Cornell (13-16) at Dartmouth (7-19)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 8, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leede Arena (2,100) -- Hanover, New Hampshire. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 4-10, Dartmouth 4-7. Away Record: Cornell 7-6, Dartmouth 3-12. Neutral Record: Cornell 2-0, Dartmouth 0-0. Conference Record: Cornell 5-7, Dartmouth 3-9. Series Record: Cornell leads, 103-102.
GAME NOTES: The Cornell Big Red will attempt halt their recent slide, as they travel to Leede Arena for Friday night's Ivy League clash with the Dartmouth Big Green.
Cornell appeared to be one of the league favorites just a few weeks back before a head-scratching, four-game homestand where it went 0-4. The Big Red most recently faced off against Yale last Saturday and were handed a 79-70 defeat to fall to 13-16 overall and 5-7 in the league. Oddly enough, the squad could actually be looking forward to heading back out on the road (7-6) considering its terrible play at home (4-10).
As for Dartmouth, its season has been a disappointment from the start as it sits at 7-19 overall and 3-9 in the Ivy League. The Big Green snapped a five- game losing streak with a 69-64 road win over Penn last Friday, but they fell back to their losing ways a day later with a 68-63 setback at Princeton.
Cornell snapped a 102-102 tie in the all-time series with Dartmouth by claiming a 79-56 win in Ithaca on Feb. 10.
The Big Red found themselves down by 14 points at the half against Yale last weekend, and could never fully recover on their way to a nine-point setback. The team shot just 37.1 percent from the field, and it was paced by a couple of 19-point efforts from Errick Peck and Nolan Cressler, who combined to shoot 8-of-17 from 3-point range. Cornell actually has a solid scoring offense by Ivy League standards, netting 66.3 ppg, but it has been let down by a defensive effort that yields just shy of 70 ppg. Shonn Miller is one of the league's most impressive forwards. Not only does he score 11.5 ppg and grab 6.8 rpg, but he is a big asset at the defensive end with 1.9 spg and 1.9 bpg. With Johnathan Gray (10.0 ppg) out for the season, Cressler (9.0 ppg) and Peck (8.9 ppg) will be looked to for significant contributions.
Dartmouth came out strong against Princeton last time out and led the entire first half, but things came unraveled after intermission as it allowed the Tigers to net greater than 54 percent of their field goal attempts in what would eventually wind up being a five-point defeat. Tyler Melville was outstanding in defeat, hitting for 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field, as was Gabas Maldunas, who logged a double-double consisting of 17 points and 12 rebounds. On the season, the Big Green have failed to stand out at either end of the court, as they average just 60.7 ppg on 40 percent from the field, while allowing the opposition to net 66.3 ppg on nearly 45 percent efficiency. Alex Mitola is the top scorer with 10.7 ppg and he has been impressive from 3-point range, draining 57-of-152 from beyond the arc (.375). Maldunas is strong in the frontcourt with 10.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg and more than a block and a steal per contest.
Although Cornell has been reeling of late and is dealing with injury issues, if Cressler and Peck continue to step up with their outside shooting, the Big Red should be able to get back on the winning track against a hapless Dartmouth squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 68, Dartmouth 63
03/08 10:34:47 ET