Women’s Basketball Heads to the Grand Canyon State for ASU Classic

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


Harvard vs. Long Beach State
Saturday, Dec. 7
11:00 a.m. ET
Wells Fargo Arena
Game Notes

Harvard vs. ASU/Sacred Heart
Sunday, Dec. 8
2 p.m./4:30 p.m.
Wells Fargo Arena
Game Notes 

The Storyline
Harvard heads to the state of Arizona for the first time since 1996 to participate in the ASU Classic this weekend. The Crimson (6-2) will face Long Beach State Saturday, Dec. 7 and either Arizona State or Sacred Heart Sunday, Dec. 8.

Last Time Out
Despite a season-high 20 points from junior forward Temi Fagbenle, Harvard women's basketball saw its six-game win streak halted at St. John's, 81-76, Sunday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena. The Crimson (6-2) had four players register double-figures, led by Fagbenle who added eight rebounds and two assists. Senior captain Christine Clark posted 12 points and seven rebounds, while Elise Gordon (11 points, eight rebounds) and Erin McDonnell (10 points) rounded out the quartet. 

Scouting Long Beach State
2013-14 RECORD: 4-2, 0-0 Big West

•    After dropping the first two games of the season, Long Beach State has ripped off four-straight wins, including a 77-61 win over Omaha Sunday afternoon. The 49ers are off to their best six-game start since 2005-06.
•    Junior Lauren Spargo leads a triplet of LBSU players averaging double-figures, posting 12.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Freshman Raven Benton adds 11.2 points and a team-high 6.3 boards for the 49ers.
•    In her fifth year at Long Beach State, head coach Jody Wynn led the 49ers to their first postseason bid in 13 years a season ago (WNIT) and has earned four-straight berths to the Big West Tournament.
•    This will be the first-ever meeting between Harvard and Long Beach State. 

Scouting Arizona State
2013-14 RECORD: 6-1, 0-0 Pac 12

• The Sun Devils spent their Thanksgiving holiday in Mexico at the Cancun Challenge, winning all three games (Illinois, North Carolina and Arkansas State). The squad's lone loss on the season came at San Diego.  
•    Deja Mann paces ASU with 13.9 points per game, as Adrianne Thomas adds 11.7 points. Joy Burke leads the Sun Devils on the glass, pulling down 6.1 boards per game.  
•    The winningest coach in Arizona State women's basketball history, head coach Charli Turner Thorne began her 17th season in 2013-14. The Sun Devils have made the postseason in 13 of the last 14 years, including a school record five-straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2005-09.  
•    This will be the first-ever meeting between Harvard and Arizona State. 

Scouting Sacred Heart
2013-14 RECORD: 2-4, 0-0 NEC
SERIES HISTORY: Series tied, 2-2
LAST MEETING: Dec. 22, 2010 (L, 69-60)
LAST WIN: Nov. 2, 1999 (W, 83-50) 

•    Sacred Heart has dropped two-straight after Tuesday night's 86-62 loss to Iona. Four Pioneers reached double-digits, but SHU fell behind early and could not recover.
•    Gabriell Washington paces Sacred Heart with 18.2 points and 6.2 rebounds a game. After Washington, four Pioneers average between 8.7 and 6.0 points, including Ericka Norman with 8.7 points and 4.3 assists. SHU utilizes its bench, as nine players have seen action in five-plus games.
•    First year head coach Jessica Mannetti became the eighth coach of the Pioneers after spending the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Hofstra University. Mannetti helped guide the Pride to a 72-55 record and two appearances in the WNIT.  
•    The all-time series with Sacred Heart stands tied at 2-2, after Harvard dropped the last two contests. The Crimson fell 69-60 on Dec. 22, 2010 despite a then-career night by Christine Clark (18 points). 

Milestone Watch
Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 32nd season at the helm of the Crimson, earned her 500th win at Colgate Nov. 23, joining a group of 28 active coaches in Division I with at least 500 wins. She is also one of six active Division I head coaches to spend 31-plus years at one institution. 

The winningest coach in Ivy League women's basketball history with 501 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.

What a Start
Harvard sits at 6-2 for the second-straight year. The 6-1 start signaled the best for the Crimson since 1997-98. Harvard went 7-3 through 10 games a season ago, a mark that 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. 

Clark Rises
Shooting up the scoring list, Christine Clark sits at No. 8 in program history with 1,420 points over her three-plus year career. She needs 38 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.

Ancient Eight Accolades
Two Crimson student-athletes have earned three Ivy League Player of the Week accolades thus far this season. 

Christine Clark earned the honor after pacing the Crimson with 21.0 points per game for the week ending Nov. 18. Temi Fagbenle was tabbed player of the week for Nov. 25 and Dec. 8 after averaging a double-double in both weeks.

Clark now owns eight conference weekly honors for her career, which stands good for seventh in Ancient Eight history. After tying for the most Ivy Rookie of the Week honors a season ago, Fagbenle has been selected for best player over a seven-day stretch four times.

Just Keep Winning
The Crimson owns a home-win streak of 17 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.

Better and Better
Through eight games this season, Christine Clark (28 points), Erin McDonnell (19 points), Ali Curtis (16 points), AnnMarie Healy (13 points), Melissa Mullins (12 rebounds), Shilpa Tummala(14 points) and Taylor Finley (six points) have all matched or bested their career highs. 

Double Trouble
Temi Fagbenle posted seven double-doubles in 2012-13 and has already recorded two double-doubles this season (Cal Poly, Northeastern). 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. 

November Numbers
The Crimson is 6-1 in the month of November, setting a new program record for wins before December. Last season, Harvard won five of seven games, which had been a program best. 

You Can Count on Clark
Christine Clark has started all 96 games for the Crimson over the last three-plus years and has scored in double-digits 80 times. This includes a streak of 21 consecutive 10-plus point performances (March 5, 2011-Feb. 4, 2012) and 18 games in which she has scored at least 20 (last at Northeastern). Clark has posted 20-plus points in six games in 2013-14. 

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 points), Kit Metoyer (3) and Shilpa Tummala (14) have all matched or bested their career highs in points and are contributing 13.4 points per game as a class. 

Non-Conference Nonsense
The Crimson has won six of its eight 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 posted at least eight non-conference wins in five-straight seasons.  

Road Tripping
Harvard sits at 2-2 in true road games and 3-2 overall when playing outside Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson will play 17 games away from Cambridge in 2013-14. Last year, Harvard was 10-7 in true road games. It marked the most road victories for the Crimson since 2008-09 and was the second-straight year the team posted a winning record away from home. 

• Christine Clark has scored 20-plus points in six of the last seven games.
• Harvard has won its last 17 contests at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson's last loss at home was to Princeton on Feb. 11, 2012.
• The Crimson is off to a 6-2 start for the second-straight season.
• Kathy Delaney-Smith has used the same starters – Ali Curtis, Christine Clark, Temi Fagbenle, Melissa Mullins and Erin McDonnell – in all eight 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 5-1 when leading at the half.
• Harvard has not lost (3-0) when allowing 69 points or fewer.
• When scoring 80-plus points, the Crimson is 4-0 this season. 

Owning the Boards
Senior Melissa Mullins has paced the Crimson in rebounding in six of eight games this season, averaging an Ivy League-best 9.1 boards per game. The swing player has grabbed 10-plus boards three times. Harvard has had a player pull down 10-plus boards in four games and two players tally double-digit rebounds in two contests.  

Cleaning the Glass
As a team, the Crimson has outrebounded its opponent five times this year and in 23 of 30 games last season. Harvard owned a 19-4 record when doing so in 2012-13 and posts a 4-1 mark this year when controlling the glass.

Boards on Boards
Temi Fagbenle has pulled down 10-plus rebounds in three games and paced the Crimson in boards in three of the last four games. Since Nov. 19, the junior is pulling down 10.3 rebounds per game. 

Dating back to the start of 2011-12, the Crimson is 28-2 when holding opponents to less than 60 points and 40-8 when allowing fewer than 70 points.

It's Up, and It's Good
Harvard has made at least one three-point field goal in 136 consecutive games dating back to 2008-09, the second-longest streak in program history. The record for consecutive games with at least one three-pointer stands at 172, a streak which began during the 1989-90 season and concluded in 1996-97.