Harvard vs. La Salle
Harvard will close out non-conference play with a road contest at La Salle tomorrow night. (Courtesy of Siena Athletics)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard (12-1) completes non-conference play with a road contest at La Salle (9-6) on Wednesday night. Harvard enters the mid-week test assured of its best single-season non-conference record in program history, including a program-record 11-game non-conference winning streak. The Crimson were ranked 6th in the latest ESPNW Mid-Major rankings, and 23rd in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.
THE LAST TIME OUT
On Saturday afternoon, sophomore guard Madeline Raster had 17 points and a career high nine rebounds, freshman guard Katie Benzan added 12 points, and junior guard Taylor Rooks notched a career high 12 points to lead Harvard to a 70-65 win over Dartmouth in its Ivy League opener at Lavietes Pavilion. With the win, Harvard improved to 6-0 at Lavietes Pavilion, and earned its 12th straight victory overall.
ON A ROLL
With 12 wins in a row, Harvard has the fifth longest winning streak in the nation. Harvard's streak is the longest since a 12 game run during the 2006-07 season. The team record for consecutive wins is 16 games, set during the 2002-03 season.
FROM WAY DOWNTOWN
Through 12 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-point field goals per game (7.8, 41st) and three-point field goal precentage (36.4%, 31st NCAA). Freshman Katie Benzan leads the team with 37 three-pointers on the year and a .487 three-point field goal percentage. (7th, NCAA) She is on pace to break the school record for three-pointers made, held by Erin Maher (80 in 1990-91). With 102 three pointers, Harvard is on pace to break the program record for three pointers in one season (205 in 1995-96 and 2009-10).
CLEANING THE GLASS
Harvard entered the week ranked 30th in the nation with an average of 43.5 rebounds per game, and has an average rebounding margin of +8.8 (30th, NCAA). Harvard recorded a season high 61 rebounds vs. NJIT on Dec. 4, the most for Harvard in a game since 1993-94 season. Harvard is on pace to break the team's single season rebounding record (1,283 in 2013-14).
Harvard (75 blocks, 5.8 per game) is on pace to break the team record for blocked shots in a season (157, 5.8 per game in 1988-89). Harvard is led by freshman forward Jeannie Boehm (38 blocks, 2.9 blocks per game, 13th NCAA), the team's top shot-blocker. Boehm is on pace to catch Deb Fiandermeyer, who set program marks for blocked shots in 1992-93 (85 blocks, 3.5 per game).
ABOUT LA SALLE
• La Salle has already surpassed last season's win total, entering the game with an 9-6 record, including a 5-2 mark at Tom Gola Arena. La Salle features the leading scorer in the Atlantic 10, junior Amy Griffin, who entered the week averaging 20.4 points per game (18th, NCAA). La Salle senior point guard Jasmine Alston entered the week fourth in all of Division I women's basketball with an average of 7.6 assists per game and is also a top rebounder (8.9 rpg). Allson (8.6 ppg) and sophomore guard Adreana Miller (10.4 ppg) are also among La Salle's top scorers.
• La Salle entered the week second in the A-10 in blocked shots with 6.2 per game. Both Amy Griffin and senior Lisa Mintzer are in the top 10 in career blocks at La Salle as Griffin enters the week 5th all-time with 76 blocks while Mintzer is 7th with 69 blocks.
• On Dec. 4, 1999, Harvard took third place at the ECAC Holiday Festival with a 74-71 win over La Salle in Worcester, Mass. in the last meeting between the two teams. Harvard's Laela Sturdy led the Crimson with 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while Katie Gates added 12 points.
Harvard sits at 25-18 all-time in Ivy League openers and 22-13 under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. Harvard has opened against Dartmouth in 17-straight seasons, with Harvard holding a 11-6 edge in those contests.
CRIMSON COLORED IVY
Since women's basketball joined the Ivy League in 1974-75, the Crimson owns a 649-470 record, tops of all Ancient Eight schools. Harvard is the only Ivy League school with a winning record against all other Ivies.
Dating back to the start of 2011-12, the Crimson is 51-5 when holding opponents to less than 60 points and 86-24 when allowing fewer than 70 points.
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 558-376 (.597) 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.
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 two years ago (1/24/15). The Crimson has made at least one three-point field goal in 223-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. Through 13 games in 2016-17, the trio has combined for 24.7 points, 12.4 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game.