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The Crimson Hosts Columbia and Cornell in Ivy Home Opening Weekend

The Crimson host Columbia and Cornell at Lavietes Pavilion (Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot).

Game Notes

Particulars
Harvard returns to Lavietes Pavilion for the first time since Jan. 2 to face Ivy League opponents Columbia and Cornell.

It’s Good to Be Home
The Crimson is off to its best start at home since the 1997-98 season with a 6-0 record at Lavietes Pavilion entering this weekend.

Harvard has had the scoring touch at Lavietes Pavilion averaging 79 points per game in its first six home contests.

Scouting the Crimson
The Crimson has won three game in a row twice this season. From Dec. 2 to Jan. 12, the Crimson won six of seven games and outscored its opponents, 392-325, in its six victories.

The Crimson has had six different players lead the team in scoring, with Brogan and Markley pacing the team five times each. Markley leads the Crimson in scoring and rebounding with 14.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Brogan is second in scoring with 13.4 ppg and first in assists with 6.1 per game.

Harvard’s 69.9 ppg ranked second in the league entering this weekend. The Crimson led the lead in free throw shooting with 75.8 percent, blocked shots with 4.7 per game and three-point field goals made with 7.5 per game. as well.

Last Time Out

Harvard suffered a tough 96-52 loss to No. 15/16 Florida State Jan. 21. The Crimson played its first top 20 time since 2006 to round out its non-conference schedule.

Two freshmen - Elle Hagedorn and Miriam Rutzen - stepped up for the Crimson. Hagedorn scored a career-high 11 points, including three three-pointers, while Rutzen pulled down a team- and career-high six rebounds.

Way to Start
Harvard’s 9-5 record through 14 games is its best start since the 2002-03 season when the Crimson finished 22-5 overall and a perfect 14-0 in Ivy League play.

Out of Their League
Harvard’s nine non-conference wins this season is the most for the program since the 1997-98 season when the Crimson went 11-3 out of the Ivy League.

Senior Discount
Harvard is one of only 15 NCAA Division I women’s basketball teams that does not have a senior on its roster. The 14 other Divsion I teams are Appalachian State, Arizona, Army, Central Arkansas, Colorado State, George Washington, South Carolina, Southern Utah, Tennessee, Tennessee-Martin, Tennessee Tech, West Virginia, Winston-Salem State and Wyoming.

With four juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen on its roster, Harvard has the fifth youngest team in NCAA Division I. Tennessee Tech boasts the youngest squad in the nation with six freshmen and five sophomores.

Down But Not Out
In 2005 and 2008, the Crimson lost its Ivy League opener to Dartmouth and bounced back to win Ivy League titles. Harvard has also won Ancient Eight crowns in 1996, 2002 and 2007 after losing one of its first two conference games.

Harvard vs. the New York Ivies
Harvard holds a 96-13 overall record against Columbia and Cornell, including a 55-2 mark at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson is 46-2 all time versus Columbia and is 50-11 against Cornell.

Scouting the Lions
Columbia with an 11-5 overall record and 2-0 mark in Ivy League games enters the weekend atop the conference standings. The Lions out-scored Cornell, 136-91, and shot 43.2 percent from the field in their opening weekend sweep.

Judie Lomax paces the Lions and the Ivy League in points (18.3 points per game) and rebounds (14.9 rebounds per game). She has posted 14 double-doubles this season, which leads the nation. Her 14.8 rpg is also the best in the nation.

Kathleen Berry and Lauren Dwyer average 12.1 and 10.9 ppg, respectively.

The Lions are shooting 41.6 percent from the field, 35.2 percent from three-point land and 65.0 percent from the charity stripe.

The Columbia Series
Harvard holds a 46-2 lead in the all-time series that began in 1980. The Crimson and Lions split last season series with each team winning away from their home court. Harvard’s two losses (the other Feb. 12, 1999) were both at Lavietes Pavilion.

Last Time We Met
In the second meeting last season, Harvard beat Columbia, 71-58, in New York. Emily Tay ’09 led all scorers with 23 and handed out six assists. Emma Markley and Brogan Berry scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, as the Crimson shot 49.1 percent from the floor.

Harvard led by just three going into halftime, but outscored Columbia by 10 in the second stanza.

Columbia was 0-for-10 from beyond the arc, while the Crimson made 4-of-9 attempts.

Scouting the Big Red
After going 5-3 through the first eight games, the Big Red has struggled as of late, losing seven straight entering the weekend.

Allie Fedorowicz and Virginia McMunigal lead the Big Red with 12.1 and 10.3 points per game, respectively.  Allie Munson is the team’s top rebounder with 4.9 per game.

Cornell is scoring 60.1 ppg and allowing 71.3 ppg.  The Big Red is shooting 37.2 percent from the field, 34.5 percent from three-point land and 67.2 percent from the charity stripe.

Lauren Benson ranks second in the Ivy League and 33rd in the nation in assists per game (5.3). McMunigal is third in the league and 24th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (43.5).

The Cornell Series
Harvard has more wins against Cornell than any other school it has face. The Crimson is 50-11 all-time against the Big Red. Harvard, who has won three straight and 10 of the last 11, is unbeaten at home against the Big Red.

Last Time We Met
Harvard defeated Cornell, 63-56 when the teams met in Ithaca last season. Trailing by six at halftime, Harvard outscored the Big Red, 38-25 in the second half to come away with the victory.

Emily Tay ’09 and Emma Markley led the team with 16 points each and Tay pulled down nine rebounds.

The Crimson struggled from beyond the arc, shooting just 20 percent, but was 11-for-13 from the charity stripe.

Won’t Happen Twice
The Crimson has not lost back-to-back regular season Ivy League games since the 2003-04 season.

It’s Your Birthday!
Saturday is Christine Matera’s 21st birthday. Last year she helped the Crimson to a 72-67 win over Penn on her birthday. It was the 500th program win for Harvard.

Matera scored a then career-high 17 points on a 6-for-8 effort from the field and a 5-for-5 performance from beyond the arc.

On the Bench
Kathy Delaney-Smith, the winningest coach in program history, is in her 28th season on the bench for the Crimson. Delaney-Smith, who has led the Crimson to 11 Ivy League titles, recorded her 400th career victory with a 68-47 win over Brown on March 7, 2008. She sports a 428-305 record 15 games into her 28th season.

Assistant Coach Bri Fecteau is back for her seventh season, while Kelly Finley returns for her second. She served as a volunteer assistant in 2008-09. Todd Earl, another Colorado State graduate, joins the staff as a volunteer coach this season.