No. 23 Harvard Men's Basketball Set to Host Cornell, Columbia

Brandyn Curry and the Crimson are 6-0 at home and 4-0 in the Ivy League this season (Gil Talbot).

The Particulars
No. 23 Harvard (18-2, 4-0 Ivy) sits in a first-place tie in the Ivy League (Penn, 3-0) and will host Cornell (7-11, 2-2) Friday evening at Lavietes Pavilion.

The Crimson is off to the best start of an Ivy League school since Princeton in 1997-98 (19-1). Harvard's 18-2 start is also the best for the program since going 19-1 to begin the 1945-46 campaign. With a win tonight, Harvard would tie the 1980-81 Crimson team with the best conference start in program history (5-0).
Game Coverage
Live video
will be available both both games this weekend for a subscription at WHRB's James Yoon and Scott Reed will have the audio call on Live statistics will also be available for the game at
Series History (Cornell)
The Crimson holds a 90-70 advantage in the all-time series against the Big Red since the teams first met in 1901-02. Harvard has taken the last two meetings between the schools after Cornell won five of the previous six encounters. Last year, the Crimson picked up a 78-57 win at Lavietes Pavilion on Jan. 29, 2011. In that victory, Keith Wright recorded a double-double, scoring 21 points and coming down with 11 rebounds, while Brandyn Curry and Laurent Rivard each drained three 3-pointers.
Series History (Columbia)
Saturday's game marks the 167th meeting between Harvard and Columbia, with the Lions owning a 93-73 advantage in the series that started back in 1900-01. The Crimson has taken the last five games against the Lions, including a season sweep in each of the last two years.
Harvard's Last Time Out
After defeating Yale, 65-35, for the widest margin of victory in the all-time series against the Bulldogs Jan. 27, Harvard earned a 68-59 win at Brown Jan. 28. Kyle Casey tallied 20 points, making nine field goals, while Brandyn Curry added 15 points in a winning effort. Keith Wright (nine points) grabbed 11 rebounds, while Steve Moundou-Missi collected a career-high 10 boards.
Cornell's Last Time Out
The Big Red improved to 2-2 in the Ancient Eight by topping Columbia by a score of 65-60 Jan. 28. Chris Wroblewski paced Cornell with 19 points, draining four treys, while Jonathan Gray (14 points) and Shonn Miller (10 points) also reached double figures in scoring. Cornell held Columbia to 18.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc (4-of-22), while making nine triples of its own (9-of-26, .346).
Harvard Against The Ivy League
Over the last two seasons, the Crimson boasts a 16-3 (.842) against Ivy League opponents. During that stretch, the Crimson is 8-2 (.800) against Ancient Eight opponents on the road and 8-0 at home (1.000). This season, Harvard is 4-0 in conference games, having swept Dartmouth and defeated Yale and Brown in road contests.
Stepping Up On D
The Crimson is allowing only 53.4 points per game this season, good for third in the nation in scoring defense. Wisconsin paces the nation, surrendering only 49.6 points per contest, while Virginia sits second (50.6 points allowed per game). Harvard has only allowed 70 points once and surrendered 50 or less points in 10 games and less than 40 points twice.
Free-Throw Defense
Entering the weekend, Harvard was fifth in the nation in free throw shooting defense, as opponents are only making 60.9 percent of attempts (185-of-304). South Carolina State (.602) sits in first in the county, followed by Coppin State (.606) and Northern Arizona (.608).
Rejection List
With 33 blocks this season, Keith Wright now ranks second in program history with 139 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 78 blocks in his career, including 23 this season, ranking him seventh in program history in rejections.
Handing Out Dishes 
Brandyn Curry has handed out 372 assists in his career, ranking the junior seventh in program history. Curry needs 19 more helpers to tie Mike Gielen '89 (391) for sixth in the Harvard record books.
Coming Down With It
With his 11-rebound performance at Brown Jan. 28, Keith Wright now has 21 double digit rebound games in his career. Wright also has three double-doubles this season and has led Harvard in rebounding in 15 of 20 contests. Wright stands ninth in program history with 648 career rebounds. Harvard has outrebounded 10 of its last 11 opponents.
Casting Ballots
The Crimson is ranked No. 23 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 six weeks.

Harvard As a Ranked Team
The Crimson is 10-2 as a ranked team in program history with wins this season over Boston University, Florida Atlantic, Boston College, Saint Joseph's, Dartmouth (twice), Monmouth, George Washington, Yale and Brown. Harvard is 4-0 at home as a ranked squad, while boasting a 6-2 record on the road when ranked nationally.

Double-Double Show
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.

Lavietes Is The Place To Be
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 fourth longest current streak in the NCAA. Kentucky is enjoying the longest current streak with 47 straight home wins.
Nation's Current Longest Home Win Streaks
Through (Jan. 30)
Kentucky      47
Ohio State    37
North Carolina  29
Harvard      23
Oral Roberts 20
Long Island 19
Florida          18
Syracuse       18
RPI Watch
Harvard currently sits at No. 40 in the RPI, according to The Crimson earned the highest ranking in program history, No. 14, Dec. 2, 2011.

Harvard/Amaker Against Cornell and Columbia
The Crimson is 3-5 against Cornell under head coach Tommy Amaker. Harvard swept the Big Red last year and has won the last two games in the series.

The Crimson boasts a 5-3 mark against Columbia under coach Amaker. After losing the first three games against the Lions under Amaker, Harvard has reeled off five consecutive victories since the 2008-09 season.

Entering the week, Brandyn Curry ranked 50th in the country and second in the Ivy League with 2.0 steals per game.

Hitting Baskets
Keith Wright stands second in the Ivy League in field-goal percentage, hitting 58.8 percent of his attempts this season (90-of-157).
Iron Horse
Oliver McNally has played in 107 games during his Harvard career, tying him for fourth most in program history. McNally is just eight games shy of tying Jeremy Lin '10 for the most games played in Harvard history (115). Keith Wright has played in 98 games, placing him 15th in program history.
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, Brown, Yale, Princeton and Penn are all sold out. The Crimson is going to sell out 10 of its 12 home games this season, a program record.
Defense Wins Games
The Crimson enters the week fourth in the country in scoring defense (53.4 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 also surrendered 38 or less points in two straight games (Jan. 21-27) for the first time since 1946-47. Harvard has only allowed more than 60 points in six of 20 games this year and has held opponents to less than 60 points in four straight contests.
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).
Road Warriors
The Crimson, which currently owns a 12-2 record in road/neutral sites, will play a total of 18 road/neutral games this winter. Harvard's 12 road/neutral sites wins this year is a new program record, surpassing 10 victories during the 2009-10 campaign. The Crimson is 9-2 on the road and 3-0 in neutral sites in 2011-12.
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 260-192 (.575) career head coaching record into today's game, including a 84-53 (.613) mark at Harvard, a 108-84 (.563) record at Michigan and a 68-55 (.553) record at Seton Hall.
Monthly Consistency
In the months of November, December and January, Harvard won six games. The Crimson went 6-0 in November, 6-1 in December and 6-1 in January.
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 Nov. 15 and shot 6-of-6 at Loyola Marymount Nov. 19 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 88.6 percent of his attempts (178-of-201) 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 74.6 percent from the line this season, ranking 25th in the country.
Non-Conference Victories
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.
Historic Defensive Display
Harvard surrendered only 38 points in a win at Dartmouth Jan. 21, and followed by allowing only 35 points in a victory at Yale Jan. 27. The 35 points was the least allowed by a Crimson team since a 41-35 win at Dartmouth Jan. 11, 1992.
Night and Day
Harvard owns a 11-2 record in night games and a 7-0 mark in day contests in 2011-12.
One-Sided Victory
Harvard defeated Yale, 65-35, in New Haven, Conn., Jan. 27. The 30-point win marked the widest margin of victory for the Crimson over the Bulldogs in the series history (183 meetings since 1900-01).
Deep Bench
Harvard has played at least 10 players in 19 of 20 games this season, including a season-high 17 players in the win over Utah Nov. 24. The Crimson also played 15 players in the victory at Yale Jan. 27, the most for Harvard in a conference game this season.
Defense, Offense
Entering the week, the Crimson ranked first in the Ivy League in defense (53.4 points allowed per game) and third in scoring offense (65.8 points per contest). Harvard was also first in scoring margin (+12.4). The Crimson paces the league in shooting percentage (.466), foul shooting (.746), 3-point shooting (.369), rebounding defense (28.6) and blocked shots per game (4.7).

Four-Point Play
Laurent Rivard earned two four-point plays in the Crimson's 69-48 win over George Washington Jan. 14. Rivard also was fouled a third time attempting a 3-pointer and hit all three ensuing foul shots.

Assists, No Turnovers
Harvard's starting backcourt duo of Oliver McNally and Brandyn Curry has combined to hand out 167 assists, while only committing 69 turnovers between them (2.4 assist/turnover ratio).Curry (2.5) and McNally (2.4) rank first and second in the Ivy League, respectively in assist/turnover ratio.
Up By 20
Harvard has won six games by 20 or more points this season, having downed MIT, Utah, Boston University, Boston College, George Washington and Yale. Under head coach Tommy Amaker, the Crimson has won 23 games by 20 or more points.
Comeback Kids
Harvard trailed by as much as 14 points in the first half and was in a 10-point hole at halftime against Saint Joseph's Dec. 31. The Crimson outscored the Hawks, 36-21, in the second half, holding Saint Joseph's to just 29.6 percent shooting to earn a 74-69 comeback victory. The Crimson also trailed by as much as seven in the second half before pulling out a win in the Ivy opener against Dartmouth Jan. 7
Staying On The Court
Oliver McNally paces the Crimson with 30.8 minutes played per game and is the only Harvard player to average more than 30 minutes per contest this season.
Ivy Openers
With the 63-47 win over Dartmouth Jan. 7, Harvard improved to 5-0 in Ivy League openers under head coach Tommy Amaker. The Crimson is also off to a 4-0 start in conference play for the second consecutive season under coach Amaker.

Harvard Down The Stretch
The Crimson is 79.1 percent (72-of-91) from the line in the final five minutes of games this season. Harvard is shooting 43.8 percent from long distance (14-of-32) during the last five minutes. Brandyn Curry has made all 13 of his foul shots in the final five minutes of games and is first  with 36 points during this time frame ahead of Oliver McNally (33 points). Kyle Casey also has six rejections and has grabbed 14 rebounds during the final five minutes of contests.

Crimson Runs Deep
With 19 players on its roster, Harvard is tied for the sixth largest team in the country entering the season, trailing only Air Force (22), Cornell (21), Army (20), Syracuse (20) and Navy (20). Columbia also has 19 players.
Dunk Tally - 2011-12
Kyle Casey                                                 17
Steve Moundou-Missi                               10
Keith Wright                                              9
Wesley Saunders                                         3
Dee Giger                                                   1
Jonah Travis                                               1
Harvard had a season-high five dunks at Holy Cross Nov. 15, and at Boston University Dec. 10.