The Harvard women's basketball team heads to Ft. Myers, Florida to play a pair of games at the FGCU Hilton Garden Inn Classic Wednesday and Thursday. Harvard will take on the host Florida Gulf Coast at 7 p.m. live on ESPN3 and then face Akron at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. All games will be played at Alico Arena.
Last Time Out
Behind a 27-point performance from sophomore Katie Benzan, the Crimson toppled Northeastern at Matthews Arena, 79-69, on December 6. Benzan was 7-of-9 from beyond the arc and also hit all six of her free throw attempts on her way to a new career-high in scoring. Also registering a new career-high in points was Kirby Porter, who tallied 12 against the Huskies.
Series History - FGCU
Harvard is 0-2 against the Eagles with both meetings coming in the 2015 calendar year. On Jan. 2, 2015, FGCU secured a 68-58 win and Dec. 5 of the next season it posted a 74-65 win. Harvard is 6-2 against teams in the A-Sun conference, including a 5-0 record against NJIT.
Series History - Akron
Thursday will mark the first meeting ever between Harvard and Akron. The Crimson has a 4-3 record all-time against teams from the Mid-America Conference.
Protecting our Possessions
Harvard committed just four turnovers at Temple Saturday, Dec. 2. It was the fewest turnovers in a game for the Crimson, breaking the previous record of five against Princeton on Jan. 8, 1993.
Junior Madeline Raster and sophomore Katie Benzan have each reached double figures in scoring in seven of nine games this year. Benzan's season-high was 27 at Northeastern Dec. 6, while Raster tallied 15 vs. Siena.
Harvard is making it difficult for its opponents to score this season, holding teams to 38 percent shooting, the second-best mark in the Ivy League.
The Crimson's 8.1 3-pointers per game is the second-highest average in the Ancient Eight. Harvard hit a season-high 14 triples at Northeastern Dec. 6.
The Eagles had a four-game win streak snapped on Sunday, falling on the road to Chattanooga, 68-61. The loss was just the third this season for FGCU, which enters the Hilton Garden Inn Classic with an overall mark of 10-3.
FGCU is the highest scoring team in the Atlantic Sun Conference this season, averaging 78 points per outing. It also has a 15.3 scoring margin and is making over 12 3-pointers per game.
Senior Rosemarie Julien leads the Eagles at 13 ppg, with sophomore Nasrin Ulel coming in at 11.2 ppg. Fellow sophomore Tytionia Adderly is pulling down 9.0 rebounds each contest.
The Zips head to Florida sporting a 5-4 record after downing Ohio Christian, 93-33, on Saturday. Akron has played just two games away from home this season, falling in its season-opener at Bucknell and losing at Duquesne Dec. 7.
Redshirt junior Megan Sefcik paces the Zips in scoring at 15.0 ppg. She is joined in double figures by sophomore Shaunay Edmonds at 10.8 ppg.
Akron will play Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Wednesday before facing Harvard Thursday.
OWNING THE GLASS
Harvard has made it a point to be active on the glass this season. The Crimson ranks second in the Ivy League in rebounding offense with a 41.9 average. Harvard averages 14.8 offensive rebounds per game, second-most in the conference. On the defensive boards, Harvard is grabbing 271 per outing, also second in the Ancient Eight.
Taylor Rooks leads the Crimson in rebounding, securing eight per outing, fifth-most in the Ivy League.
Harvard has blocked more shots than its opponent in all but one game this season, including swatting seven against Siena. Jeannie Boehm is second in the Ivy League with a 2.8 bpg mark, which is also good for 14th nationally.
As a team, Harvard averages 4.78 blocks per game, third-most in the Ivy League.
Harvard women's basketball 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 the 2006-07 campaign (11 years). The Crimson earned 98 points in the poll, just behind Princeton, picked second in the poll with 120 points, and Penn, picked first with 129 points. Harvard finished the 2016-17 campaign in third place at 8-6 in the Ivy League, behind Princeton (9-5) and conference regular season champion Penn (13-1).
LINK: Women's Basketball Picked Third in Ivy Preseason Poll
AROUND THE YARD
Junior Madeline Raster wrote a phenomenal blog as part of the Athletic Department's larger "Around the Yard" series. Raster detailed her experience on a mission trip to Trinidad and Tobago where she spent a week teaching sports to underprivileged children.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Make sure to head over to tickets.GoCrimson.com to reserve your seats for every Harvard women's basketball home game.