Men's Basketball to Clash with California, San Francisco in Bay Area

Noah Kirkwood action photo
Photo Courtesy: George Kubas II.
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The end of a challenging stretch comes to a close in Northern California this week when Harvard visits California and San Francisco. The games on Sunday and Monday represent the ninth and 10th outings during a span in which the Crimson was faced with playing nine of 10 away from campus. Through eight games of the 10-game gauntlet, which began vs. Buffalo in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Nov. 16, Harvard is 5-3.

How to Follow
Broadcast: at California (Pac-12 Network) | at San Francisco (WCC Network)
Live Stats: at California | at San Francisco
Game Notes: at California/at San Francisco
Twitter: @HarvardMBB

What to Know
• Harvard heads west playing its best basketball of the season, having won a season-high three straight games (17.3 average margin of victory). The Crimson is coming off a road sweep of George Washington and Howard, which followed a two-week break for final exams. Prior to its visit to the nation's capital, Harvard defeated in-state foe Massachusetts at home on Dec. 7.

• The Crimson opened its trip to Washington, D.C., with a well-balanced effort, helping it to an 88-75 victory over George Washington. Four Harvard players scored in double figures, led by Chris Lewis' season-high 22. Noah Kirkwood contributed 16 points, with Robert Baker and Rio Haskett adding 14 on a combined 11-for-14 shooting.

• As a team vs. the Colonials, Harvard shot 55.6 percent from the floor, with most of its attempts coming from the painted area. The Crimson finished with 62 points in the paint (70.5 percent of its scoring output), marking the most in the Tommy Amaker era. Harvard's previous best under Amaker was 58 points vs. Northwestern State on Nov. 11, 2007.

• In the win at Howard, the Crimson used its depth and size to grind out a 60-55 victory. Ten of 13 Harvard players scored (starter Justin Bassey finished with zero points, but had a game-high nine rebounds) and five had at least five rebounds, helping the Crimson outrebound the Bison, 54-33. Lewis led the visitors with 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, the last of which gave him the Harvard record for career rejections (150). Mason Forbes, meanwhile, enjoyed personal records of 13 points and four blocked shots.

• For the week, Lewis led Harvard with averages of 18.5 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 68 percent from the field (17-for-25), earning him a spot on the Ivy League Honor Roll. The senior led a quintet that averaged at least 8.0 points over the two road outings (Kirkwood - 12.0, Rio Haskett - 9.0, Forbes - 8.5, Baker - 8.0). Lewis, Kirkwood (6.5), Bassey (6.5) and Baker (6.0), meanwhile, all averaged at least 6.0 rebounds in Washington, D.C.

• More than half of Harvard's scoring in the two games last week came inside the paint. In addition to living in the key at George Washington, Harvard followed the formula at Howard, scoring 32 of its 60 points (53.3 percent) in the paint. All told, 63.5 percent of its points in D.C. came inside the painted area (94-of-148).

At The Helm
The all-time winningest head coach in Harvard men's basketball history, Tommy Amaker is on 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 414-274 career record: 238-135 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall.