November 17, 2011

M. BASKETBALL | Red Fades at Buffalo, Hosts Boston Sunday

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Buffalo’s athleticism proved too much for the men’s basketball team Wednesday night as Cornell fell to Buffalo, 59-68. The Red had difficulty keeping up with the Bulls throughout the game and was unsuccessful in gaining a lead in the hard fought contest.The Red (1-2, 0-0 Ivy League) was slow to start, struggling to match Buffalo (2-0 Mid-Atlantic Conference), which was led by sophomore Javon McCrea and senior Mitchell Watt. For a brief time, it seemed like the Red could potentially eke out a victory when the squad tied the game with only a few minutes remaining.“We tied with about six minutes to go; it was tied at 41,” said head coach Bill Courtney. “We failed to score on a couple possessions where we got the ball inside and didn’t finish, and then on the other end of the floor, we were called for fouls. We were called for about five or six fouls in about a minute span, in which they converted about seven or eight points.”The Red played a strong defensive game, forcing 20 turnovers, of which 15 were steals. However, Cornell could not convert those steals into points. “We just didn’t convert those opportunities,” Courtney said. “Normally with that amount of steals you can convert for about 20 points or so, but we scored about 5 points off of our steals. We have to be able to convert.”Even in the loss, there were some bright points for the Red, including the emergence of junior big man Eitan Chemerinski. He led the Red with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting. The contest against Buffalo marked the second game in which the forward scored a career-high total. Chemerinski scored 13 points in the Red’s last game, the home win over Binghamton. Also playing well for the Red was freshman Shonn Miller, who scored 8 points. Only three games into his rookie season, the forward is already emerging as one of Cornell’s players to watch out for this year.“Hopefully, Shonn is somebody who continues to improve,” Courtney said. “You know when you are a freshman, the main thing is actually consistency. He had a bad first half against Binghamton, but a terrific second half. A bad first half last night, but had a better second half. Not a terrific, but a better. I think when you get him to establish some consistency that will go a long way in his maturation and development.”Cornell is noted for its young talent and lack of experience; however, those factors have not held the team back.“I think the transition has been very smooth for the young guys,” said senior co-captain and guard Chris Wroblewski. “For example, [freshman guard] Galal Cancer, his transition … it seems like he has been playing with us for a year already because he is so unselfish as a player, and he fits in really well with the rest of the guys. I think we all play together really well as a team.”While the team may be playing more cohesively on the court, there will always be areas where the team could improve or sharpen up.“There is a lot of room for improvement,” Wroblewski said. “I think the team is definitely getting better; we are moving in the right direction. We just collectively as a group need to do a better job when faced with adversity, which is going to happen throughout the course of the season. We have to respond better and really come together as a team and fight back collectively.”The Red will have to up the ante in its upcoming game against Boston University (0-2) and senior Daryl Partin. “Daryl Partin scored 29 against us last year at BU,” Courtney explained. “We were leading and he went on an absolute blitzkrieg and scored like 15 points in two minutes and really took the game and won it for them. He is averaging about 20 some points a game this season now in their first two games. He is definitely a guy we need to concern ourselves with; we will have to help each other when we are guarding him. D.J. Irving is a good player, Dominic Moore is a good player, but I think the guy we want to focus on is Partin as a team.” The Red will have home-court advantage as the Terriers travel to Ithaca. “I think this team will continue to get better and I think we have the chance to be a very good home team,’ Courtney said. “Our crowd on Monday night against Binghamton helped us tremendously. They were fired up and into the game and I thought the student section was tremendous with their intensity and involvement in the game. If we can have that again on Sunday against BU I think if the people come out I think they will be entertained for one, and pleased with the effort that our guys put forth, so I really look forward to this being a great year in Newman.”

Original Author: Zach Gayner