Harvard (9-5) at Memphis (13-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 12:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: FedExForum (18,119) -- Memphis, Tennessee. Television: FSN. Home Record: Harvard 6-1, Memphis 9-1. Away Record: Harvard 3-4, Memphis 3-0. Neutral Record: Harvard 0-0, Memphis 1-2. Conference Record: Harvard 1-0, Memphis 3-0. Series Record: First meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Memphis Tigers will take a break from dominating Conference USA to host the Ivy League's Harvard Crimson at FedExForum in a non-conference tilt on Saturday.
This will be the first meeting in history between the Crimson and Tigers.
Tommy Amaker has produced yet another solid campaign at the helm of Harvard's program. His team enters with a 9-5 overall record that includes road wins over Boston College (79-63), California (67-62), and a one-point loss at Saint Mary's. The Crimson have been getting it done with efficiency, as they are ranked 17th in the nation in field-goal percentage (.486). Harvard is coming off a 75-65 win at Dartmouth it used to successfully open up conference play.
The Crimson used a late 11-1 run to blow past the Big Green last Saturday. They shot 62.8 percent from the floor in the contest, but a 14-of-24 showing at the charity stripe limited their control of the game. Siyani Chambers hit all three of his tries from beyond the arc en route to 22 points and dealt out six assists, while Wesley Saunders went 8-of-9 from the field for 19 points. Steve Moundou-Missi had 15 points and Laurent Rivard tallied 12 points for Harvard, which has shot 59.7 (83 of 139) percent over its last three games. Saunders (16.4 ppg, 2.0 spg), Chambers (13.3 ppg, 5.9 apg), and Rivard (11.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg) have all been key components of the Crimson's success. Chambers was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week on Monday, marking the fourth time the freshman point guard has received the honor.
Chambers will face another tough test for a freshman as he goes head-to-head with the Tigers' senior floor general, Joe Jackson. With Jackson spearheading the charge, the Tigers have won their last seven games to arrive at a 13-3 record. They are one of just two teams left in the C-USA without a loss in league play as well. Memphis coasted to a 77-51 victory over Rice on Wednesday as Jackson tallied 13 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists to lead the way. The Tigers went 24-of-43 from the field (55.8 percent) to overcome a less impressive 24-of-38 mark at the free-throw line, while the Owls were limited to 31.3 percent shooting.
Josh Pastner's squad is outscoring its opposition by an average margin of 10.4 points per contest due to its strong core of talent. Jackson is netting 13.9 points and 4.5 assists per outing for Memphis while Adonis Thomas (11.1 ppg), Tarik Black (10.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg), and Geron Johnson (9.8 ppg, 1.8 spg) also play vital roles. Freshman forward Shaq Goodwin also makes a big impact due to the tremendous inside presence he provides.
Harvard has proven that it should never be underestimated, but the Tigers have a very meaningful homecourt advantage. Memphis can compete with anyone in the country when playing to its max potential. Amaker's squad is going to be a tough out, but it will eventually be worn down by the tenacious Tigers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Memphis 73, Harvard 66
01/19 10:57:14 ET