Women's Basketball Travels to Syracuse for First-Round WNIT Action

Women's Basketball Travels to Syracuse for First-Round WNIT Action

The Harvard women's basketball team will play in the WNIT for the second consecutive year (photo courtesy of Gil Talbot).

Game Notes

The Particulars
Harvard opens up postseason play against Syracuse in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). This is the second consecutive year that the Crimson has played in the WNIT, and the eighth time Harvard has played in the postseason.

Scouting the Crimson
The Crimson sports a 20-8 overall mark and a 11-3 Ivy League record and has won nine of its last 10 games. Emma Markley continues to lead the team with 14.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.75 blocks per game. Victoria Lippert is second in scoring with 13.1 points per game. Brogan Berry paces the team in assists with 5.9 per game and is third in scoring with 11.8 ppg.

The Crimson is shooting 42.9 percent from the field, which is second in the league. Harvard shoots a league-best 38.3 percent from beyond the three-point line and leads the league with 73.8 percent shooting from the charity stripe. The Crimson’s 68.8 points per game is second best in the league.

Last Time Out
Christine Matera led five Crimson players in double figures as Harvard posted a 64-59 win over Dartmouth in the final regular season game for both teams March 9. Matera was 6-of-12 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc as the Crimson picked up its 20th win of the season.

Miriam Rutzen scored a career-high 11 points, while Emma Markley and Jackie Alemany had 10 each. Alemany led the team with six rebounds and also recorded two steals. Brogan Berry moved up in the single season and career assists lists as she posted a career-high 10 helpers in the win. Harvard led from start to finish and held a 35-25 lead at the break. The Big Green closed the gap to six midway through the second half before a 9-3 Harvard run made it 53-44.

Ivy League Honors
Three players were named to the 2009-10 All-Ivy League teams: Emma Markley was named to the All-Ivy League first team and Brogan Berry and Victoria Lippert were named to the second team. Markley is the 14th Harvard player to earn a spot on the first team.

In addition to the second team, Lippert was also named to the All-Rookie team, a unanimous decision by league coaches.

A Winning Season
Harvard has already secured its 24th winning season in program history and 20th under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. This is the fourth season in a row with a record of .500 or better and eighth since 2000.

20 Win Plateau
With the win over Dartmouth March 9, Harvard secured its ninth 20-win season in program history Prior to this year, Harvard last accomplished that feat in the 2004-05 season. All of the 20-win seasons have come under the direction of current head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith.

Moving On Up
Brogan Berry has 166 assists entering postseason play, which is second on the Harvard single season assists list. She is also ninth on the all-time career assists list with 266 handouts, and she is eight assists away from moving into eighth.

Harvard Single Season Assists List
1.    Jennifer Monti  178
2.    Brogan Berry   166
3.    Heidi Kosh       152
4.    Jess Gelman    152
5.    Jennifer Monti  152
6.    Emily Tay         151
7.    Maura Jealy     150
8.    Emily Tay        147
9.    Jess Gelman    144
10.  Emily Tay         143
Postseason Action
The Crimson is headed to the postseason for the eighth time in program history and to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) for the second time in as many years. Harvard has made it to postseason play seven times including six trips to the NCAA tournament. The Crimson has played in the postseason four of the last five years, including a trip to the WNIT last year.

Double-Digits for the Crimson
In the win over Dartmouth, five Crimson players scored in double figures. The last time this feat was accomplished was in 2007 when five players each scored in double figures in an 83-62 win over San Jose State (Dec. 12, 2006).

Harvard has had four players score double figures four times this season (Maine, Sacred Heart, Holy Cross and Cornell).  The Crimson is 3-1 when four players score 10 or more points.

Scouting the Orange
Syracuse enters the postseason with a 22-10 overall record. The Orange fell in the Big East tournament to Connecticut, 77-41, but had won three in a row prior to the loss.

Nicole Michael paces the team with 14.6 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. The Orange holds opponents to 59.6 points per game while their offense scores 71.6 points per game.

The Syracuse Series
Harvard and Syracuse have met on the court three times, with the first matchup occuring in 1981. The Orange holds a 2-1 lead in the series, with both wins coming in New York.

Last Meeting
Harvard defeated Syracuse, 79-76, in the first game of the 2002-03 season. Harvard trailed 34-37 going into the halftime break, but responded in the second half and outscored the Orange by six.

Hana Peljto ’04 led four Crimson players in double figures with 20 points and she pulled down 15 rebounds.

League Leaders (as of March 12)
Brogan Berry leads the league in free throw shooting (.838) and assists (5.9). Emma Markley paces the conference in blocks per game (2.8) and Christine Matera leads the Ivies in three-point field goals made (2.5).

Nationally Speaking
Harvard has four players ranked among the top 250 in nine categories. The team is ranked among the top 45 in six categories.

Brogan Berry ranks ninth in assist/turnover ratio (2.37), 11th in assists (5.9) and 40th in free throw percentage (83.8).

Emma Markley ranks 15th in blocked shots per game (2.8), 121st in field goal percentage (43.8), 199th in points per game (14.1) and 208th in rebounds per game (7.1).

Christine Matera ranks 28th in three-point field goal percentage (41.5) and 43rd in three-point field goals per game (2.5).

Victoria Lippert stands 84th in field goal percentage (46.8).

Harvard ranks 10th in three-point field goal percentage (38.3), 16th in blocked shots per game (5.4), 32nd in three-point field goals made (7.0), 40th in free throw percentage (73.8) and 45th In field goal percentage (42.9).

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 439-307 record 28 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.