Brown (10-14) at Cornell (13-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 1, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Brown 7-4, Cornell 4-8. Away Record: Brown 3-10, Cornell 7-6. Neutral Record: Brown 0-0, Cornell 2-0. Conference Record: Brown 4-6, Cornell 5-5. Series Record: Cornell leads, 73-45.
GAME NOTES: The Cornell Big Red will try to prevent their first three-game losing streak since December, as they entertain the Brown Bears in an Ivy League matchup at Newman Arena on Friday night.
Brown had been losers of five of its previous six games heading into its bout with Dartmouth last Saturday, but it got back on the winning track by taking a 59-50 decision. The triumph improved the Bears' overall record to 10-14 and their Ivy League mark to 4-6.
Cornell was marching up the Ivy League standings just a few weeks back with three straight wins, but its return home did not equate to good things as it was saddled with a pair of losses to Penn (79-71) and Princeton (72-53) last week to dip to 13-14 overall and 5-5 in league play.
Cornell holds a 73-45 advantage in the all-time series with Brown. The Big Red's 69-66 win over the Bears in Providence on Feb. 16 was their 13th straight in the series.
The Bears opened their latest game with a 12-2 run in the first three and a half minutes and never looked back on their way to the eight-point win. It was a rather modest shooting night for Brown (.418), but it held Dartmouth to less than 36 percent efficiency and outscored the Big Green from 3-point territory, 24-12. Matt Sullivan led the way with 16 points, Sean McGonagill tallied 13 points and seven assists, Tucker Halpern netted 12 points and Rafael Mala hauled in 13 rebounds. Brown has gotten used to solid defensive efforts, as it ranks third in the league in yielding just 64.3 ppg, but unfortunately it does not have the scoring attack (60.8 ppg) to support it. Sullivan (14.0 ppg) has a slim lead over McGonagill (13.8 ppg, 4.1 apg) as the team's leading scorer, and the two have combined to drain 100 3-pointers and log 73 steals. Mala is a mainstay in the frontcourt with 10.4 ppg and 7.2 rpg, as is Cedric Kuakumensah (6.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 bpg).
Cornell put forth a woeful 5-of-32 shooting performance (.156) in the first half of last Saturday's clash with Princeton, as it trailed by 19 at the half and could never recover as it lost by that same margin. Overcoming the immense struggles of his teammates was Shonn Miller, who shot 6-of-13 from the field and 10-of-11 from the foul line for 23 points, to go along with 10 rebounds and a pair of steals. By Ivy League standards, The Big Red have an above- average scoring offense, as they pour in 66.2 ppg on 42.7 percent from the floor, but that production is negated by the league's lowest-ranked defense, which allows 69 ppg to their opponents on 45.4 percent shooting. Miller has established himself as one of the league's best forwards at both ends of the court, tallying 11.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.9 spg and 1.9 bpg. Johnathan Gray chips in 10.0 ppg, while Errick Peck (8.4 ppg) and Nolan Cressler (8.2 ppg) are also decent scorers.
If any team in the Ivy League can match up with Miller and Cornell's frontcourt it's Brown, which plays strong interior defense with Mala and Kuakumensah. Being at home however, the Big Red should be able to muster up enough offense to outlast the Bears.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 67, Brown 65
03/01 10:37:08 ET