Men's Basketball Heads to Dartmouth for Ivy Opener
Junior co-captain Keith Wright is Harvard's leading scorer with 14.9 points per game (Stephen Slade).
Harvard, which has won its last three games, opens the Ivy League portion of its schedule by visiting Dartmouth Saturday afternoon. The Crimson stands at 10-3 overall, while the Big Green owns a 4-9 record, but is 2-2 at home.
Harvard and Dartmouth have played 170 times since the inaugural meeting between the Ivy League schools during the 1900-01 campaign. The Big Green owns a 94-76 lead in the series, but Harvard won both contests last season, including a 62-58 victory in Hanover, N.H., in the teams' last meeting Jan. 23, 2010. Kyle Casey and Jeremy Lin '10 paced Harvard's offense with 19 points apiece, while Lin also handed out a game-high six assists in the win. Two weeks earlier, Harvard downed Dartmouth, 76-47, at Lavietes Pavilion, as Keith Wright tallied 22 points and pulled down six rebounds for the Crimson.
Last Time Out
Harvard toppled cross-town rival Boston College for the third consecutive season, as the Crimson emerged with a 78-69 victory in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Wednesday evening. Five Harvard players reached double figures in scoring, led by Laurent Rivard who netted a career-best 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 shooting from the foul line. As a team, Harvard converted 23-of-24 free-throw attempts, good for a 95.8-percent clip. The Crimson's bench also proved worthy, outscoring BC's reserves by a 23-14 margin.
Dartmouth's Last Time Out
The Big Green is coming off a 67-47 loss at the hands of Army in West Point, N.Y., Jan. 3. R.J. Griffin was Dartmouth's leading scorer with 13 points, while Gediminas Bertasius came down with five rebounds, all on the defensive side of the ball. The Big Green shot 38.5 percent from the floor overall and was 3-of-15 from long distance (.200). Dartmouth only attempted nine free throws in the game, making four of them (.444).
Making The Most Of It
The Crimson stands first in the nation as a team with a 81.5 percent success rate from the charity stripe. Harvard, which owns the NCAA record for team free-throw percentage for a season (82.2 percent in 1983-84), made 23-of-24 (.958) of its attempts from the foul line in its win at Boston College Jan. 5. Harvard made a season-best 28 free throws in wins over WPI Dec. 7, and Monmouth Dec. 29.
Scoring In Bunches
Harvard is 4-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points, topping Colorado, 82-66, Nov. 28, Fordham, 80-57, Dec. 1, Boston University, 87-71, Dec. 11, and MIT, 84-58, Dec. 31.
Top Of The Ivy League
The Crimson owns a 10-3 record (.769) through its first 10 games, putting the team first in overall winning percentage in the Ivy League. Harvard is also 7-0 at home, tying the team with Princeton(4-0) for the best home winning percentage in the conference (1.000).
With its 78-69 win at Boston College Jan. 5, Harvard has now defeated the Eagles in each of the last three seasons under head coach Tommy Amaker. All three Harvard victories have come at Boston College's Conte Forum.
Keith Wright has garnered two Ivy League Player of the Week honors this season (Nov. 15 and Nov. 29). Wright netted a career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season in Harvard's 69-66 win at Bryant Nov. 24. He then posted the best all-around performance of his career in the 82-66 victory over Colorado, as he tallied 19 points, collected nine rebounds, handed out six assists and blocked three shots.
Christian Webster was tabbed Ancient Eight Co-Player of the Week Nov. 22, while Laurent Rivard garnered Ivy Rookie of the Week honors Dec. 6 and again Jan. 3. Rivard currently stands second in the nation with a 97.2-percent success rate from the free-throw line.
Kings of Massachusetts' Courts
Harvard played and defeated five teams from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts this season: Holy Cross Nov. 17, WPI Dec. 7, Boston University Dec. 11, MIT Dec. 31 and Boston College Jan. 5.
The Crimson is currently on a 10-game winning streak against schools from Massachusetts, since falling to Northeastern in overtime, 76-71, Dec. 10, 2008.
Harvard owns a 8-0 record this season when scoring 70 or more points and is 2-3 when scoring less than that. The Crimson has allowed an opponent to score more than 70 points on only two occasions (Boston University, 71, Dec. 11 and No. 4/4 Connecticut, 81, Dec. 22).
Just Grab It
Harvard owns an 8-1 record when outrebounding its opponents this season. The Crimson is only 2-2 when the team is outrebounded.
The Crimson has earned victories over teams from the Patriot League, Atlantic Sun, Northeast Conference, Big XII, Atlantic 10, NEWMAC, America East and ACC this season. Harvard defeated teams from 10 different conferences during the 2009-10 season, establishing a program record, and has already topped teams from eight different conferences this year.
Scoring From All Areas
Six Harvard players reached double digits in scoring against Boston University Dec 11: Oliver McNally, Christian Webster, Brandyn Curry, Laurent Rivard, Andrew Van Nest and Keith Wright. Harvard had at least four players score 10 or more points seven times: (Holy Cross Nov. 17, Fordham Dec. 1, WPI Dec. 7, Boston University Dec. 11, Monmouth Dec. 29, MIT Dec. 31 and Boston College Jan. 5).
Harvard has grabbed 135 offensive rebounds this season and has scored 143 second-chance points. Keith Wright paces the Crimson with 44 offensive boards, which leads the Ivy League, while Christian Webster (18) and Brandyn Curry (14) have also been key players on the offensive glass for Harvard.
Defense Wins Games
Harvard leads the Ivy League in scoring defense, allowing the opposition only 64.6 points per game this season. The Crimson also paces the Ancient Eight in scoring margin (+7.5), more than four points better than Princeton (+3.2).
Opponents are shooting only 37.3 percent from long distance against the Crimson and are shooting 43.9 percent from the floor overall against Harvard.
Night and Day
The Crimson is 6-1 during evening games and 4-2 during afternoon contests this year.