The Ivy race has no doubt gotten more interesting since the two shades of red faced off in Cambridge. Round two of this Ancient Eight rivalry will
go down with the Cornellians hoping to play spoiler and the Crimson hoping, with a Penn loss, to clinch their first outright Ivy Championship. The second bout will also transpire with significantly more pub than the first.
The last time Newman Arena was invaded by the national media, it was Cornell vying for an Ivy League championship. Two years later, Harvard’s quest for the title will close – barring a playoff – with ESPN cameras casing the gymnasium.
NCAA tournament implications are in place for the Crimson while Senior Night is in order for the Red. Chris Wroblewski, who needs just one assist this weekend to set the all-time Cornell career assist record, will say goodbye to East Hill after four ultra-productive years. Drew Ferry will also play in his final game for the Red while looking to build on his 3 triples per game (top 15 nationally). Max Groebe and Anthony Gatlin will also play their final games in Cornell uniforms.
Keys to the Game:
Neither group played a great game the last time out. Shooting percentages were ugly. Makes from long distance were few and far between. Both sides tallied more turnovers than assists.
One of the main differences in the game was the Crimson’s ability to capitalize on Cornell mistakes. Red turnovers resulted in an average of 1.4 Harvard points, while each Crimson giveaway turned into an just 0.8 points for Cornell. A Laurent Rivard steal and easy layup on the other end summarized the first half well as Harvard jumped out to a double-digit lead that they
wouldn’t relinquish over the final 19 minutes.
The offensive glass was also kind to the home team, as Harvard outscored the Red by seven on second chance opportunities.
Harvard is clearly the bigger (see Keith Wright at the 5), more experienced (See Kyle Casey at the 4), more disciplined (see pokies online Brandyn Curry at the point) team, but the Red have the quickness and athleticism to force turnovers and take advantage in the open court. Last time out, the Crimson had the edge in every aspect of the game except on the break. While the transition game alone will not be enough to stun the league leaders, Cornell has to get out and run if they want to hang with the pre-crowned kings.
The Charity Stripe
It helps having two of the best bigs in the conference. It also helps that the Crimson has the athleticism and size across the board to constantly put opponents out of position. Still, Harvard has outscored Cornell by 50 points from the free throw line over the last three meetings between these two squads, games won by the Crimson by a combined 49 points. Easier said than done, but if the Red equalizes the charity stripe, we’ve got ourselves a ball game.
The majority of these several hundred words have attempted to pry at the Crimson’s firm grip on the Red over the past two years, but simply put: Harvard will win.
Too much is on the line for the Crimson, and while Cornell has been solid at home all year (see league wins over Yale and Princeton in Ithaca), solid will not be enough on Senior Night. Barring a barrage of threes from the experienced backcourt duo of Ski and Ferry, big games on BOTH ends from present and future centerpieces Johnny Gray and Shonn Miller and rebounding without foul trouble from Eitan Chemerinski, Harvard should come out on top.
Expect the home crowd and Senior Night buzz to pump some life into the Red for a while. An early second half run, sparked by a couple steals and treys, could put a scare into the Crimson, but a 9-14 point victory should be in order once again for Harvard.