Men's College Basketball
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Yale (13-9) at Cornell (2-20)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, February 21, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Newman Arena (4,473) -- Ithaca, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Yale 8-2, Cornell 2-7. Away Record: Yale 4-7, Cornell 0-13. Neutral Record: Yale 1-0, Cornell 0-0. Conference Record: Yale 7-1, Cornell 1-7. Series Record: Cornell leads, 110-105.

GAME NOTES: Two teams occupying opposite ends of the Ivy League standings will square off at Newman Arena on Friday night, as the Cornell Big Red play host to the Yale Bulldogs.

Yale has been playing its best basketball of the season in recent weeks, as it has ripped off six straight wins to improve to 7-1 in the Ivy League, which has it tied for first place with Harvard. The Bulldogs moved to 13-9 overall following their most recent triumph, outlasting Princeton at home last Saturday in dramatic fashion, 66-65 in overtime.

Cornell finally won its first league game of the season and its first against a Division I opponent on Feb. 14 with a 70-67 victory over Dartmouth, but it promptly fell back to its losing ways with a 67-44 home setback to Harvard on Saturday. The Big Red are a dreadful 2-20 overall this season and sit alone in last place in the Ivy League (1-7).

Yale bested Cornell in the first meeting this season, 61-57 in New Haven on Feb. 1, but the Big Red still hold a 110-105 lead in the storied all-time series.

The Bulldogs overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to take a five-point lead with 1:09 left in regulation of their latest tilt, and while they saw that advantage slip away as Princeton forced overtime, they made up for it in the extra session when Justin Sears drained the game-winning jumper with just three seconds left to give them the thrilling win. They squad outshot the Tigers from the field, 43.4 percent to 35.7 percent, and were paced by 17 points from Sears, who finished 6-of-13 from the field. Armani Cotton tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Javier Duren logged 10 points and five assists.

Although Yale's offensive effort this season has been modest at best, shooting 42.6 percent from the field for 68.3 ppg, it has ridden its strong defense to plenty of success, as it allows just 66.6 ppg on the other end of the floor. Sears is one of the league's best with 15.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg and 1.5 spg, all while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor. Duren brings 12.6 ppg and 3.0 apg to the table and Cotton scores 9.3 ppg.

The Big Red were simply no match for Harvard in their most recent contest, as they fell behind by 14 at intermission and never sniffed the lead from that point forward en route to the 23-point loss. They shot a mere 36.2 percent from the field, compared to a lofty 58.7 percent for the Crimson, and they had nearly as many turnovers (16) as field goals (17). The only player to finish in double figures was Nolan Cressler, who shot 5-of-7 from 3-point range on his way to 17 points. Devin Cherry helped out as well with seven points, seven assists and six rebounds.

It's no surprise Cornell has struggled so badly this season, as it shoots just 41.3 percent from the field for 64.3 ppg, while allowing 77.9 ppg on 48.9 percent shooting, and it also boasts poor margins in terms of rebounding (-3.9) and turnovers (-2.1). Cressler is the unquestioned catalyst with 16.5 ppg, having drained 50 3-pointers at a 34.5 percent clip to go with a solid .782 free-throw percentage. Cherry (11.2 ppg, 3.2 apg) and Robert Hatter (9.0 ppg) are the other top options, although Hatter has missed the past two games with an injury.

Homecourt advantage or not, Cornell is clearly the inferior squad in this matchup. The Bulldogs should have no problem continuing their reign atop the standings.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Yale 74, Cornell 61

02/21 10:31:45 ET

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