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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 15, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,532) -- New Haven, Connecticut. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 4-6, Yale 4-2. Away Record: Cornell 5-6, Yale 4-10. Neutral Record: Cornell 2-0, Yale 1-2. Conference Record: Cornell 3-3, Yale 3-3. Series Record: Cornell leads, 109-103.
GAME NOTES: The Yale Bulldogs begin a season-long, four-game homestand on Friday night, as they welcome the Cornell Big Red to John J. Lee Amphitheater for an Ivy League clash.
Cornell hasn't been able to get into a rhythm this season as it has an 11-12 overall record and 3-3 mark in Ivy League play. The Big Red have alternated wins with losses in each of the past seven contests, and they fell on the positive side of a 79-56 decision at home versus Dartmouth on Sunday afternoon.
Yale (9-14) opened the month of February on a four-game road trip, and while it lost its first two to Harvard and Dartmouth, it rebounded nicely with triumphs over Penn (68-59) and Princeton (69-65) late last week to improve to 3-3 in the league. The Bulldogs have played just six games at home this season but they have impressed at 4-2.
These teams have played each other rather close over their storied histories, with Cornell holding a 109-103 series advantage. The Big Red have won 10 of the last 14 matchups, but the Bulldogs claimed the latest outing, 71-40, in New Haven on Feb. 25, 2012.
The Big Red were fantastic at both ends of the court in their 23-point victory earlier in the week, as they shot nearly 51 percent from the field while holding Dartmouth to a meager 28.6 percent. Shonn Miller shot 6-of-11 from the field for 15 points, and he was also a dominant force at the defensive end with seven blocks and five steals. Dominick Scelfo shot 5-of-8 from 3-point range for 15 points, while Nolan Cressler (14 points) and Errick Peck (11 points, seven assists) were also crucial components to the well-rounded triumph. By Ivy League standards, Cornell boasts a solid offensive attack, ranking second with 66.3 ppg. It also gives up the most points to its opponents (69.0), but its spectacular defensive performance against Dartmouth was certainly a good sign. Miller is one of the league's best forwards, netting 10.3 ppg, grabbing 6.8 rpg, and adding 1.8 spg and 1.6 bpg on defense. Johnathan Gray chips in 9.5 ppg thanks in large part to a team-high 41 3- pointers.
Yale was able to hand Princeton its first league loss of the season thanks to an outstanding shooting effort, as it made 54.8 percent of its field goal attempts (including 7-of-12 from 3-point range) and went 16-of-20 from the foul line on its way to the four-point win. All nine players who took the floor for the Bulldogs scored, paced by 13 points from Javier Duren and 11 points apiece from Austin Morgan and Sam Martin. Yale is tied with Cornell for second in the league with 66.3 ppg, but it isn't exactly used to piecing together strong showings from the field, as it makes just 41.1 percent from the floor as a team. Morgan doesn't help much with his field goal percentage (.350), but he ranks third in the nation in free-throw shooting (.918), which helps him score a team-high 11.6 ppg. Justin Sears brings stability to the frontcourt with 10.6 ppg and 6.3 rpg.
Yale found momentum towards the end of its road trip, which will give it new energy returning home for the first time in three weeks. Against an up-and- down Cornell squad, the Bulldogs should be able to move above .500 in league play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Yale 73, Cornell 70
02/15 10:32:03 ET
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