Sophomore guard Nani Redford matched a career high with nine points in Harvard's win against NJIT on Sunday. (Courtesy of Minnesota Athletics)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard (7-1) looks to continue its winning ways as the Crimson hit the road for a midweek contest at Kansas (3-4). This will mark Harvard's first ever visit to Allen Fieldhouse, one of the most historic venues in college basketball. Harvard has met Kansas once before, on Jan. 4, 1987 as part of the Wahine Classic at the University of Hawaii, falling 70-50.
THE LAST TIME OUT
Sophomore Sydney Skinner notched 14 points and six rebounds, senior Destiny Nunley added a career high 15 rebounds to help the Harvard earn a 59-38 victory over NJIT at Lavietes Pavilion on Sunday afternoon. Harvard held a 61-22 edge on rebounds, a margin that included 25 offensive rebounds which led to 20 second chance points. The 61 rebounds for Harvard was the sixth most in a game in program history and the most for a Crimson team since recording 61 in a game against Columbia on Feb. 3, 1995.
ON A ROLL
The Crimson own a seven-game wining streak, the longest overall since an eight-game run during the 2012-13 season. Harvard's streak, all in non-conference play, is the longest non-conference winning streak in program history.
HARVARD VS. BIG 12
Harvard is in search of its first ever win against a Big 12 opponent as the Crimson is 0-6 all-time against Big 12 schools. Harvard last played a Big 12 opponent four years ago as the Crimson took on Oklahoma St. (L, 62-92) on Dec. 28, 2012.
• Second year head coach Brandon Schneider has Kansas off to a 3-4 start, with sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert (15.6 ppg) leading the way for the Jayhawks. Calvert has attemped 50 free throws on the season (36th, NCAA).Redshirt junior guard Jessica Washington (10.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg) also averages double-figures, while junior forward Chayla Cheadle (9.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 48.1% FG) is the Jayhawks' top threat inside. Kansas is tops among Big 12 teams, forcing 19.7 turnovers per game, with an average of 9.9 steals (77th, NCAA).
• The Jayhawks are coming off a 71-65 OT loss at Alabama on Sunday. In that contest, Calvert led the team with 15 points, while Cheadle added 12 points and 11 rebounds. Kansas held Alabama to 30.7% shooting for the game and outrebounded the Crimson Tide 59-54.
• In the lone meeting between the two teams on Jan. 4, 1987 as part of the Wahine Classic at the University of Hawaii, Harvard fell to Kansas, 70-50, with then co-captain Sharon Hayes leading the way for the Crimson with 14 points.
HOMECOMING FOR KEANE
Senior Grace Keane returns to her home state of Kansas this week. The Leawood, Kan. native starred at Notre Dame de Sion prep school in Kansas City, Mo., where she was valedictorian and led the team to to three consecutive district championships.
DELANEY-SMITH RECORDS WIN #550
Harvard head coach Kathleen Delaney-Smith recorded her 550th win against Fairfield on Nov. 26, becoming the 45th Division I women's head coach to reach that milestone.
Delaney-Smith owns a 553-376 (.595) all-time record.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN
Through seven games this season, Harvard has established itself as one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation. Harvard ranks among the top-40 in the nation in three-pointers made (67, 20th) and three-point field goals per game (8.4, 34th). Freshman Katie Benzan leads the team with 21 three-pointers (53rd, NCAA), and a .429 three-point field goal percentage (65th, NCAA).
CRIMSON HIT 16 THREES, TIE RECORD
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 218-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, with 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 STEP UP
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 eight games in 2016-17, the trio has combined for 23.1 points, 12.8 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.
MEET THE FRESHMEN
Harvard is set to welcome four student-athletes from 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 644-470 record, tops of all Ancient Eight schools. Harvard is the only Ivy League school with a winning record against all other Ivies.
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 49-5 when holding opponents to less than 60 points and 81-24 when allowing fewer than 70 points.
CLEANING THE GLASS
As a team, the Crimson outrebounded its opponent 15 times last year. Harvard owned a 12-3 mark when controlling the glass. Harvard has not yet been outrebounded in eight games this season and is 7-1.