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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 1, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Purcell Pavilion (9,149) -- Notre Dame, Indiana. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Cornell 0-4, Notre Dame 4-1. Away Record: Cornell 0-4, Notre Dame 0-0. Neutral Record: Cornell 0-0, Notre Dame 0-0. Conference Record: Cornell 0-0, Notre Dame 0-0. Series Record: Notre Dame leads, 7-1.
GAME NOTES: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish close out a six-game homestand to begin the 2013-14 season, as they meet the Cornell Big Red in a non-conference matchup at the Purcell Pavilion on Sunday.
Mike Brey's Irish have won four of their first five games this season, with the lone loss coming to instate rival Indiana State (83-70). The team has responded with back-to-back victories over Santa Clara (84-69) and most recently, Army (93-60).
Bill Courtney's Big Red haven't ducked anyone this season. Cornell has already played two of last year's Final Four participants, and the two losses to Syracuse and Louisville are just a quarter of the team's eight losses in as many games thus far. Cornell is 0-4 on the road this year, including an 83-70 loss at Western Michigan on Friday.
Notre Dame has won seven of the eight all-time meetings in a series that dates back to 1909.
The level of competition has made Cornell's numbers at both ends of the court look rather bad. The team is shooting a modest .422 from the floor overall and putting up 68.9 ppg, but opponents are converting over 50 percent of their shots (.507), leading to a whopping 85.5 ppg. Nolan Cressler is clearly the team's top offensive threat, averaging 18.3 ppg. However, he could do even for Cornell if not for a .422 shooting efficiency. Robert Hatter is the only other player on the roster currently in double digits at 11.4 ppg, although Devin Cherry (9.3 ppg) isn't far off the mark.
The Big Red hit 16 3-pointers, but couldn't do much inside and fell to Western Michigan on the road last time out. Cressler erupted for a career-high 27 points, while Hatter poured in 22. The pair combined for 11 3-pointers in the loss. Despite the numerous 3-pointers in the game, Cornell shot just .397 from the floor overall,
Notre Dame made light work of Army last weekend, as Jerian Grant and Garrick Sherman posted 19 points each. Grant had an impressive stat line across the board, adding eight assists and six steals to the mix. Three others finished in double figures as well for Notre Dame in the win, with Zach Auguste (14 pts), Eric Atkins (13 pts) and Demetrius Jackson (11 pts) providing plenty of depth. The Irish shot a sterling .565 from the floor and outscored the Black Knights, 16-5 at the free-throw line.
Notre Dame has been high efficient at the offensive end this season, shooting .491 overall and .412 from behind the arc, leading to 80.2 ppg. The team also enjoys a +6.0 rebounding edge. The strength of the Irish comes in the backcourt, with Grant and Atkins leading the way. Grant is playing lights out, netting 19.4 ppg, shooting well from all over the floor (.542 overall, .458 from behind the arc). Atkins is a decent scorer (13.0 ppg), while serving as the top distributor (5.0 apg). He has also only committed five total turnovers in five games. Sherman (11.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Pat Connaughton (10.0 ppg) round out the top scoring threats for Notre Dame.
The Big Red have earned respect with their brutal schedule thus far, but there is little chance that a trip to South Bend will end the team's current skid.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Notre Dame 83, Cornell 58
12/01 10:33:57 ET
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