CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard returns to the friendly confines of Lavietes Pavilion for the first time since Nov. 14, to face in-state foe Massachusetts, on Saturday afternoon in game that will air on NESN and ESPN+. The Crimson enters the contest having played five consecutive games away from Cambridge, including the last three at the Orlando Invitational where Harvard finished in fourth place. The Minutemen, meanwhile, are 5-4 on the season after falling short at home to South Carolina, 84-80, on Wednesday night.
How to Follow
Broadcast: NESN/ESPN+ (Ben Altsher, Jim Cain); International Stream
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Game Notes: vs. Massachusetts
What to Know
• Harvard is 5-4 on the season, with wins over MIT, Maine, Siena, Holy Cross and Texas A&M. The Crimson has split its last four games, earning victories over the Crusaders and Aggies before falling to the nationally ranked Terrapins and Trojans. In the game vs. Maryland, which is now ranked No. 3/4 (AP/Coaches), Harvard was tied with 6:42 left in the second half before coming up on the short end of an 80-73 score.
• Bryce Aiken averaged 18.3 points and 2.0 assists in the three games at the Orlando Invitational, which included a 30-point outburst against Maryland. For the season, the senior is averaging a team-best 21.0 points despite missing the first four games, and has two 30-point outings this season (32 at Holy Cross, 30 vs. Maryland).
• Chris Lewis has two chances to etch his name in the Harvard record books against the Minutemen, as he sits just three blocks away from setting a new program record for blocks (150) and nine points shy of becoming the 36th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. He would join Aiken as the second Crimson player this season reach the 1,000-career-point plateau this season after doing so at Holy Cross.
• Harvard's 22-for-22 mark from the free-throw line against Texas A&M is tops the country for free-throw percentage in a single game (through Dec. 3), besting Campbell's 15-for-15 mark against Coastal Carolina (Illinois State later went 15-for-15 vs. Illinois-Springfield on Nov. 29). It also broke the Orlando Invitational record for most attempts without a miss (DePaul - 13-13 vs. Minnesota in 2008), and the Harvard school record of 19-for-19 (vs. Princeton, 1984). As a team, Harvard is shooting 72.7 percent from the charity stripe, which is the best mark in the Ivy League (through Dec. 4).
At The Helm
The all-time winningest head coach in Harvard men's basketball history, Tommy Amaker returns to the Harvard sidelines for his 13th season. The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball has directed the Crimson to a period of unprecedented prosperity in the form of four NCAA tournament appearances (2012-15), seven Ivy League championships (2011-15, 18-19) and six 20-win seasons (2010-15). Amaker owns a 411-274 career record: 235-135 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall.
Harvard returns to action on Dec. 21 at George Washington. Game time is set for noon ET.