Men's Basketball Heads North to Face Dartmouth

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot
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Harvard at Dartmouth
Jan. 20, 2018
          7 p.m.
Leede Arena
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Eleven Sports | Ivy League Network
Bob Lipman, Dave Faucher
Harvard trails, 89-96
W, 61-51 (Jan. 6, 2018)
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Harvard vs. Dartmouth (PDF)


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Returning to Ivy League action following its final non-conference match-up of the season, Harvard men's basketball kicks off a five-game Ancient Eight road trip at Dartmouth on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Leede Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Eleven Sports and the Ivy League Network.

The Opening Tip
• Harvard is off to a 6-10 start, including a victory over Dartmouth in its Ivy debut. The triumph was Harvard's 11th -straight in an Ivy League opener, with each result coming against the Big Green. Harvard is looking for its seventh sweep of Dartmouth in the last nine years. 

• Sophomore Bryce Aiken leads the Crimson with 16.0 points per game, including a career-best 30 in a victory over UMass, while classmate Chris Lewis has been strong inside, scoring 11.7 points per game on 58.9 percent shooting. A third sophomore, Seth Towns, has added 13.2 per game, including four games of at least 20 points. 

• 16 different Harvard players have started a game this season, which leads the nation. Deploying a balanced attack, Harvard has 10 players averaging at least 10 minutes per game this season.

Looking for 200
Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, is just one win away from becoming the fifth coach in Ivy League history to reach 200 wins with an Ivy League school. With a win over Dartmouth, Amaker would be the second-fastest to achieve the honor, doing it in 315 games. Princeton's Pete Carril did it the quickest, in 286 games, while Penn's Fran Dunphy (316 games) and Yale's Joe Vancisin (415) and James Jones (417) have also reached 200 wins.

Amaker has 375 total wins as a Division I head coach, which also spans time at Seton Hall and Michigan. He is already the all-time winningest head coach in Harvard basketball history, surpassing Frank Sullivan with a win over Boston College Dec. 7, 2016.

Defending the Goal
Midway through the season, Harvard boasts the top scoring defense in the conference. The Crimson has limited its foes to just 66.9 points per game, which is 1.9 points better than second-place Princeton (68.8). Harvard has also played the league's toughest non-conference schedule, according to KenPom rankings.

Last Time Out
Locked in a defensive battle in its final non-conference action of the season, Harvard men's basketball fell in the closing seconds to Wofford, 63-62, on Wednesday night at Richardson Indoor Arena. 

Sophomore Seth Towns led the Crimson with 20 points to go with four rebounds and four assists, while classmate Chris Lewis added 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Harvard won the battle on the glass, and finished the game with 11 offensive rebounds.

Home Court Advantage
Harvard is 4-1 at home this season, and holds a .796 winning percentage at home under head coach Tommy Amaker. The Crimson has won eight of its last nine games at home, and 14 of its last 16. Since the start of the 2013-14 season, Harvard holds a 22-7 home record against Ivy League opponents, including a 4-1 mark versus the Big Green.

Community Involvement
Harvard went 10-4 in Ivy play a year ago, en route to earning the second seed in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. Sophomore Bryce Aiken led the Crimson with 13.4 points per game as a freshman in Ivy action a year ago en route to earning Ancient Eight Rookie of the Year and all-conference first team honors. Harvard was a stellar 6-1 at home in Ivy play last season, and outscored its opponents over the 14-game stretch by nearly eight points per game.

The Crimson is 1-0 in 2017-18 after a 61-51 win over Dartmouth Jan. 6.

Ivy Madness
The Ivy League men's and women's basketball tournaments return to Philadelphia, where they will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, 2018. The top four teams will earn berths to the tournament, with the semifinals on Saturday and the championships on Sunday. All six games will be broadcast live on ESPN's networks. For tickets and more information please visit IvyMadness.com.

Scouting Dartmouth
The Big Green is led by David McLaughlin in his second season, and the squad is off to a 4-10 record in 2017-18 with wins over Emerson, Loyola (Md.), Maine and Bryant. The team is 0-1 in Ivy play after falling to Harvard Jan. 6.

Miles Wright leads Dartmouth with 12.5 points per game, while Brendan Barry has posted 11.8.  Barry holds the team lead in assists with 3.9 per game, while Wright paces the squad in rebounds with 4.9 per night. Barry leads the team in 3-point shooting, making 46.6 percent from downtown.

Picked at the Top
Harvard men's basketball was picked by the media to finish first in the preseason Ivy League poll, finishing above Yale, Princeton and Penn with 121 total votes. Additionally, Harvard received votes in both the Associated Press poll and USA Today coaches' poll. The full preseason predictions can be found below:

Team (1st place) – Total Votes

  1. Harvard (6) – 121
  2. Yale (8) - 118
  3. Princeton (3) - 114
  4. Penn - 86
  5. Columbia - 55
  6. Cornell -  48
  7. Dartmouth - 39
  8. Brown – 31

Tough on D
The Crimson defense has been intense over its past five games, holding all teams to some of their lowest offensive outputs of the season: Wofford (3rd-lowest, 63 pts), Dartmouth (lowest, 51 pts), Vermont (lowest, 62 pts), Minnesota (3rd-lowest, 65 pts) and George Washington (7th-lowest, 58 pts).

Just Lew It
Chris Lewis has been tough to handle on the glass and in the paint, as the sophomore leads  the Ivy League in blocks per game (1.8), and is among the leaders in double-doubles (2), field goal percentage (58.9) and offensive rebounds per game (2.1). He's also averaging a career-best 11.7 points per game, which ranks 14th in the league. 

Harvard also leads the league as a team in blocked shots, with 3.8 per game.

From Down-Towns
Sophomore Seth Towns has been one of the top shooters in the Ivy League this season, as he ranks in the top-10 in the league in 3-point percentage (.397) and in the top-15 for 3-pointers made (25). Towns also ranks 10th in the league in scoring (13.2 points) and ninth in rebounding (5.2 boards).

Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight. Full archives of every game on the Ivy League Network are also available.

Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app! The #ILN is also available on Apple TV and Roku.

What's Next?
Harvard returns to action at Yale and Brown Jan. 26-27 for 7 p.m. and 6 p.m. tip-offs, respectively. The Brown game will be shown on NESNplus, and both contests will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.