January 28, 2005

Cagers Host Harvard, Dartmouth

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This weekend will be a big one for the men’s basketball team (6-9, 1-1 Ivy) as it continues its conference play against Harvard (6-9, 1-1) tomorrow and Dartmouth (4-11, 1-1) on Sunday. The last time the Red faced the Crimson, Harvard beat Cornell in a heartbreaker last season, 81-78. Meanwhile, Cornell has had success as of late against the Green, handily shutting down Dartmouth’s offense in the two squads’ last meeting for a 69-45 win.

Cornell has struggled as of late, going 3-5 since winter break began. Yet, most recently, the Red had a strong game against Columbia, when senior co-captain Eric Taylor’s double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) propelled the Red to a crushing 77-47 win. Cornell had dropped its previous match to the Lions the week before at Columbia, 70-61.

Cornell will certainly have one advantage over Harvard, as the Crimson has not seen playing action since before its exam break, making it about two and a half weeks since its 97-84 win over Sacred Heart. Nonetheless, the Crimson is still 5-4 under its current coach in games right after the exam period.

Harvard has had great success in Ithaca in the past, winning seven of its last nine on the East Hill. Despite this, Harvard has struggled this season, and, like the Red, is five games under the .500 mark. Some major players to watch will be Harvard’s Matt Stehle, who is fourth in the Ivies in scoring with 14.6 points per game, and David Giovacchini, who had a career-high of 14 points off the bench in last year’s matchup in Ithaca. The 5-11 Giovacchini has matured even more since then, and is now third in the conference in assists this season.

The Green enters this weekend on a two-game skid since beating Harvard two weekends ago in a defensive battle that ended 49-46. Dartmouth has had trouble this season, with a 4-11 record. However, the team has seen quite a bit of success in 6-3 guard Mike Lang, who is eighth in the conference with 13.4 points per game. Lang is also fourth in the Ivies in field goal percentage. In addition, junior forward Calvin Arnold is a force to be reckoned with up the middle, as the third year leads the conference in blocks per game with 1.60.

This weekend is extremely important for the Red, as not one team has taken sole possession of first place in the conference yet. Cornell faces the Crimson at 2 p.m. tomorrow and the Green on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Archived article by Mike Pandolfini
Sun Staff Writer