Men's Basketball Opens 2011 by Visiting Local Rival Boston College Wednesday
Christian Webster and the Crimson are 9-3 on the season (Stephen Slade).
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Harvard makes the short trip to Boston College Wednesday, as the Crimson looks for its third straight victory against its cross-town rival. The game will also feature Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker taking on former Cornell and current Boston College head coach Steve Donahue.
Follow at Home
Wednesday's game at Boston College can be heard live on GoCrimson.com with Chris Villani on the call. Fans can visit the Multimedia page to purchase a single game event or a season pass. The real-time broadcast includes play-by-play commentary from Chris Villani. Select road games will also be available and regularly announced on GoCrimson.com.
Harvard and Boston College have met 42 times on the hardwood, with the Eagles owning a 31-11 lead in the all-time series, which began during the 1905-06 season. The Crimson has won the last two games against BC, including an 82-70 win at Conte Forum Jan. 7, 2010, as Harvard downed then-No. 17 BC for the program's first win over a ranked opponent. Last season, the Crimson emerged with a 74-67 victory, led by Jeremy Lin '10 (25 points) and Keith Wright (21).
Harvard improved to 7-0 at home as the Crimson topped MIT, 84-58, Dec. 31. For the second straight game, Laurent Rivard, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, led Harvard in scoring, as he netted 17 points and was 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. Four other Crimson players reached double figures in points: Kyle Casey (15), Keith Wright (15), Oliver McNally (12) and Christian Webster (12).
Wright also came down with 13 rebounds, including eight on the offensive side, to finish with his fifth double-double of the year. Rivard was named Ivy Rookie of the Week Tuesday after averaging 17.5 points per game during Harvard's two victories last week.
Boston College's Last Time Out
The Eagles are 11-3 after the team downed South Carolina, 85-70, Jan. 1. Joe Trapani guided BC to the win with a game-high 23 points, while Corey Raji earned a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Biko Paris (18) and Reggie Jackson (14) also scored in double figures, while BC shot 51.6 percent from the field as a team.
Harvard Against the BCS
The Crimson will play four teams from BCS conferences this season: Colorado (Big XII), Michigan (Big Ten), Connecticut (Big East) and Boston College (ACC). Harvard, which went 1-2 against BCS teams last year, boasts a 1-2 mark against BCS schools this season after beating Colorado Nov. 28, but falling at Michigan Dec. 1 and at Connecticut Dec. 22.
The Crimson owns a 4-7 record against BCS conference schools under head coach Tommy Amaker. Harvard has defeated Boston College twice, and topped Michigan and Colorado during Amaker's tenure in Cambridge.
Harvard vs. The ACC
The Crimson owns a 13-43 record against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. In addition to its 11 wins over Boston College, Harvard is 2-0 against North Carolina.
Top Of The Ivy League
The Crimson owns a 9-3 record (.750) through its first 10 games, putting the team first in overall winning percentage in the Ivy League.
Making The Most Of It
Heading into the week, the Crimson stands tied with Wisconsin for first in the nation as a team with a 80.2 percent success rate from the charity stripe. Harvard tied its season-high with 28 free throws on 35 chances (.800) in its 74-69 win over Monmouth Dec. 29. The Crimson also made 28-of-35 free throws against WPI Dec. 7.
Laurent Rivard (29-of-30) ranks second in the country in free-throw percentage, as he is shooting at a 96.7-percent clip. Oliver McNally (35-of-37) is fourth at 94.6 percent. Griffan Callahan of San Diego State (.973, 36-of-37) leads the nation in success at the charity stripe.
State of Massachusetts
Harvard plays five teams from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts this season: Holy Cross Nov. 17, WPI Dec. 7, Boston University Dec. 11, MIT Dec. 31 and Boston College Jan. 5. Harvard is 4-0 against teams from Massachusetts after beating Holy Cross, WPI, Boston University and MIT.
The Crimson is currently on a nine-game winning streak against schools from Massachusetts, since falling to Northeastern in overtime, 76-71, Dec. 10, 2008.
Harvard owns a 7-0 record this season when scoring 70 or more points and is 2-3 when scoring less than that. The Crimson has allowed an opponent to score more than 70 points on only two occasions (Boston University, 71, Dec. 11 and No. 4/4 Connecticut, 81, Dec. 22).
Just Grab It
Harvard owns a 7-1 record when outrebounding its opponents this season. The Crimson is only 2-2 when the team is outrebounded.
The Crimson has earned victories over teams from the Patriot League, Atlantic Sun, Northeast Conference, Big XII, Atlantic 10, NEWMAC and America East this season. Harvard defeated teams from 10 different conferences during the 2009-10 season and has already topped teams from seven different conferences this year.
Harvard Against Ranked Opponents
When Harvard played No. 4 Connecticut Dec. 22, it marked the first time the Crimson had faced a team ranked that high since Harvard fell at No. 1 Duke, 118-65, Nov. 30, 1991. Harvard earned the program's first-ever victory over a ranked opponent when the team downed No. 17 Boston College, 82-70, Jan. 7, 2009.
Scoring From All Areas
Six Harvard players reached double digits in scoring against Boston University Dec 11: Oliver McNally, Christian Webster, Brandyn Curry, Laurent Rivard, Andrew Van Nest and Keith Wright. Harvard had at least four players score 10 or more points six times: (Holy Cross Nov. 17, Fordham Dec. 1, WPI Dec. 7, Boston University Dec. 11, Monmouth Dec. 29 and MIT Dec. 31).
Harvard has grabbed 127 offensive rebounds this season and has scored 139 second-chance points. Keith Wright paces the Crimson with 43 offensive boards, while Christian Webster (17) and Brandyn Curry (14) have also been key players on the offensive glass for Harvard.
Defense Wins Games
Harvard leads the Ivy League in scoring defense, allowing the opposition only 64.2 points per game this season. The Crimson also paces the Ancient Eight in scoring margin (+7.3), nearly five points better than Princeton (+2.6).
Opponents are shooting only 37.1 percent from long distance against the Crimson and are shooting 43.3 percent from the floor overall against Harvard.
Owning A Long Distance Plan
Laurent Rivard made five 3-pointers in back-to-back games against Fordham Dec. 1, and Michigan Dec. 4. The Crimson freshman has buried 26 treys on the season, putting him just ahead of Chrisistian Webster for the team lead. Rivard has made 26 3-pointers on 72 chances (.361), while Webster has converted 24-of-69 shots (.348) from long distance.