No. 24 Harvard Men's Basketball Travels North, Visits Dartmouth Saturday
Oliver McNally and the Crimson went 14-2 in non-conference play (Gil Talbot).
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No. 24 Harvard (15-2, 1-0 Ivy) returns to Ivy League play by visiting Dartmouth (4-13, 0-1) Saturday evening at 7 p.m. The Crimson is off to the best start of an Ivy League school since Princeton in 1997-98 (16-1). Harvard's 15-2 start is also the best for the program since going 16-1 to begin the 1945-46 campaign.
Live video will be available with a subscription at DartmouthSports.com. WHRB's Charlie Hobbs and Scott Reed will have the audio call on GoCrimson.com. Live statistics will also be available for the game at GoCrimson.com.
Harvard and Dartmouth first met during the 1900-01 season. The Big Green leads the all-time series, 94-79, but the Crimson has taken the last five games between the schools, including a 63-47 win at Lavietes Pavilion Jan. 7. Oliver McNally scored a season-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting in the game against the Big Green earlier this month.
Harvard's Last Time Out
The Crimson concluded non-conference play by defeating George Washington, 69-48, Saturday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion. Steve Moundou-Missi made all seven of his field goal attempts, finishing with 16 points, while Laurent Rivard also tallied 16 points, making 3-of-4 3-point attempts. Brandyn Curry dished out seven assists, while Keith Wright contributed 11 points and eight rebounds.
Dartmouth's Last Time Out
Dartmouth topped Longwood, 83-67, Saturday afternoon. Five Big Green players reached double figures in scoring: John Golden (17 points), Jvonte Brooks (16), R.J. Griffin (14), David Rufful (13) and Gabas Maldunas (10). Golden shot 5-of-6 from long distance (.833), as Dartmouth went 10-of-16 from beyond the arc as a team (.625).
Harvard Against The Ivy League
Over the last two seasons, the Crimson boasts a 13-3 (.813) against Ivy League opponents. During that stretch, the Crimson is 5-2 (.714) against Ancient Eight opponents on the road and 8-0 at home (1.000).
With 30 blocks this season, Keith Wright now ranks second in program history with 136 rejections. Brian Cusworth '07 holds the Harvard record with 147 career blocks. Wright's 54 blocks last year also stand second in Harvard history for a single season. Brian Banks '78 had 59 rejections during the 1977-78 campaign.
Kyle Casey has rejected 76 blocks in his career, including 21 this season, ranking him seventh in program history in rejections.
Entering the weekend, Harvard was fourth in the nation in free throw shooting defense, as opponents are only making 61.6 percent of attempts (159-of-258). Northern Arizona (58.4) sits first in the country.
Stepping Up On D
The Crimson is allowing only 55.1 points per game this season, good for fifth in the nation in scoring defense. Wisconsin paces the nation, surrendering only 48.5 points per contest. Harvard has only allowed 70 points once and surrendered 50 or less points in eight games.
Coming Down With It
With his 15-rebound performance at Monmouth Jan. 10, Keith Wright now has 20 double digit rebound games in his career. Wright also has three double-doubles this season and has led Harvard in rebounding in 12 of 17 contests. Wright stands 10th in program history with 625 career rebounds. Harvard has outrebounded seven of its last eight opponents.
The Crimson has won 14 non-conference games this season, a program record. Harvard won 11 non-league games in 2009-10 and 11 non-conference contests again in 2010-11.
Entering the week, Brandyn Curry ranked 29th in the country and second in the Ivy League with 2.2 steals per game.
The Crimson is ranked No. 24 in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Earlier this season, the Crimson became the first Ivy team ranked in the AP poll since Princeton was rated No. 8 in the final poll of the 1997-98 season. On Jan. 2, Harvard was No. 21 in the coaches poll and No. 22 in the AP poll, the highest rankings in program history.
Harvard is the only Ivy League team to have received at least one vote in a major national poll this season. The Crimson has appeared in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll in each of the last five weeks.
Harvard currently sits at No. 48 in the RPI, according to collegerpi.com. The Crimson earned the highest ranking in program history, No. 14, Dec. 2, 2011.
The Crimson is 7-2 as a ranked team in program history with wins this season over Boston University, Florida Atlantic, Boston College, Saint Joseph's, Dartmouth, Monmouth and George Washington. Harvard is 4-0 at home as a ranked squad, while boasting a 3-2 record on the road when ranked nationally.
Keith Wright leads the Crimson with three double-doubles (at Holy Cross Nov. 15, Florida Atlantic Dec. 22 and at Monmouth Jan. 10), while Kyle Casey (Saint Joseph's Dec. 31) and Jonah Travis (Seattle Dec. 4) have recorded one apiece this year. Wright has amassed 16 double-doubles over the course of his career in Cambridge.
Harvard is riding a 23-game win streak at home, a program record. The current win streak at home is the longest for Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion and is the fifth longest current streak in the NCAA. Kentucky is enjoying the longest current streak with 45 straight home wins.
Nation's Current Longest Home Win Streaks
Through (Jan. 16)
Ohio State 36
North Carolina 28
Long Island 19
Harvard and Amaker Against Dartmouth
The Crimson is 7-2 against Dartmouth under head coach Tommy Amaker. Harvard has won the last five games in the series.
Keith Wright stands second in the Ivy League in field-goal percentage, hitting 60.4 percent of his attempts this season (81-of-134).
Oliver McNally has played in 104 games during his Harvard career, tying him for ninth most in program history. McNally is just 11 games shy of tying Jeremy Lin '10 for the most games played in Harvard history (115).
Night and Day
Harvard owns a 8-2 record in night games and a 7-0 mark in day contests in 2011-12.
Sold Out Lavietes
Harvard has had four sellout crowds at Lavietes Pavilion already this season (MIT, Saint Joseph's, Dartmouth and George Washington). In addition, the upcoming games against Cornell, Columbia, Yale, Princeton and Penn are already sold out. The Crimson has the opportunity to have 10 of its 12 home games this season be sold out.
Defense Wins Games
The Crimson enters the week fifth in the country in scoring defense (55.1 points allowed per game).
Harvard had not allowed more than 49 points in four straight games (Nov. 24-Dec. 1) for the first time since the 1946-47 season, which was prior to the invention of the shot clock and the 3-point line. The Crimson has only surrendered more than 60 points in six of 17 games this year.
On The Big Screen
The Crimson will play at least seven games on national or regional television this season.
Harvard is 5-1 on TV this year after earning wins over Utah (HDNet), No. 20/22 Florida State (Versus) and Central Florida (Versus) at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Crimson also defeated Boston University (NESN) and Boston College (ESPN3), but fell on the road at No. 9/9 Connecticut (ESPN2).
The Crimson, which currently owns a 9-2 record in road/neutral sites, will play a total of 18 road/neutral games this winter. Harvard set a program record for road/neutral wins in 2009-10 with 10, and the Crimson followed up with nine road victories last season. Harvard is 6-2 on the road and 3-0 in neutral sites in 2011-12.
Kings of Massachusetts' Courts
The Crimson is currently on a 14-game winning streak against schools from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since falling to Northeastern in overtime, 76-71, Dec. 10, 2008, including four straight wins over Holy Cross and Boston College and three against Boston University.
Harvard is 4-0 this season against Massachusetts teams, having defeated MIT, Holy Cross, BU and BC.
Head Coach Tommy Amaker
Tommy Amaker (Duke '87) is in his fifth season as head coach of the Harvard men's basketball team. He registered his 250th career coaching victory Dec. 4, 2011 against Seattle at Lavietes Pavilion. Amaker has guided Harvard to its national ranking, as the Crimson was rated No. 25 in the AP poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches ranking Dec. 5, 2011. Amaker also led the Crimson to its first Ivy League title as well as the program's first appearance in the NIT. In addition, the Crimson established a program record with 23 victories in 2010-11.
He brings a 257-192 (.572) career head coaching record into today's game, including a 81-53 (.604) mark at Harvard, a 108-84 (.563) record at Michigan and a 68-55 (.553) record at Seton Hall.
Making The Most Of It
Oliver McNally made all eight free throws at Monmouth, went 7-of-7 at the foul line at Holy Cross and shot 6-of-6 at Loyola Marymount and is shooting 88.0 percent from the line this season (44-of-50). Christian Webster is Harvard's career leader in free-throw shooting, making 88.8 percent of his attempts (175-of-197) over his first three seasons, while McNally is fourth in team history at 85.6 percent (250-of-292).
Last season, the Crimson ranked second in the nation as a team with an 80.8 percent success rate from the charity stripe (just behind Wisconsin's 81.8 shooting percentage). Harvard owns the NCAA record for team free-throw percentage for a season (82.2 percent in 1983-84). Harvard is currently shooting 73.5 percent from the line this season, ranking 42nd in the country.
Harvard has played at least 10 players in 16 of 17 games this season, including a season-high 17 players in the win over Utah Nov. 24.
Entering the week, the Crimson ranked first in the Ivy League in defense (55.1 points allowed per game) and third in scoring offense (66.5 points per contest). Harvard was also first in scoring margin (+11.4). The Crimson paces the league in shooting percentage (.467), 3-point shooting (.366), rebounding defense (28.5) and blocked shots per game (4.7).