Women’s Basketball Heads to Holiday Classic
Harvard hits the road once more, starting a four-game road swing at the Fordham Holiday Classic Sunday-Monday, Dec. 29-30.
Last Time Out
Junior forward Temi Fagbenle posted her third-straight double-double with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead Harvard to a 60-41 rout of Hofstra last Saturday at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson – who earn its best start since 1997-98 – outrebounded the Pride by a 60-35 margin. The 60 boards marked the seventh-most in program history and the largest total since Dec. 7, 1994 vs. Providence. Of the 60 boards, 27 were offensive, leading to 22 second-chance points.
What a Start
The 8-3 start marks the best since 1997-98, when the Crimson began the season 16-2. The 7-3 record through 10 games signaled the second-best start for the Crimson. Harvard has gone 8-2 three times, most recently in 1997-98 en route to a 23-5 overall record and an Ivy League title.
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 503 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.
Heading to 600
As a program, Harvard is closing in on its 600th win, standing at 594-435 all-time in its 40th season. Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith has accounted for 503 of those wins over 31-plus seasons.
• Tulsa sits at 4-4 overall, nearly knocking off Kansas Dec. 22, as four Golden Hurricanes posted double-figures. Sophomore guard Ashley Clark paces Tulsa with 14.8 points per game, adding a team-high 6.4 rebounds. Kelsee Grovey chips in 10.4 points, connecting on a team-high 13 treys.
• In her third year with the Golden Hurricanes, head coach Matilda Mossman took over a five-win team on March 22, 2011 and won a conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in her second year.
• This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
• Entering the weekend on an eight game win streak, Fordham last defeated Manhattan, 71-46, Dec. 21. Erin Rooney holds the top spot on the Rams with 20.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Abigail Corning chips in 12.5 points and 7.0 rebounds.
• In the midst of her third year with the Rams, head coach Stephanie Gaitley came to the Bronx from Monmouth and won 26 games a year ago, falling in the A10 title game by one point to St. Joe's.
• Harvard leads the all-time series, 2-1, but the two teams have not played since 1991. Fordham took that meeting, 87-77.
Scouting UNC Greensboro
• Dropping its last four games, UNCG was last in action Dec. 22, falling to St. Bonaventure, 58-46. A trio of Spartans average double-figures, led by Lucy Mason with 13.4 points. Janae' Stevenson pulls down a team-best 8.8 boards in addition to her 12.1 points per game.
• Head coach Wendy Palmer, in her third season at UNCG, doubled the Spartans' win total by earning eight wins a season ago.
• This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
Shooting up the scoring list, Christine Clark sits at No. 8 in program history with 1,420 points over her three-plus year career. She needs 38 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.
Ancient Eight Accolades
Two Crimson student-athletes have earned three 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 for Nov. 25 and Dec. 8 after averaging a double-double in both weeks.
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 four times.
Just Keep Winning
Harvard owns a home-win streak of 18 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.
Better and Better
Through 11 games this season, nine Crimson student-athletes have matched or bested their career highs in points and/or rebounds. The athletes include: Christine Clark (28 points), Erin McDonnell (19 points, 9 rebounds), Temi Fagbenle (15 rebounds), Ali Curtis (16 points, 5 rebounds), AnnMarie Healy (13 points), Jasmine Evans (13 rebounds), Melissa Mullins (12 rebounds), Shilpa Tummala (14 points), Kit Metoyer (6 points) and Taylor Finley (six points).
You're in Good Hands
Junior captain Kaitlyn Dinkins has been nominated for the 2014 Allstate WBCA and NABC Good Works Teams®. The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.
Dinkins has become very involved with Athletes in Action at Harvard, co-leading the group this year. Last year, the Atlanta, Ga., product was a member of the Servant team, an organization that plans events and leads a weekly, freshmen bible study.
Temi Fagbenle has already recorded five double-doubles through 11 games this season (last vs. Hofstra) after totaling seven a year ago. The seven signaled the most for the Crimson since Emma Markley '11 turned in seven as a junior in 2009-10. Fagbenle's first double-double came opening weekend at North Dakota, making her the first Crimson rookie to record a double-double in her first weekend of action since Hannah Peljto '04 went for 21 points and 10 rebounds in the season opener against Saint Peter's on Nov. 17, 2000.
The Crimson was 6-1 in the month of November, setting a new program record for wins before December. Last season, Harvard won five of seven games, which had been a program best.
You Can Count on Clark
Christine Clark has started 96 of 99 games for the Crimson over the last three-plus years and has scored in double-digits 80 times. This includes a streak of 21 consecutive 10-plus point performances (March 5, 2011-Feb. 4, 2012) and 18 games in which she has scored at least 20 (last at Northeastern). Clark has posted 20-plus points in six games in 2013-14.
The 60-41 win over Hofstra served as part of a doubleheader, as the men's team downed Vermont, 74-68. It marked the third-straight year Harvard has played a men's and women's doubleheader. Last year, the women defeated BYU (71-65) and the men downed Manhattan (79-45). Prior to 2011-12 the last time Harvard played a men's and women's doubleheader was January 5, 2008 when the women lost to Dartmouth, 52-47, before the men took down the Big Green, 82-56. Harvard owns a 5-1 record when playing at Lavietes in the same day.
Head of the Class
The Crimson sits atop many Ivy League categories, both as a team and individually. As a unit, Harvard holds the No. 1 spot in scoring offense (75.5), rebounding offense (44.5), rebounding margin (+8.5), offensive rebound percentage (.405) and winning percentage (.727). Individually, three Crimson athletes rank first in five categories: Christine Clark (scoring, 19.4), Temi Fagbenle (rebounding, 9.9, and defensive rebounds, 7.7) and Erin McDonnell (field goal percentage, .580, and three point field goal percentage, .600).
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 points), Kit Metoyer (6) and Shilpa Tummala (14) have all matched or bested their career highs in points and are contributing 12.9 points per game as a class.
The Crimson has won eight of its 11 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 six-straight seasons.
Harvard sits at 2-2 in true road games and 4-3 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.
• Christine Clark has scored 20-plus points in six of the last seven games she has played.
• Harvard has won its last 18 contests at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson's last loss at home was to Princeton on Feb. 11, 2012.• Kathy Delaney-Smith has used the same starters – Ali Curtis, Christine Clark, Temi Fagbenle, Melissa Mullins and Erin McDonnell – in eight 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 6-2 when leading at the half.
• Harvard has not lost (5-0) when allowing 69 points or fewer.
• When scoring 80-plus points, the Crimson is 4-0 this season.
Boards on Boards
Temi Fagbenle, averaging a conference-best 9.9 boards a game, has pulled down 10-plus rebounds in six games this season. Fagbenle has paced the Crimson in boards in five of the last seven games and since the FIU game (Nov. 19), the junior is pulling down 11.6 rebounds per game.
Owning the Boards
Senior Melissa Mullins has paced the Crimson in rebounding in six of 11 games this season, ranking second in the Ivy League with 8.0 boards per game. The swing player has grabbed 10-plus boards three times. Harvard has had a player pull down 10-plus boards in seven games and two players tally double-digit rebounds in three contests.
Cleaning the Glass
As a team, the Crimson has outrebounded its opponent seven times this year. Harvard owns a 6-1 mark when controlling the glass.