The Harvard women's basketball team caps the 2017 calendar year Sunday afternoon hosting Stony Brook at 2 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion. Fans can watch all the action live on NESN and the Ivy League Network with Alex Vispoli and Tyler Murray on the call and Ben Hayes reporting from the sideline.
LAST TIME OUT
The Crimson went 1-1 at the FGCU Hilton Garden Inn Classic in Ft. Myers, Florida Dec. 20-21. Harvard opened with a 65-56 defeat to the host Eagles, but bounced back with a 76-63 triumph over the Akron Zips. Senior Taylor Rooks and sophomore Jeannie Boehm earned spots on the all-tournament teams for their performances.
Harvard and Stony Brook have met three times on the hardwood with the Crimson holding a 2-1 edge in those meetings. In 2004 and 2005, the Crimson toppled the Seawolves, but in the most recent meeting on Dec. 30, 2015, Stony Brook posted a one-point victory, 64-63.
DEFENSE ON DISPLAY
Sunday's matchup features two teams that are among the best in their respective conferences in field goal defense this season. Harvard paces the Ivy League, limiting its opponents to a 37.1 field goal percentage this season. Stony Brook ranks second in the America East, holding opponents to 36.9 percent shooting.
Senior Taylor Rooks registered her third double-double Dec. 20, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, both team-highs, at Florida Gulf Coast. The Warren, New Jersey native leads the team in double-doubles and nearly had her fourth the following night against Akron when she went for 17 points and nine boards.
Harvard has pulled down at least 50 rebounds in three games this season and is outrebounding opponents by 4.4 boards per game. Against FGCU Dec. 20, Harvard grabbed 56 boards, while the Eagles managed just 33. The following night against Akron, the Crimson secured a season-high 57 boards and limited the Zips to 34.
GIVE ME THAT
Freshman Jadyn Bush pulled down a total of 22 boards at the FGCU Hilton Garden Inn Classic. She had a career-high 14 rebounds against Akron. That total is the second-most in a single game this season, trailing only Taylor Rooks' 15 against Siena.
OWNING THE GLASS
Harvard has made it a point to be active on the glass this season. The Crimson ranks first in the Ivy League in rebounding offense with a 44.5 average. Harvard averages 15.2 offensive rebounds per game, most in the conference. On the defensive boards, Harvard is grabbing 29.4 per outing, also tops in the Ancient Eight.
Taylor Rooks leads the Crimson in rebounding, securing 8.3 per outing, fourth-most in the Ivy League.
The Crimson's 8.0 3-pointers per game is the second-highest average in the Ancient Eight. Harvard hit a season-high 14 triples at Northeastern Dec. 6.
SCOUTING STONY BROOK
The Seawolves are sporting a three-game win streak heading into the New Year's Eve matchup at Harvard. Stony Brook has wins over Iona, Central Connecticut and Georgia Southern, all by at least 15 points. Harvard is the third Ivy League opponent Stony Brook has faced this season, dropping road contests to Cornell (48-40) and Yale (77-71).
Stony Brook is the top defensive scoring team in the America East Conference, holding opponents to 54.8 points. That mark is 22nd in the nation.
Offensively, the Seawolves rank seventh in conference with a 63.0 ppg mark. Junior Shania Johnson leads the team with a 13.2 ppg. Classmate Jerell Matthews is also in double figures at 12.9 ppg.
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
Juniors Madeline Raster and Nani Redford wrote a phenomenal blogs 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 and Redford described her trip to Africa.
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.