Harvard will try to make it 15-straight wins at home Wednesday when BU visits Lavietes Pavilion. Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.
Harvard vs. BU
|Date||Wednesday, Nov. 13|
|Stream||Ivy League Digital Network|
|Talent||Andy Towne, Bill Spaulding|
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard returns to the friendly confines of Lavietes Pavilion to open its home slate against Boston University Wednesday. The Crimson opened its 40th season of action at the DePaul Maggie Dixon Classic, falling to host DePaul, 99-75, before defeating Cal Poly, 83-76.
Last Time Out
Behind 22 points from senior captain Christine Clark and a double-double from junior Temi Fagbenle (16 points, 10 rebounds), Harvard used a late spurt to run past Cal Poly, 83-76, Saturday. Junior Erin McDonnell set a new personal best for the second-straight night with 13 points and senior Melissa Mullins grabbed a career high 12 boards to pace the Crimson on the glass.
Christine Clark became the 18th member of Harvard's 1,000 point club on Jan. 2, 2012, as she scored 19 points against UMass. Clark reached the milestone in just her 71st career game, making her the fastest Crimson to reach 1,000 points since Reka Cserny '05 did so in her 60th career appearance. She now ranks 10th in program history with 1,296 points. She needs seven points to pass Sharon Hayes '87 (1,302) for ninth all-time at Harvard.
Including this year, Harvard has had at least one 1,000 point scorer on the floor in five of the last six seasons. Additionally, each of Harvard's 18 1,000 point scorers has been coached by head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith.
Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 32nd season at the helm of the Crimson, is the winningest coach in Ivy League women's basketball history with 496 career victories. She ranks second only to Princeton's legendary coach Pete Carril (514) for wins by an Ancient Eight coach on either the men's or women's side and is closing in on 300 career wins in the conference with 295 victories against the Ivy League.
Home Court Advantage
The Crimson posted a perfect 11-0 record at home in 2012-13 and has won 14 straight at Lavietes Pavilion dating back to 2011-12. Before 2012-13, the last time Harvard went unbeaten at home was in 1997-98 when the team went 11-0 en route to a 23-5 overall mark.
Temi Fagbenle posted seven double-doubles in 2012-13 and has already recorded one double-double vs. Cal Poly this season. The seven a year ago signaled the most for the Crimson since Emma Markley '11 turned in seven as a junior in 2009-10. Fagbenle's first double-double came opening weekend at North Dakota, making her the first Crimson rookie to record a double-double in her first weekend of action since Hannah Peljto '04 went for 21 points and 10 rebounds in the season opener against Saint Peter's on Nov. 17, 2000.
What a Start
Harvard's 7-3 record to start the season last year ranked as the second-best record through 10 games in program history. The Crimson has gone 8-2 three times, most recently in 1997-98 en route to a 23-5 overall record and an Ivy League title. Harvard is off to a 1-1 record this season.
Better and Better
Over the weekend, Erin McDonnell (13 points), AnnMarie Healy (13 points), Melissa Mullins (12 rebounds) and Taylor Finley (six points) all bested their career highs. McDonnell also earned her first career start.
You Can Count on Clark
Christine Clark has started all 90 games for the Crimson over the last three-plus years and has scored in double-digits 74 times. This includes a streak of 21 consecutive 10-plus point performances (3/5/11-2/4/12) and 14 games in which she has scored at least 20 (last vs. Cal Poly).
• Harvard's 21 wins last season were the most since winning 22 in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
• Harvard won 10 games on the road last season, its most since winning 10 in 2008-09.
• Heading into tonight's game, Harvard has won its last 14 contests at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson's last loss at home was to Princeton on Feb. 11, 2012.
• Erin McDonnell bested her career high with 13 points in the season opener and matched that total in the win over Cal Poly.
• Kathy Delaney-Smith has used the same starters –Ali Curtis, Christine Clark, Temi Fagbenle, Melissa Mullins and Erin McDonnell – in both games this season.
• The Crimson sits at 1-0 when shooting 50 percent or better this season.
Captaining the Ship
Clark and junior Kaitlyn Dinkins are the Crimson's captains for the 2013-14 season. Clark finished second in the Ivy League in scoring (15.6) last year. Dinkins was the recipient of The Robin L. Mitchell Harvard Pride Award in 2013, given annually to the player who displays exceptional sportsmanship, enthusiasm, and dedication to the team. Dinkins is the first junior to be elected team captain since Christine Matera '11 and Claire Wheeler '11 in 2009-10 and is the 15th junior in program history to have the honor bestowed upon her.
Harvard is 19-21 all-time in season openers and 16-16 under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. The Crimson has lost three straight season openers, including a 99-75 defeat at DePaul this year.
In 39 seasons of Ivy League play, Harvard is 22-17 in conference openers and 19-12 under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith.
20 Times 10
At 21-9, the Crimson recorded the 10th 20-win season in program history a year ago. All 10 of the 20-win seasons have come under the guidance of Kathy Delaney-Smith with the last occurring in 2009-10.
Home Court Advantage
The Harvard men's and women's basketball teams have combined for a 90-11 record (as of Nov. 11) at home in Lavietes Pavilion since 2009-10 while going 49-7 against the Ivy League. The women boast a 41-7 (.854) overall record, including 24-4 (.857) in conference play, while the men are 49-4 (.924) in this time with a 25-3 (.892) record against the Ancient Eight.
Harvard's game against Hofstra on Dec. 21 will be part of a doubleheader, as the Crimson men's team will face Vermont at 4 p.m. This will mark the third-straight year Harvard has played a men's and women's doubleheader. Last year, the women defeated BYU (71-65) and the men downed Manhattan (79-45). Prior to 2011-12 the last time Harvard played a men's and women's doubleheader was January 5, 2008 when the women lost to Dartmouth, 52-47, before the men took down the Big Green, 82-56.