off the rare feat of averaging more assists per game (3.1) than points (2.1).
Penn opened up a nine-point lead at the half over Columbia on Friday night, and it was able to hold on down the stretch thanks mostly to an outstanding 26-of-29 showing from the foul line. Miles Cartwright came up huge at the stripe, draining all 10 of his free-throw attempts en route to a season-high 22 points. Darien Nelson-Henry netted 11 points and added four blocks and three steals at the defensive end. Fran Dougherty scored just five points off the bench on 1-of-5 shooting, but it was his first game back after missing the past eight, and his 15.7 ppg and 8.8 rpg will surely be a welcomed addition to the lineup. The return of Dougherty will only help Cartwright, who pours in 13.5 ppg but on less than 39 percent shooting. Cartwright also leads the team in assists with 3.4 apg, but he neutralizes them with 3.4 turnovers per contest. As a team, the Quakers have lagged behind most of the Ivy League with a scoring average of only 62.0 ppg.
With the addition of a healthy Dougherty, Penn is a much better team than its horrible record would indicate. In the friendly confines of The Palestra, the Quakers should be able to make it two in a row against an unspectacular Cornell squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Penn 67, Cornell 65
02/02 10:45:08 ET