Looking to Win Fourth-Straight, Women’s Basketball Wraps Homestand vs. FIU

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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Game Info

Harvard vs. North Dakota State
Tuesday, Nov. 19
7:00 p.m.
Lavietes Pavilion
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Ivy League Digital Network
Bill Spaulding, Greg Kadetsky
Live Stats
Game Notes


The Storyline
Harvard wraps its three-game homestand this evening against Florida International University. After tonight's game, the Crimson will hit the road for five games over a span of a month.  

Last Time Out
Senior captain Christine Clark poured in 21 points, as Harvard women's basketball rolled to an 84-56 win over North Dakota State Saturday at Lavietes Pavilion. Ten Harvard players scored in the contest, led by Clark who hit 8-of-17 from the field. Senior Elise Gordon posted double-figures with 10 points, adding eight rebounds. Classmate Melissa Mullins also neared a double-double with nine points and a team-high 10 boards. 


Clark Rises
Christine Clark sits at No. 8 in program history with 1,338 points over her three-plus year career. She needs 120 points to tie Brogan Berry '12, who sits at seventh all-time with 1,458 points. Clark became the 18th member of Harvard's 1,000 point club 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. 

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.

Scouting Florida International

2013-14 Record: 0-2, 0-0 Conference USA
Streak: L, 2
Series History: Harvard trails, 0-2
Last Meeting: L, 58-85 (Dec. 18, 1998)
Last Win: N/A 

•    Florida International enters Tuesday's matchup at 0-2, heading outside the Sunshine State for the first time this season. The Panthers fell to Florida Gulf Coast University, 75-55, to open the season before dropping a 71-66 decision at UCF over the weekend.
•    Jerica Coley paces the Panthers, posting 21.0 points per game and adding 4.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Brianna Wright has been a force on the boards, pulling down 10.0 per game and chipping in 8.5 points. Taylor Shade ranks second on the squad with 13.5 points a game.
•    In her 34th year at the helm of FIU, head coach Cindy Russo has posted 18 seasons with 20-plus wins and stands as the ninth-winningest active coach in Division I. Russo has led her teams to six NCAA tournament berths, seven Women's National Invitation Tournaments (WNIT) and two NCAA Division II Tournaments.
•    Harvard and FIU last met on Dec. 18, 1998 – an 85-58 win for the Panthers. The only other time the two squads have met was on Dec. 20, 1991, when the Crimson dropped an 81-73 decision at FIU. 

Milestone Watch
Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 32nd season at the helm of the Crimson, is rapidly approaching her 500th win. The winningest coach in Ivy League women's basketball history with 498 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. Delaney-Smith is also closing in on 300 career wins in the conference with 295 victories against the Ivy League. 

Just Keep Winning
Saturday, the Crimson extended its home winning streak to 16 games, marking the longest run since 1996-98, when the Crimson ripped off 21-straight wins at Lavietes. Harvard posted a perfect 11-0 record at home in 2012-13 and has not lost in Cambridge since Feb. 11, 2012. Before 2012-13, the last time Harvard went unbeaten at home was in 1997-98 when the team went 13-0 en route to a 23-5 overall mark. 

Ancient Eight Accolades
Pacing the Crimson with 21.0 points per game this week, Christine Clark was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week Monday.

Clark now owns eight conference weekly honors for her career, which stands good for seventh in Ancient Eight history. The Tucson, Ariz., native earned four a season ago.

Clark posted 21 points in each of Harvard's two wins, shooting a combined 15-of-32 from the floor while hitting 9-of-10 free throws. The Crimson captain added 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists for the week.

What a Start
For the third time over the last four seasons, Harvard is off to a 3-1 record. 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. 

Better and Better
Through three games this season, Erin McDonnell (13 points), AnnMarie Healy (13 points), Melissa Mullins (12 rebounds), Shilpa Tummala (14 points) and Taylor Finley (six points) all bested their career highs. 

Christine Clark has started all 92 games for the Crimson over the last three-plus years and has scored in double-digits 76 times. This includes a streak of 21 consecutive 10-plus point performances (March 5, 2011-Feb. 4, 2012) and 16 games in which she has scored at least 20 (last vs. NDSU). Clark has posted 20-plus points in three-straight games.

Sturdy Sophomores
After averaging a combined 1.63 points per game in 4.6 minutes a game, the sophomore class seems to have found its stride in 2013-14. AnnMarie Healy (13), Kit Metoyer (3) and Shilpa Tummala (14) have all matched or bested their career highs in points and are contributing 15.3 points per game as a class. 

• Christine Clark has scored 20-plus points in each of the last three games, averaging 21.3 over that span.
• Heading into tonight's game, Harvard has won its last 16 contests at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson's last loss at home was to Princeton on Feb. 11, 2012.
• Kathy Delaney-Smith has used the same starters – Ali Curtis, Christine Clark, Temi Fagbenle, Melissa Mullins and Erin McDonnell – in all three games this season.
• 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.
• The Crimson sits at 1-0 when shooting 50 percent or better this season. 

Non-Conference Nonsense
The Crimson has won three of its four non-conference matches this season. Harvard closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 9-5 record a year ago, marking the program's third best non-conference record under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith and the fifth best non-conference record all-time. Harvard has earned 11 out-of-league victories twice under Delaney-Smith, turning in an 11-3 record in 1997-98 and going 11-4 in 1985-86. The 1976-77 squad owns the program record for non-conference wins at 13-4 while the 1978-79 Crimson went 12-9 away from the Ivy League.

Harvard has now posted at least eight non-conference wins in five-straight seasons.