Men's Basketball Hosts Princeton and Penn This Weekend

Men's Basketball Hosts Princeton and Penn This Weekend

Pictured: Andrew Van Nest and the Harvard Crimson are back in action this weekend with sold out games against Princeton and Penn.

The Particulars
Harvard returns to Lavietes Pavilion this weekend for the first time in nearly a month to take on Princeton and Penn. Each game was announced as a sellout well before the week began. Princeton enters the weekend as a big threat to Cornell and Harvard for jockeying position atop the league while Penn ended a long winless streak last weekend at Brown with a timely, albeit controversial last second tip-in.

Both games are sold out this weekend as is next the Feb. 19 game against Cornell. There are a select number of tickets available for home games on Feb. 20 (Columbia), Feb. 26 (Brown) and Feb. 27 (Yale).

Follow at Home
All Harvard home basketball games will feature live streaming audio and video. 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

Live Statistics
All Harvard home basketball games will feature live game statistics. Fans can visit the Live Stats page to follow along on their computer.

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 213-179 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.

The Princeton Series
Princeton holds a 123-38 advantage in the series but has had to settle for season splits against the Crimson in three of the last five seasons with Harvard winning three times at Lavietes Pavilion.

The Last Meeting With Princeton
Princeton's Dan Mavraides converted 6-of-8 free throw attempts in the last 32 seconds of the game to lock up a 58-55 win over Harvard in yet another close game between the two schools. The six free throws were Mavraides' only points of the game .  The final minute saw Harvard come away with a near-steal only to lose the ball out of bounds, granting Princeton a rest of the shot clock as well as a jump-ball with the Tigers regaining possession with another shot clock reset and forcing Harvard into a fouling situation. Harvard led in the second half but endured a 10-possession dry spell covering 6:59 during which time Princeton worked its way back to a lead.

The Penn Series
Penn holds a 126-29 advantage in the series but saw an 11-game winning streak come to a close in 2007-08 as Harvard completed its first weekend sweep of Penn and Princeton since the 1986-87 season. Last season, another long-standing stream came to a close for the Quakers as Harvard won at The Palestra for the first time since the 1990-91 season with a 66-60 victory.

The Last Meeting With Penn
Despite numerous injuries and significant foul trouble, Harvard won at Penn's Palestra for the first time the 1990-91. The score was identical to the first meeting between the teams last year, won by Penn.

Drew Housman '09 led Harvard through the first 37 minutes of play, scoring 22 points and handing out five assists while Jeremy Lin, despite a badly sprained ankle, scored seven points in the last 37 seconds including a huge 3-pointer to break a tie with 35 seconds left. 

Keith Wright had 13 points with 11 of them coming in the opening minutes of the game.

Penn trailed 42-33 with 12:50 left before Kevin Egee hit three 3-pointers during a 16-6 run, and the Quakers moved out to a 49-48 lead on a 3-pointer by Tyler Bernardini. Lin then hit a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left and, after Penn closed within 61-60, converted four free throws to seal the win.

Hot Shots
Harvard's win at Columbia win saw the Crimson shoot 50 percent for the game for the ninth time this season. The Crimson is 9-0 when reaching that lofty mark. Against Columbia, Harvard hit on 50 percent of all its shots in both halves, including 3-pointers.

First Half, Second Half
Jeremy Lin scored 13 first half points and Brandyn Curry 13 second half points in a win at Columbia on 1/29. The 13 points represent a career-high for Curry.

Fresh Faces
Four of Harvard's freshmen have scored in double figures this season: 

Christian Webster -7
Kyle Casey - 5
Dee Giger - 4
Brandyn Curry - 1

One For The Road
Prior to its 74-45 win at Columbia this season, Harvard's last Ivy road win on a Friday night during travel weekends was March 2, 2007 at Cornell (85-79).

Harvard's last 20-point road victory on an Ivy travel weekend came on Feb. 27, 1999 at Yale (81-58).

Harvard's last 20-point road victory on a Friday night of an Ivy travel weekend came on Feb. 16, 1996 at Columbia (71-44).

The Last Time
This season marks Harvard's first 3-0 league start since the 1990-91 campaign.

RPI Watch
Harvard's RPI ( has been rated as high as 21st (its highest ranking in school history coming on Jan. 1) and finished the nonconference schedule ranked 23rd.

William & Mary, which Harvard defeated, has been as high as second nationally. The win is the only Ivy League victory against a Top 25 RPI team this season.

Harvard has three of the Ivy's six wins against Top 100 teams (William & Mary, Rice, Boston College). Among Harvard's losses are at #6 UConn and at #14 Georgetown.

Playing The Best
Two of Harvard's losses have come against the top-ranked conference this season, the Big East.

Sports Illustrated
Last week, Sports Illustrated became the latest media outlet to feature the Harvard men's basketball team with an in-depth look at the program.

Complete Game Notes
For the complete game notes package, click at the link on the top of this page.