Men's Basketball Hosts Cornell and Columbia This Weekend
Friday's game against Cornell is sold out while select tickets remain available for Saturday's game against Columbia.
After an exciting road sweep of Yale and Brown last weekend, Harvard returns home this weekend to face off against Cornell and Columbia in 7 p.m. games at Lavietes Pavilion.
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Head Coach Tommy Amaker
Tommy Amaker (Duke '87) begins his third season as head coach of the Harvard men's basketball team. He registered his 200th career coaching victory Nov. 13 in the 2009-10 season opener at Holy Cross.
He brings a 216-179 career head coaching record into the game, including a 109-83 record at Michigan at a 68-55 record at Seton Hall.
Amaker came to Harvard after a six year stint as Michigan's head coach. Inheriting a program that was reeling from institutional and NCAA sanctions, he led the Wolverines to the postseason three times, winning the 2004 NIT title, reaching the championship game of the 2006 NIT, and advancing to the second round of the 2007 tournament. The 2006-07 season was Michigan's second straight 20-win campaign and its third in four years. The Wolverines were ranked as high as No. 20 in the nation during the 2005-06 season.
Harvard and Cornell meet in a pivotal battle on Friday night in a wide open Ivy race following the Big Red's shocking 15-point loss last Friday at a Penn team that was previously winless at home.
Harvard sits one game behind Cornell and Princeton in the standings despite injury woes that have plagued the Crimson since its opening weekend of Ivy doubleheaders at Columbia and Cornell.
Harvard, Cornell and Princeton all control their own destiny for an Ivy title and its NCAA Tournament's automatic bid. While that is the goal, the trio is also playing for at-large selections to a variety of postseason tournaments so losses down the stretch can be overcome on that front.
Despite massive injury problems, Harvard had an impressive weekend on a variety of fronts with wins at Yale and Brown as its vaunted freshman class scored 53 and 51 points, respectively, during the weekend. The team not only showed that it could overcome a depleted frontcourt - it acclimated to life without star guard Jeremy Lin who was in foul trouble for much of the weekend.
The team's top three scorers last weekend were freshmen Kyle Casey, Christian Webster and Brandyn Curry.
On Friday, Lin fouled out during regulation but the freshmen scored 14 of the team's 16 overtime points. All told, underclassmen scored the final 21 points for the Crimson in a victory.
On Saturday, Harvard outscored Brown in the paint, 36-20, and dominated the backboards, 36-19. Doug Miller nearly outscored three of Brown's forwards single handedly and held Matt Mullery to seven points.
Harvard also got on track offensively, posting its 10th game this season of shooting better than 50 percent from the floor (10-0 in those games). Harvard shot 41 percent from long range (17-42), led by freshmen Christian Webster (6-14, .429) and Kyle Casey (6-9, .667).
Jeremy Lin for Bob Cousy Award
Jeremy Lin is one of 11 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation's top point guard. Entering the week, Lin was heavily in front on the fan voting section of the process but fell back after a strong fan presence at Kentucky for their candidate, John Wall.
Lin has 24 percent while Wall is slightly in front with 30 percent. Ronald Moore (Siena, 17.0 %) and Greivis Vasquez (Maryland, 13.5 %) are the closest competitors Fan voting is open until March 5.
The Cornell Series
Cornell leads the all-time series, 89-68 with the teams having split the last seven meetings. The last three games at Lavietes have all been dramatic with Harvard taking a one-point victory from the Big Red last season with a defensive stand at the buzzer.
The Last Meeting With Cornell
The first crack in Harvard's armor showed at Cornell three weeks ago as a tired and injured Crimson could not get on track during a one-sided loss to Cornell. Harvard committed 25 turnovers in the game and allowed Cornell to make 12 3-pointers. Since that game, Harvard has averaged just 11 turnovers per game.
The Columbia Series
Columbia leads the all-time series, 93-70, although Harvard broke a five-game skid against the Lions last season in Cambridge, Mass. and continued its winning ways with a lofty 74-45 win in New York earlier this season.
The Last Meeting With Columbia
Jeremy Lin scored 13 of his game-high 14 points in the first half and Brandyn Curry scored 13 points in the second half as Harvard ran away from the Lions. Harvard held Columbia to 33 percent shooting and a 1-of-11 mark from long range while forcing 17 turnovers.
Since the loss, Columbia has played well with three wins and a pair of close losses to Princeton and Yale. Its latest game was a 66-62 win at Penn (which had just defeated Cornell by 15) in which Niko Scott scored 29 points on 7-of-9 shooting from long range.
Harvard recorded its first Ivy weekend road sweep since the 1999-2000 season with wins at Yale and Brown.
It marked Harvard's first road sweep of Yale and Brown since 1998-99.
17-WinsWith its win at Brown, the Crimson tied the second-best wins mark in school history (17) to match the 1996-97 team.
With its wins at Yale and Brown, Harvard tied a program record with its ninth road victory.
Last season, Harvard led the Ivy League in road wins with seven.
Harvard has won nine road/neutral games four different times (1970-71, 1971-72, 1996-97, 2009-10).
Another Notable under Amaker
With its win against Penn, Harvard reached the 15-win mark for the first time in 13 years since winning 17 back in 1996-97.
Penn-In A "W"
Harvard's win against the Quakers gave the Crimson wins over Penn in three consecutive seasons, marking the first such occurrence since 1985-88.
Complete Game Notes
For the complete game notes package, click at the link on the top of this page.