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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,532) -- New Haven, Connecticut. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Harvard 11-1, Yale 6-3. Away Record: Harvard 5-6, Yale 4-10. Neutral Record: Harvard 0-0, Yale 1-2. Conference Record: Harvard 8-1, Yale 5-4. Series Record: Yale leads, 113-72.
GAME NOTES: Clearly the most dominant of the Ivy League programs to this point in the campaign, the Harvard Crimson flex their muscles against the Yale Bulldogs at the John J. Lee Amphitheater New Haven on Saturday night.
On Friday night, the Crimson posted a convincing 65-47 victory against Brown on the road, their third win in a row and the seventh in the last eight outings overall, as the team moved to 8-1 in league play.
As for the Bulldogs, now in a tie for third place in the standings with Cornell at 5-4, they too were in action last night as they hosted and defeated the Dartmouth Big Green, 78-67. The victory was the second straight and the fourth in five tries for the program.
Yale may lead the all-time series with the Crimson by a count of 113-72, but it was Harvard that won the first meeting of the season earlier this month by a 67-64 score at home. With the victory, Harvard has now won seven of the last eight matchups.
Harvard's defense put the screws to the Bears last night, particularly in the first half when the squad forced the hosts into 14 turnovers and held Brown to just 18 total points. At the offensive end, after 40 minutes of play it was Wesley Saunders with a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds, although he could have had a better stat line if not for his 5-of-13 showing at the free- throw line. Fellow guard Siyani Chambers accounted for another 14 points and made four steals, giving the duo seven thefts between them.
Shooting an impressive 55.2 percent from the floor these days, Saunders is the team's leading scorer with 16.8 ppg, accounting for 4.3 rpg and 3.7 apg as well, not to mention 2.0 steals per contest which means he remains active at both ends of the floor all of the time. Chambers (13.0 ppg) contributes close to six assists per contest as he plays almost 38 minutes each time out.
The starting five for the Bulldogs was less than impressive on Friday night in the win over Dartmouth, combining for 32 points as no one had more than eight points (Austin Morgan). Instead, it was the bench that brought home the win for the hosts as Michael Grace and Sam Martin both tallied 12 points, the latter hitting all four of his 3-point attempts in 13 minutes of action. Brandon Sherrod played 26 minutes as a reserve, so perhaps his 11 points and five rebounds wasn't so surprising.
Over the course of nine conference games, the Bulldogs have made an effort to spread the wealth on offense, to the point where there are only two players scoring in double figures at the moment in Morgan (10.7 ppg) and Justin Sears (10.1 ppg), the latter playing just under 23 minutes per game and missing two of those outings as he primarily comes off the bench. The squad is beating Ivy opponents on the glass by almost seven per game as they register 12.6 offensive rebounds per contest.
Obviously the Bulldogs can put points on the board, as they showed on Friday night, but that was against an inferior opponent which means Yale will likely have trouble keeping a dominant team like Harvard down.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 73, Yale 61
02/23 10:33:36 ET