Harvard vs. Penn
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Returning home for a pair of pivotal Ivy League battles, Harvard men's basketball will take on Princeton on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. and Penn on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. The Princeton game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU, while the Penn game will be shown regionally on NESN and the Ivy League Network.
The Opening Tip
• Harvard is off to a 10-11 start, including a 5-1 mark in Ivy League action. Harvard triumphed over Dartmouth twice, including the program's 11th -straight win in an Ivy League opener and its seventh sweep of the Big Green in the last nine years. The team followed it up with a sweep of Yale and Brown on the road Jan. 26-27, and a win at Cornell Feb. 3.
• Sophomore Seth Towns leads the Crimson with 15.6 points per game, including an Ivy League-leading 21.5 points per game in conference play. Towns also leads the league with 22 made threes during Ivy action, and was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for Jan. 15-21.
• The Crimson has come alive from beyond the 3-point line, making 38 triples over the last three games while shooting 48.7 percent. Harvard connected on 16 treys against Columbia, which was one off the school record and the most in the Tommy Amaker era.
On The Road Again
Harvard is 5-1 in conference play, including an impressive 4-1 mark on the road. The Crimson is one of three Ivy squads to win a conference game this season, with the other seven teams combining to go 2-17.
Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Court
Prior to the Crimson's Friday night clash with Princeton, Harvard Athletics and the men's and women's basketball programs will announce the dedication of the court at Lavietes Pavilion as Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Court. The dedication comes on the heels of Stemberg's selection as an Ivy League Legend of Basketball.
Player of the Week
Following a tremendous performance that helped Harvard men's basketball move to 2-0 in Ivy League play, sophomore Seth Towns was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for Jan. 15-21.
Towns exploded for a then-career-best 26 points to go with six rebounds and two blocked shots in a 62-57 (OT) win at Dartmouth. The win was the first on the road for any Ivy team in the conference thus far, and helped head coach Tommy Amaker earn his 200th victory at Harvard. The 26 points for Towns was the most of any Ivy League player over the past week, and was his fifth game with at least 20 points this season.
Towns is the second Harvard player to earn Ivy Player of the Week honors this season, joining Bryce Aiken on Nov. 13.
The 200-Win Club
Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, became the fifth coach in Ivy League history to reach 200 wins with an Ivy school with a win over Dartmouth Jan. 20. Amaker was the second-fastest to achieve the honor, doing it in 315 games. Princeton's Pete Carril did it the quickest, in 286 games, while Penn's Fran Dunphy (316 games) and Yale's Joe Vancisin (415) and James Jones (417) have also reached 200 wins.
Amaker has 379 total wins as a Division I head coach, which also spans time at Seton Hall and Michigan. He is already the all-time winningest head coach in Harvard basketball history, surpassing Frank Sullivan with a win over Boston College Dec. 7, 2016.
Last Time Out
The Crimson is 5-1 in 2017-18 after a pair of victories over Dartmouth, and one apiece over Yale, Brown and Cornell. Harvard is led by Seth Towns' 21.5 points per game in conference play, which leads the league.
Harvard went 10-4 in Ivy play a year ago, en route to earning the second seed in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. Sophomore Bryce Aiken led the Crimson with 13.4 points per game as a freshman in Ivy action a year ago en route to earning Ancient Eight Rookie of the Year and all-conference first team honors. Harvard was a stellar 6-1 at home in Ivy play last season, and outscored its opponents over the 14-game stretch by nearly eight points per game.
Princeton is 11-10 on the season, including a 3-3 mark in conference play. The Tigers most recently split a pair of overtime games with Yale and Brown and fell to Penn.
Devin Cannady leads the team with 18.0 points per game, while Myles Stephens and Amir Bell have chipped in 14.5 and 10.5 points per game, respectively.
Penn holds a 16-6 overall record, and an unbeaten 6-0 mark in Ivy play. The Quakers earned a sweep of Brown and Yale last weekend, and beat Princeton on Tuesday.
Ryan Betley paces the squad with 14.8 points per game, while AJ Brodeur has added 11.8 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game.
Out of the Blocks
Getting out to a good start is important to the Crimson squad, as Harvard is 9-2 this season when leading at halftime.
The Ivy League men's and women's basketball tournaments return to Philadelphia, where they will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, 2018. The top four teams will earn berths to the tournament, with the semifinals on Saturday and the championships on Sunday. All six games will be broadcast live on ESPN's networks. For tickets and more information please visit IvyMadness.com.
Just Lew It
Chris Lewis has been tough to handle on the glass and in the paint, as the sophomore leads the Ivy League in blocks per game (1.8), and is among the leaders in double-doubles (3), field goal percentage (58.7) and offensive rebounds per game (2.0). He's also averaging a career-best 11.7 points per game, which ranks 14th in the league.
Harvard also leads the league as a team in blocked shots, with 4.0 per game.
Sophomore Seth Towns has been one of the top shooters in the Ivy League this season, as he ranks in the top-five in the league in 3-point percentage (.458) and in the top-10 for 3-pointers made (44). Towns also ranks seventh in the league in scoring (15.67 points) and 12th in rebounding (5.2 boards).
In Ivy games only, Towns leads the league with 21.5 points and 3.7 triples per game.
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. Full archives of every game on the Ivy League Network are also available.
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, or download the Ivy League Network app! The #ILN is also available on Apple TV and Roku.
Harvard remains at home for a weekend series with Brown and Yale Feb. 16-17. The Brown clash begins at 7 p.m. on NESN and the Ivy League Network, while the Yale clash will tip-off at 9:30 p.m. on ESPNU.