Women’s Basketball Looks for Sixth-Straight Win at Northeastern Tuesday
Harvard vs. Northeastern
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Off to its best start since 1997-98, Harvard women's basketball (5-1) continues its road swing Tuesday evening, heading to Northeastern for a 7 p.m. tip at Cabot Center.
Last Time Out
Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith earned her 500th win as Harvard upended Colgate, 91-76, at Cotterell Court Saturday evening. Senior captain Christine Clark led the Crimson with 21 points, adding three assists and two steals. Junior forward Erin McDonnell set a new career high with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a 4-of-5 effort from behind the arc. Junior Temi Fagbenle (16 points, eight rebounds) and senior Jasmine Evans (10 points) rounded out a Harvard quartet of double-figure scorers.
Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, in her 32nd season at the helm of the Crimson, earned her 500th win at Colgate Nov. 23, joining a group of 28 active coaches in Division I with at least 500 wins. She is also one of six active Division I head coaches to spend 31-plus years at one institution.
The winningest coach in Ivy League women's basketball history with 500 career victories, she ranks second only to Princeton's legendary coach Pete Carril (514) for wins by an Ancient Eight coach on either the men's or women's side. Delaney-Smith is also closing in on 300 career wins in the conference with 295 victories against the Ivy League.
Scouting Northeastern University
2013-14 Record: 1-2, 0-0 Patriot League
Streak: W, 1
Series History: Harvard leads, 4-1
Last Meeting: W, 69-54 (Jan. 7, 2003)
Last Win: Same
• Riding a three-game win streak, Northeastern enters Tuesday's matchup at 4-1 overall.
• Junior guard A'lece Mark paces the NU squad with 19.8 points per game, shooting 34-79 (.430) from the floor. Senior center Jewel Tunstull averages a double-double for the Huskies, posting 14.6 points and 10.4 rebounds a game. The Huskies have a short bench, as just seven players have seen action in all five games.
• In her eighth season at the helm of Northeastern, the 2012-13 CAA Coach of the Year Daynia La-Force led the Huskies to 17 wins a season ago, the most since 1999-2000. NU ranked fifth in the CAA with a 10-8 conference record.
• Harvard trails in the all-time series with Northeastern, 15-12. The two teams have not met since 2009. After dropping the previous four meetings, the Crimson has won two-straight in the series – both in overtime. Harvard needed two extra periods on Dec. 9, 2009 to come away with a 90-85 win.
Shooting up the scoring list, Christine Clark sits at No. 8 in program history with 1,380 points over her three-plus year career. She needs 78 points to tie Brogan Berry '12, who sits at seventh all-time with 1,458 points. Clark became the 18th member of Harvard's 1,000 point club Jan. 2, 2012, as she scored 19 points against UMass. Clark reached the milestone in just her 71st career game, making her the fastest Crimson to reach 1,000 points since Reka Cserny '05 did so in her 60th career appearance.
Including this year, Harvard has had at least one 1,000 point scorer on the floor in five of the last six seasons. Additionally, each of Harvard's 18 1,000 point scorers has been coached by head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith.
Harvard sits at 1-1 in true road games and 2-1 overall when playing outside Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson will play 17 games away from Cambridge in 2013-14. Last year, Harvard was 10-7 in true road games. It marked the most road victories for the Crimson since 2008-09 and was the second-straight year the team posted a winning record away from home.
The Crimson is 5-1 in the month of November, matching its program record from a season ago (5-2) for wins before December.
Ancient Eight Accolades
Two Crimson student-athletes have earned Ivy League Player of the Week accolades thus far this season.
Christine Clark earned the honor after pacing the Crimson with 21.0 points per game for the week ending Nov. 18. Temi Fagbenle was tabbed player of the week after averaging a double-double (12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds) in a 2-0 week ending Nov. 25.
Clark now owns eight conference weekly honors for her career, which stands good for seventh in Ancient Eight history. After tying for the most Ivy Rookie of the Week honors a season ago, Fagbenle has been selected for best player over a seven-day stretch three times.
What a Start
For the first time since 1997-98, Harvard is off to a 5-1 record. Harvard's 7-3 record to start the season last year ranked as the second-best record through 10 games in program history. The Crimson has gone 8-2 three times, most recently in 1997-98 en route to a 23-5 overall record and an Ivy League title.
Christine Clark has started all 94 games for the Crimson over the last three-plus years and has scored in double-digits 78 times. This includes a streak of 21 consecutive 10-plus point performances (March 5, 2011-Feb. 4, 2012) and 17 games in which she has scored at least 20 (last at Colgate). Clark has posted 20-plus points in five-straight games.
Through six games this season, Erin McDonnell (19 points), AnnMarie Healy (13 points),Melissa Mullins (12 rebounds), Shilpa Tummala (14 points) and Taylor Finley (six points) all bested their career highs.
After averaging a combined 1.63 points per game in 4.6 minutes a game, the sophomore class seems to have found its stride in 2013-14. AnnMarie Healy (13), Kit Metoyer (3) and Shilpa Tummala (14) have all matched or bested their career highs in points and are contributing 17.6 points per game as a class.
Just Keep Winning
Tuesday, the Crimson extended its home winning streak to 17 games, marking the longest run since 1996-98, when the Crimson ripped off 21-straight wins at Lavietes. Harvard posted a perfect 11-0 record at home in 2012-13 and has not lost in Cambridge since Feb. 11, 2012. Before 2012-13, the last time Harvard went unbeaten at home was in 1997-98 when the team went 13-0 en route to a 23-5 overall mark.
• Christine Clark has scored 20-plus points in each of the last five games, averaging 21.2 over that span.
• Harvard has won its last 17 contests at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson's last loss at home was to Princeton on Feb. 11, 2012.
• The Crimson has won five-straight games and is off to its best start since 1997-98.
• Kathy Delaney-Smith has used the same starters – Ali Curtis, Christine Clark, Temi Fagbenle, Melissa Mullins and Erin McDonnell – in all six games this season.
• Harvard's 21 wins last season were the most since winning 22 in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
• Harvard won 10 games on the road last season, its most since winning 10 in 2008-09.
• The Crimson sits at 4-0 when leading at the half.
• Harvard has not lost (3-0) when allowing 69 points or fewer.
• When scoring 80-plus points, the Crimson is 3-0 this season.
The Crimson has won five of its six non-conference matches this season. Harvard closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 9-5 record a year ago, marking the program's third best non-conference record under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith and the fifth best non-conference record all-time. Harvard has earned 11 out-of-league victories twice under Delaney-Smith, turning in an 11-3 record in 1997-98 and going 11-4 in 1985-86. The 1976-77 squad owns the program record for non-conference wins at 13-4, while the 1978-79 Crimson went 12-9 away from the Ivy League.
Harvard has posted at least eight non-conference wins in five-straight seasons.
Dating back to the start of 2011-12, the Crimson is 28-2 when holding opponents to less than 60 points and 40-8 when allowing fewer than 70 points.
The Crimson overcame a 13-point deficit to defeat Florida International on Tuesday, its largest comeback since Dec. 6, 2009 (vs. BU). Harvard won four games a season ago when trailing at the half. The Crimson most recently overcame a 32-23 halftime deficit to earn a 64-52 victory over FIU Nov. 19.
Owning the Boards
Senior Melissa Mullins has paced the Crimson in rebounding in five of six games this season, averaging an Ivy League-best 9.3 boards per game. The swing player has grabbed 10-plus boards three times over the last six games. Harvard has had a player pull down 10-plus boards in three games and two players tally double-digit rebounds in two contests.
Cleaning the Glass
As a team, the Crimson has outrebounded its opponent three times this year and in 23 of 30 games last season. Harvard owned a 19-4 record when doing so in 2012-13 and posts a 3-0 mark this year when controlling the glass.
It's Up, and It's Good
Harvard has made at least one three-point field goal in 134 consecutive games dating back to 2008-09, the second-longest streak in program history. The record for consecutive games with at least one three-pointer stands at 172, a streak which began during the 1989-90 season and concluded in 1996-97.