Men's Basketball Closes Its Non-Conference Schedule at Home vs. UC Irvine

Action photo of Rio Haskett
Photo Courtesy: George Kubas.
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After playing nine of its last 10 games away from Lavietes Pavilion, Harvard will make its return to its on-campus home to play host to UC Irvine on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 2 p.m. ET. The Crimson's final non-conference tilt of the 2019-20 campaign will stream on ESPN+.

How to Follow
Broadcast: ESPN+ | International Stream
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Game Notes: vs. UC Irvine
Twitter: @HarvardMBB

What to Know

• Harvard comes into the UC Irvine game having won a season-best five consecutive games with an average margin of victory of 12.6 points during the 5-0 stretch. The Crimson's five victories have come in four different cities -- Cambridge, Mass. (Massachusetts), Washington, D.C. (George Washington, Howard), Berkeley, Calif. (California), and San Francisco, Calif. (San Francisco).

• The Crimson swept its trip to Northern California with victories over California and San Francisco, winning at places very few teams have this season. Going into its game vs. Harvard, the Golden Bears were 6-1 inside Haas Pavilion, while the Dons entered with an 8-1 home record.

• In the 71-63 win at California, Harvard received a flawless shooting effort from senior Chris Lewis, who made all seven of his field goal attempts and all five from the charity stripe en route to a game-high 19 points. Lewis also added four blocked shots, while classmate Christian Juzang added 14 points in a starting role. As a team, the Crimson shot 51.2 percent from the floor and held the Golden Bears to 35 percent accuracy.

• With Harvard's win at California, the Crimson pocketed its second victory of the season vs. a Power-5 Conference school, marking the first time it accomplished the feat since 2013-14 when it defeated TCU (Big 12) and Boston College (ACC). Earlier this season, Harvard beat Texas A&M (SEC) at the Orlando Invitational before taking down the Golden Bears of the Pac-12.

• Nearly 17 hours after the California game, Lewis and first-year Chris Ledlum were named the Ivy League Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively. The award was Lewis' first of his career and the third for Ledlum, who registered five points and two rebounds in 10 minutes, and jumpstarted a 7-0 run in the second half after the Golden Bears closed to within seven points with 11:22 left in the second half.

• Harvard put together another impressive performance at San Francisco as five players scored in double figures in what ended in an 84-81 overtime victory. The Crimson was paced by Juzang's season-high 17 points and game-high five assists, and Lewis' 14 points and game-high-tying nine rebounds. Ledlum (12), Rio Haskett (11) and Noah Kirkwood (10) were Harvard's other double-figure scorers. Harvard shot 56.7 percent from the field, enjoyed a plus-14 rebounding advantage and had its bench outscore USF's, 39-16. Additionally, the win was the Crimson's 10th straight OT victory and its 20th in its last 21 overtime outings.

• The Crimson has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in four of its last five outings (.516) and made 55 of its 101 field goal attempts (.545) in the Bay Area. During its five-game winning streak, Harvard's defense has also come up big, holding its foes to 39.3 percent shooting (30.6 percent from three), outrebounding them, 41.0-30.0, and blocking 17 more shots (30-13).

• Harvard's five-game non-conference winning streak is its first since the 2016-17 season. The Crimson has not won six straight non-league games since 2014-15.

• The Crimson's current five-game winning streak came at the end of a stretch where it played nine of 10 contests away from home. During the 10-game stretch, Harvard posted a 7-3 record and logged serious miles, playing in Toronto, Worcester, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Berkeley and San Francisco.

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 416-274 career record: 240-135 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall.