No. 25 Harvard Men's Basketball Closes Out Non-Conference Slate Against GW Saturday
Brandyn Curry and the Crimson are 5-0 at home (Gil Talbot).
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No. 25 Harvard (14-2) closes out its non-conference schedule by hosting George Washington (6-10) Saturday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson sits at 5-0 at home this season and has won 22 straight at Lavietes, the seventh longest home win streak in the country.
Live video will be available with a subscription at GoCrimson. WHRB's Scott Reed and James Yoon will have the audio call on GoCrimson.com. Live statistics will also be available for the game at GoCrimson.com.
Harvard and George Washington have met three times, with the Crimson owning a 2-1 lead in the all-time series. The Crimson and Colonials have met in each of the last three seasons. GW won the first game, 78-63, on Dec. 13, 2008, while the Crimson has taken the last two, 66-53 at Lavietes on Dec. 30, 2009, as well as 67-62 in Washington D.C., Jan. 15, 2011.
Harvard's Last Time Out
The Crimson topped Monmouth by a score of 70-61 in a road game Tuesday evening. Keith Wright amassed a season-high in points (18), rebounds (15) and blocks (six), as he shot 8-of-11 from the field. Laurent Rivard drilled four 3-pointers to finish with 16 points, while Oliver McNally went 8-of-8 from the foul line in the victory.
George Washington's Last Time Out
The Colonials are coming off a 69-61 at home over Rhode Island Wednesday evening. Tony Taylor (18 points), David Pellom (17) and Lasan Kromah (12) reached double figures in scoring. Pellom (11 rebounds) and Kromah (10) also recorded double-doubles. GW shot 50 percent from the field for the game (26-of-52) and outrebounded the Rams, 41-34. Tony Taylor dished out six assists, while Kromah had five helpers.
Harvard Against The Atlantic 10
Harvard owns a 19-37 record against teams that are current members of the Atlantic 10 conference. The Crimson is 1-1 against A-10 teams this year after downing Saint Joseph's, 74-69, Dec. 31, and falling at Fordham, 60-54, Jan. 3.
Entering the weekend, Harvard was second in the nation in free throw shooting defense, as opponents are only making 59.6 percent of attempts (142-of-240). Northern Arizona (59.4) sits first and joins the Crimson and South Carolina State (.597) as the only two teams allowing less than 60 percent shooting from the foul line this season.
Stepping Up On D
The Crimson is allowing only 55.5 points per game this season, good for sixth in the nation in scoring defense. Wisconsin paces the nation, surrendering only 47.9 points per contest. Harvard has only allowed 70 points once and surrendered 50 or less points in seven games.
Coming Down With It
With his 15-rebound performance at Monmouth Jan. 10, Keith Wright now has 20 double digit rebound games in his career. Wright also has three double-doubles this season and has led Harvard in rebounding in 11 of 16 contests. Wright stands 10th in program history with 617 career rebounds. Harvard has outrebounded its last seven opponents.
The Crimson has won 13 non-conference games this season, a program record. Harvard won 11 nonleague games in 2009-10 and again in 2010-11.
Entering the week, Brandyn Curry ranked 25th in the country and second in the Ivy League with 2.3 steals per game.
The Crimson is ranked No. 25 in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Earlier this season, the Crimson became the first Ivy team ranked in the AP poll since Princeton was rated No. 8 in the final poll of the 1997-98 season. Last week, Harvard was No. 21 in the coaches poll and No. 22 in the AP poll, the highest rankings in program history.
Harvard is the only Ivy League team to have received at least one vote in a major national poll this season.
Harvard currently sits at No. 51 in the RPI, according to collegerpi.com. The Crimson earned the highest ranking in program history, No. 14, Dec. 2, 2011.
The Crimson is 6-2 as a ranked team in program history with wins this season over Boston University, Florida Atlantic, Boston College, Saint Joseph's, Dartmouth and Monmouth. Harvard is 3-0 at home as a ranked squad, while boasting a 3-2 record on the road when ranked nationally.
Keith Wright leads the Crimson with three double-doubles (at Holy Cross Nov. 15, Florida Atlantic Dec. 22 and at Monmouth Jan. 10), while Kyle Casey (Saint Joseph's Dec. 31) and Jonah Travis (Seattle Dec. 4) have recorded one apiece this year. Wright has amassed 16 double-doubles over the course of his career in Cambridge.
Harvard is riding a 22-game win streak at home, a program record. The current win streak at home is the longest for Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion and is the seventh longest current streak in the NCAA. Kentucky is enjoying the longest current streak with 45 straight home wins.
Nation's Current Longest Home Win Streaks
Through (Jan. 10)
Ohio State 35
Notre Dame 29
North Carolina 28
Long Island 16
Oral Roberts 16
Harvard Against the BCS
The Crimson is 3-1 against BCS teams this season after Utah, then-No. 20 Florida State and Boston College. The Crimson fell at then-No. 9 UConn, 67-53, Dec. 8.
Harvard owns an 8-9 record against BCS conferences under Tommy Amaker. The Crimson has defeated BC four times and has also topped Michigan, Colorado, Utah and Florida State during Amaker's tenure. The Crimson has also defeated at least one BCS team in each of the last five seasons.
Night and Day
Harvard owns a 8-2 record in night games and a 6-0 mark in day contests in 2011-12.
Oliver McNally has played in 103 games during his Harvard career. McNally is just 12 games shy of tying Jeremy Lin '10 for the most games played in Harvard history (115). McNally is currently tied for 12th in team history with 103 games played.
Harvard and Amaker Against GW
The Crimson is 2-1 against George Washington under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Keith Wright stands second in the Ivy League in field-goal percentage, hitting 59.2 percent of his attempts this season (77-of-130).
Sold Out Lavietes
Harvard has had three sellout crowds at Lavietes Pavilion already this season (MIT, Saint Joseph's and Dartmouth). In addition, the upcoming games against George Washington, Cornell Columbia, Yale, Princeton and Penn are already sold out. The Crimson has the opportunity to have 10 of its 12 home games this season be sold out.
Defense Wins Games
The Crimson enters the week sixth in the country in scoring defense (55.5 points allowed per game).
Harvard had not allowed more than 49 points in four straight games (Nov. 24-Dec. 1) for the first time since the 1946-47 season, which was prior to the invention of the shot clock and the 3-point line. The Crimson has only surrendered more than 60 points in five of 15 games this year.
On The Big Screen
The Crimson will play at least seven games on national or regional television this season.
Harvard is 5-1 on TV this year after earning wins over Utah (HDNet), No. 20/22 Florida State (Versus) and Central Florida (Versus) at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Crimson also defeated Boston University (NESN) and Boston College (ESPN3), but fell on the road at No. 9/9 Connecticut (ESPN2).
The Crimson, which currently owns a 9-2 record in road/neutral sites, will play a total of 18 road/neutral games this winter. Harvard set a program record for road/neutral wins in 2009-10 with 10, and the Crimson followed up with nine road victories last season. Harvard is 6-2 on the road and 3-0 in neutral sites in 2011-12.
Kings of Massachusetts' Courts
The Crimson is currently on a 14-game winning streak against schools from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since falling to Northeastern in overtime, 76-71, Dec. 10, 2008, including four straight wins over Holy Cross and Boston College and three against Boston University.
Harvard is 4-0 this season against Massachusetts teams, having defeated MIT, Holy Cross, BU and BC.
Head Coach Tommy Amaker
Tommy Amaker (Duke '87) is in his fifth season as head coach of the Harvard men's basketball team. He registered his 250th career coaching victory Dec. 4, 2011 against Seattle at Lavietes Pavilion. Amaker has guided Harvard to its national ranking, as the Crimson was rated No. 25 in the AP poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches ranking Dec. 5, 2011. Amaker also led the Crimson to its first Ivy League title as well as the program's first appearance in the NIT. In addition, the Crimson established a program record with 23 victories in 2010-11.
He brings a 256-192 (.571) career head coaching record into today's game, including a 80-53 (.602) mark at Harvard, a 108-84 (.563) record at Michigan and a 68-55 (.553) record at Seton Hall.
With 28 blocks this season, Keith Wright now ranks second in program history with 134 rejections. Brian Cusworth '07 holds the Harvard record with 147 career blocks. Wright's 54 blocks last year also stand second in Harvard history for a single season. Brian Banks '78 had 59 rejections during the 1977-78 campaign.
Kyle Casey has rejected 74 blocks in his career, including 19 this season, ranking him seventh in program history in rejections.
Making The Most Of It
Oliver McNally made all eight free throws at Monmouth, went 7-of-7 at the foul line at Holy Cross and shot 6-of-6 at Loyola Marymount and is shooting 88.0 percent from the line this season (44-of-50). Christian Webster is Harvard's career leader in free-throw shooting, making 88.8 percent of his attempts (175-of-197) over his first three seasons, while McNally is fourth in team history at 85.6 percent (250-of-292).
Last season, the Crimson ranked second in the nation as a team with an 80.8 percent success rate from the charity stripe (just behind Wisconsin's 81.8 shooting percentage). Harvard owns the NCAA record for team free-throw percentage for a season (82.2 percent in 1983-84). Harvard is currently shooting 72.8 percent from the line this season, ranking 52nd in the country.
Harvard has played at least 10 players in 15 of 16 games this season, including a season-high 17 players in the win over Utah Nov. 24.