Harvard Opens Ivy League Play at Dartmouth

Harvard Opens Ivy League Play at Dartmouth

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.

Game Notes

New York Times:
The Fire and Focus of the Ivy League

Harvard travels to Hanover, N.H., Saturday night to face Dartmouth in the Ivy League opener for both teams.

Last Time Out
Brogan Berry led three Crimson players in double figures as Harvard beat NJIT, 69-53, Tuesday afternoon in Newark, N.J.

Berry had 15 points and eight assists, while Markley and Victoria Lippert added 13 points each. Emma  Markley and Miriam Rutzan pulled down six rebounds each while Lippert and Jackie Alemany had five boards of their own.

The Crimson opened up the game with a 7-0 run and never looked back as it shot 45.5 percent from the floor, including 50 percent from behind the arc.

After the Crimson went on a 17-0 run in the middle of the first stanza, the Highlanders tried to fight their way back into the game using a 10-4 run of their own.

The Harvard defense stayed strong throughout the second half and didn’t let NJIT get within 13 points. 

Way to Start
Harvard’s 9-4 record through 13 games is its best start since the 2002-03 season when the Crimson finished 22-5 overall and a perfect 14-0 in Ivy League play.

Scouting the Big Green
Dartmouth fell to Boston College, 84-46, Jan. 7 at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill. Brittany Smith led the Big Green with eight points, and Jalea Moses and Sasha Dosenko added seven points each.

BC opened the game with a 7-0 run before Dartmouth scored two quick baskets from Dosenko and Betsy Williams, but the Eagles responded with a 17-0 run. A free throw by Smith and a layup from Faziah Steen ended the eight minute scoring drought for Dartmouth.

BC continued its fast paced offense after the break, using a 7-0 and 20-9 run to increase its lead.

Despite the lopsided loss, the Big Green outrebounded BC 33-28.

The Series
Harvard and Dartmouth have met on the court 65 times over the past 34 years, with the Crimson leading the series, 35-30. The Big Green have won seven of the past 10 meetings, including the last three. 

Dartmouth, Harvard and the Ivy Title
Dartmouth or Harvard has won or earned a share of the Ivy League title in 14 of the last 16 years. The only two years neither team won the title came in 2000-01 and 2003-04 when Penn claimed the championship. During that 16 year stretch, Harvard won the title outright seven times and shared with Dartmouth in ’86, ’88, ’05 and Cornell and Dartmouth in 2008. The Big Green has 17 Ivy League titles, while Harvard owns 11.

Deans of the Ivy League
The two coaches for Saturday’s game, Dartmouth’s Chris Wielgus and Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith are the longest-tenured coaches in Ivy women’s basketball. Wielgus is in her 27th year as a head coach and 25th at Dartmouth while Delaney Smith has spent her entire 27-year career at Harvard. Wielgus began at Dartmouth in 1976 and coached through the 1983-84 season, overlapping just two years with Delaney-Smith, who began at Harvard in 1982. The rivalry was renewed in earnest when Wielgus returned to Hanover in 1993-94, winning her first four against the Crimson. The two 400-win coaches are facing each other for the 41st time, each with 20 wins in the series.

Standing on Common Ground
Harvard and Dartmouth have three common, non-conference opponents this season: Boston College, New Hampshire and Holy Cross. Harvard went 2-1 in those games, beating Boston College and Holy Cross. Dartmouth beat Holy Cross and fell to Boston College. The Big Green faces New Hampshire Jan. 19.

17 is Plenty for Now
Harvard allowed NJIT to score just 17 points in the first half of the game on Jan., 12, the lowest a Crimson opponent has scored in an opening stanza since March 7, 2009 when Yale was also held to 17 points.

Block That Shot
Junior Emma Markley has 30 blocks this season for an average of 2.3 per game (first in the Ivy League). She set a Colorado Tournament record for blocks in a game with six against New Orleans (Nov. 27), while Harvard’s 10 blocks against the Privateers was also a tournament record.

League Leaders (as of Jan. 12)
Brogan Berry leads the league in assist/turnover ratio (2.9) and assists (6.5).

The Offense
Harvard ranks first the Ivy League in scoring offense with 73.2 points per game. The Crimson also leads the Ancient Eight in free throw percentage (.768) and blocked shots (5.2 per game).

Scoring Threats
Harvard has three players who average 10.0 points per game or more. Emma Markley leads the team with 15.8 ppg, followed by Brogan Berry with 14.4 ppg and Victoria Lippert with 12.6 ppg.

On the Bench
Kathy Delaney-Smith, the winningest coach in program history, is in her 28th season on the bench for the Crimson. Delaney-Smith, who has led the Crimson to 11 Ivy League titles, recorded her 400th career victory with a 68-47 win over Brown on March 7, 2008. She sports a 428-303 record 13 games into her 28th season.

Assistant Coach Bri Fecteau is back for her seventh season, while Kelly Finley returns for her second. She served as a volunteer assistant in 2008-09. Todd Earl, another Colorado State graduate, joins the staff as a volunteer coach this season.