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Cressler scores 20 for Cornell in college debut

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

Nolan Cressler was known as a sharp shooter for the Plum varsity boys basketball team, and the 2012 graduate, who finished as the school's all-time leading scorer, could light up the scoreboard from anywhere on the court.

Now, fans of the Cornell University men's basketball team — and those from Western Michigan, as well — know a little more about what Cressler can do on a basketball court.

Cressler debuted for the Big Red on Saturday, as the team opened its season against Western Michigan from the Mid-American Conference and honored the school's 1987-88 Ivy League Championship squad.

He didn't start, but he made his 18 minutes off the bench count.

Cressler scored a game-high 20 points, as three Cornell players finished in double figures in the 63-55 nonconference victory.

He did almost all of his damage from the perimeter, as he sank six 3-pointers and missed only two for 18 of his 20 points.

Cressler also converted a field goal from inside the 3-point arc; grabbed two rebounds; and recorded one block, one assist and one steal.

He entered the game for the first time at the 16:06 mark of the first half, and he drained his first 3-pointer 28 seconds later.

That field goal was the first Big Red basket of the season, and it cut Western Michigan's early lead to 4-3.

Cressler added a fast-break layup at 14:51 to give Cornell a 7-4 lead, and the Big Red went on a 9-0 run overall to move ahead 9-4.

Cressler finished the first half with 11 points, including a trio of threes.

Cornell held a slim 26-24 lead at halftime and outscored Western Michigan, 37-31 in the second half.

While Cressler was 6 of 8 from 3-point range, his teammates were 2 of 17 from long range.

The Big Red was scheduled to return to the court Wednesday with a home game against St. Bonaventure.

The game was to be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network and was to be contested past the deadline for this week's edition.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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