Harvard vs. Boston University
Junior Kirby Porter notched a career high 11 rebounds in Harvard's win over Samford last Friday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard women's basketball prepares for its second road test of the season Tuesday night at Boston University. The Harvard-BU series dates back to 1976, with Harvard winning the first game in the series on Dec. 1, 1976, 48-42. The Crimson owns a 16-15 advantage in the all time series. Last season, Harvard matched its largest margin of victory in the series with a 73-55 win over the Terriers at Lavietes Pavilion on Nov. 24.
THE LAST TIME OUT
Last Friday, freshman Katie Benzan with a career high 16 points, hitting 4-of-5 three pointers, and junior Kirby Porter added seven points and a career high 11 rebounds to lead Harvard to a 57-52 win over Samford (1-2) at Lavietes Pavilion. Senior Destiny Nunley added 10 points, and freshman Jeannie Boehm recorded five points, eight rebounds and two blocks for the Crimson, which improved to 2-0 at home this season.
DELANEY-SMITH APPROACHING WIN #550
Harvard head coach Kathleen Delaney-Smith, who enters Tuesday night's contest with a 548-376 (.593) all-time record, is approaching win #550 behind the bench at Harvard. She would become the 45th Division I women's head coach to reach that milestone.
• BU enters its fourth season in the Patriot League and third under the command of head coach Katy Steding. The Terriers return 11 players from the 2015-16 season, including six players that started 10 or more games. BU's leading scorer and rebounder return for this season with Meghan Green (9.6 ppg) suiting up as a senior and Corrine Williams (4.9 rpg) returning for her junior season.
• Through three games this season, senior guard Sarah Hope leads the team in scoring (15.3 ppg, 2.67 rpg) and junior forward Kara Sheftic (9.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg) has also been an impact player. Junior 6-5 center Sophie Beaudry (6.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) is BU's top rebounder. On Saturday, BU took on Albany in the last of three straight road contests to open up the season, falling 69-54 to the Great Danes. Sarah Hope scored 20 points, and Meghan Green chipped in 11 off the bench, as the Terriers outscored Albany 37-24 in the second half, but could not make up a large halftime deficit.
• The two teams met last season on Nov. 24, 2015, with Harvard earning a 73-55 win at Lavietes Pavilion. Senior Shilpa Tummala paced all scorers with her first career double-double, posting 17 points, 14 rebounds, four assist and two steals. Kit Metoyer chipped in 15 points and senior captain AnnMarie Healy and Kirby Porter rounded out the double-figure scoring with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
CRIMSON TIE RECORD WITH 16 THREE-POINTERS
In a season-opening 103-87 loss at Minnesota, the Crimson matched a program record, hitting 16 three pointers (16-for-30, 53.3%) on the night. It was the fourth time in program history that Harvard has hit 16 threes, and the first time since Feb. 28, 1998 (vs. Brown). Sophomore Madeline Raster hit six three-pointers (6-for-12) and led Harvard with 18 points.
The Crimson went 14-14 overall last season, earning a selection to the WNIT Tournament. It was the sixth appearance over the last eight years in the WNIT for the Crimson and the program's 12th postseason appearance, most of any Ivy League team. Harvard returns two starters and nine letterwinners from a year ago, including senior co-captain Destiny Nunley, who averaged 6.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as the team's top reserve player.
Harvard was selected third in the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll. Harvard has finished in the top three of the Ivy League standings every year since 2006-07 (10 years). The Crimson earned 104 points in the poll, just behind Princeton, picked second with 110 points, and Penn, picked first with 136 points. Harvard finished 2015-16 in third place at 9-5 in the Ivy League, behind Princeton (12-2) and Ivy regular season champion Penn (13-1).
IT'S UP, AND IT'S GOOD
Harvard broke the record for consecutive games with at least one three-pointer against Dartmouth last year (1/24/15). The Crimson has made at least one three-point field goal in 214-consecutive games dating back to 2008-09. The previous streak (172) began during the 1989-90 season and concluded in 1996-97.
CAPTAINING THE SHIP
Seniors Taylor Finley and Destiny Nunley were named captains for 2016-17.
Finley, a native of Edina, Minn., recovered from offseason hip surgery to become a key reserve player for the Crimson in 2015-16. She appeared in 23 games and logged a season high 24 minutes against Rhode Island on Nov. 21, 2015.
Nunley, a Dallas-area Native, was Harvard's top reserve last season, posting 6.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. She recorded a season-high 15 points against Brown on Feb. 27 and had seven double-digit scoring efforts on the year.
SOPHOMORES LOOK TO TAKE STEP
Harvard's sophomore guards had an immediate impact on the program as freshmen, as Madeline Raster started 25 of 28 games, Nani Redford started in 16 games, and Sydney Skinner played a major role with 12 starts and 19.8 minutes per game. The trio combined for 15.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. Through three games in 2016-17, the trio has combined for 24.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game.
MEET THE FRESHMEN
Harvard is set to welcome four student-athletes Wfrom the Class of 2020 to the program this season. The class, which spans three states and includes one student-athlete from France, consists of a pair of guards and forwards:
Freshman Guard Mackenzie Barta
Maple Grove, Minn.
Four-time letterwinnner and three-year starter at Maple Grove Senior … Served as a captain as a junior and senior... Finished third all-time in Maple Grove history with 1,205 points, set the single-game record with 37 points as a senior... Minnesota Miss Basketball nominee.
Freshman Guard Katie Benzan
Five-year starter and two-year captain at Noble and Greenough School... Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year…McDonald's All-American nominee … 2,000-point scorer... Brother, Pat, plays basketball at Holy Cross.
Freshman Forward Jeannie Boehm
Four-year starter at New Trier and captained the team as a senior…Named a McDonald's All-American...Second McDonald's All-American in Harvard and Ivy League history…Naismith Trophy Mid-Season Team...Naismith All-American honorable mention... Ranked No. 22 nationally by Prospects Nation and No. 81 by ESPN...Finished career with 1,872 points, 1,169 rebounds, 375 blocks, 254 assists, 142 steals and shot 57.1 percent from the floor...Brother, Peter, lettered one year in basketball at Harvard.
Freshman Forward Maria Guramare
Three-year starter at Marcelin Berthelot …Played for three seasons for French National Institute of Sport…Selected to the South of France regional team… Competed on the French U15 and U16 national teams...Father, Marin, played rugby professionally for 25 years.
CRIMSON COLORED IVY
Since women's basketball joined the Ivy League in 1974-75, the Crimson owns a 639-470 record, tops of all Ancient Eight schools. Harvard is the only Ivy League school with a winning record against all other Ivies.
School Overall Wins Harvard vs.
Brown 512 48-34
Columbia 246 59-3
Cornell 403 64-11
Dartmouth 569 45-33
Penn 501 49-28
Princeton 635 40-38
Yale 491 50-30
*as of November 5, 2016
The Crimson owned a 1-1 record in overtime games last season. The Crimson is 14-7 in overtime under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, including a 65-56 OT win at Cornell on Jan. 29, 2016.
Dating back to the start of 2011-12, the Crimson is 46-5 when holding opponents to less than 60 points and 76-24 when allowing fewer than 70 points.