Harvard vs. Siena
Freshman forward Jeannie Boehm ranks 11th in the nation with an average of 3.0 blocks per game. (Courtesy of Kansas Athletics)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard (8-1) continues its record run in non-conference play with a road test at Siena (2-7) on Wednesday at noon, as the Crimson will make its first ever trip to Alumni Recreation Center. Harvard has won eight games in a row, all in non-league play, and is off to its best start since the 1997-98 season, when it also started 8-1. With a win at Siena, Harvard would have its best 10-game start in school history, and its longest winning streak since a 12-game run during the 2006-07 season.
THE LAST TIME OUT
On Dec. 7, freshman forward Jeannie Boehm recorded her second career double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks, senior forward Destiny Nunley added 12 points and four blocks, and sophomore guard Madeline Raster added 11 points, six rebounds, and six steals to lead Harvard to a 69-59 win at Kansas. The win was Harvard's first ever victory against a Big 12 opponent.
ON A ROLL
The Crimson own an eight-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.
CLEANING THE GLASS
Harvard has held the rebounding edge in seven of its first nine games, and has only been outrebounded once this season. Harvard ranks 25th in the nation with an average of 44.7 rebounds per game, and has an average rebounding margin of +9.6 (34th, NCAA).
Harvard is one of the top shot-blocking teams in the nation, with 56 blocks (24th, NCAA) for an average of 6.2 blocks per game (16th, NCAA). Freshman forward Jeannie Boehm (3.0 blocks per game, 11th NCAA) is the team's top shot-blocker.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN
Through nine games this season, Harvard has established itself as one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation. Harvard ranks among the top teams in the nation in three-pointers made (74, 56th NCAA) and three-point field goals per game (8.2, 32nd). Freshman Katie Benzan leads the team with 33 three-pointers on the year and a .462 three-point field goal percentage (33rd, NCAA).
• Fifth year head coach Ali Jaques and the Siena Saints are off to a 2-7 start, with Siena falling to Sacred Heart, 62-58, on Dec. 12 in its most recent game. The Saints were picked to finish third in the MAAC Preseason Poll with junior guard Kollyns Scarbrough (1st Team) and sophomore guard Jackie Benitez (3rd Team) earning MAAC Preseason All-Conference honors.
• As a team, Siena is one of the top teams in the MAAC in blocked shots (4.1 bpg), free throw shooting (71.5%) and scoring (64.3 ppg). Individually, Jackie Benitez leads the team in scoring (16.8 ppg) and is one of the nation's best from beyond the three point arc (3.0 per game, 28th NCAA). Meghan Donohue (14.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Kollyns Scarbrough (9.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg) are also scoring threats.
• In the last meeting between the two teams, on Dec. 19, 2008 in the Women of Troy Basketball Classic hosted by USC, Emily Tay led Harvard with 12 points, but the Crimson fell to Siena, 54-49. The Saints used a 9-0 run in the final minutes of the game to pull ahead of Harvard, which lost despite shooting 47.6% from the field.
DELANEY-SMITH RECORDS 550TH WIN
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 554-376 (.596) all-time record.
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.
IT'S UP, AND IT'S GOOD
Harvard broke the record for consecutive games with at least one three-pointer against Dartmouth two years ago (1/24/15). The Crimson has made at least one three-point field goal in 219-consecutive games dating back to 2008-09. The previous streak (172) began during the 1989-90 season and concluded in 1996-97.
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 nine games in 2016-17, the trio has combined for 23.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.
Dating back to the start of 2011-12, the Crimson is 50-5 when holding opponents to less than 60 points and 82-24 when allowing fewer than 70 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).
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.
The winningest coach in Ivy League basketball history with 554 career victories, head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith passed former Princeton head coach Pete Carril (514) for most wins by an Ancient Eight coach on either the men's or women's side during the 2013-14 season. Delaney-Smith also owns 322 career wins in the conference – the most of any men's or women's coach – with her 300th coming against Yale Feb. 8, 2014.
Delaney-Smith, in her 35th season at the helm of the Crimson, earned her 500th win in 2013-14, joining a group of 28 active coaches in Division I with at least 500 wins. She is also one of four active Division I head coaches to spend 35-plus years at one institution.