Brown (11-7) at Harvard (17-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 7, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,195) -- Cambridge, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Brown 7-2, Harvard 8-0. Away Record: Brown 4-5, Harvard 5-3. Neutral Record: Brown 0-0, Harvard 4-0. Conference Record: Brown 3-1, Harvard 4-0. Series Record: Harvard leads, 93-72.
GAME NOTES: The Harvard Crimson will try to continue their reign atop the Ivy League standings on Friday night when they welcome the Brown Bears to Lavietes Pavilion.
After losing its first league game of the season, Brown has ripped off three straight victories and is now tied with Yale for second place in the Ivy League at 3-1. The Bears most recently took down Columbia at home last Saturday, 64-56, to improve to 11-7 overall.
Meanwhile, Harvard has been flying high all season long, winning 17 of its 20 games, including all four of its Ivy League contests. The Crimson are currently winners of three straight, with their latest ending in a 80-50 home blowout over Penn on Saturday, and they are now a perfect 8-0 at Lavietes Pavilion.
The Crimson have claimed eight straight victories over the Bears to improve their standing in the all-time series to 93-72.
The Bears were knotted up in a tight battle with Columbia their last time out, but after falling behind by four midway through the second half, they ripped off a 7-0 run to take the lead and never looked back from there en route to the eight-point win. They shot only 39.3 percent from the field in the win but earned advantages in both the rebounding (39-32) and turnover (14-10) battles. Rafael Maia was the catalyst with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Cedric Kuakumensah and Sean McGonagill poured in 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Brown has displayed strong balance this season, as it ranks in the top half of the league in both scoring offense (72.4 ppg) and scoring defense (66.2 ppg), and its 40.4 rpg ranks 15th-best in the nation. It's not without weakness, however, as it owns a -2.4 turnover margin and ranks last in the league in free-throw percentage (.635). McGonagill is the Ivy's top scorer with 18.5 ppg and chips in across the board with 4.3 rpg, 3.6 apg and 1.3 spg. The squad is strong in the frontcourt thanks to its imposing forward trio of Maia (10.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg), Dockery Walker (8.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Kuakumensah (6.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.8 bpg).
The Crimson opened up a commanding 21-point advantage over Penn at halftime of their most recent contest and their advantage was never in question in the second stanza as they took down the blowout victory. They shot 50 percent from the field, which included a 12-of-20 showing from 3-point range, while the Quakers were just 1-of-7 from beyond the arc. Laurent Rivard was especially potent from long-range, making 6-of-9 from 3-point territory en route to 22 points. Kyle Casey tallied 15 points, 11 rebounds and three steals, while Zena Edosomwan netted 10 off the bench.
Harvard's dominance this season has been clearly established, as it shoots 46.3 percent from the field for the second-best scoring offense in the Ivy (73.7 ppg) while also sporting the league's top scoring defense (60.7 ppg). Wesley Saunders not only scores a team-best 15.2 ppg on nearly 50 percent from the field but he stuffs the stat sheet with 5.2 rpg, 3.9 apg, 2.2 spg and 0.9 bpg. Siyani Chambers (11.0 ppg, 4.6 apg), Casey (10.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg), Rivard (9.8 ppg) and Steve Moundou-Missi (9.0 ppg) round out the strong starting five.
As impressive as Brown has played of late, it'll have its hands full against Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson may not be able to blow past the Bears like they have been able to in other Ivy League matchups, but they should nonetheless find little issue in capturing the victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 74, Brown 65
02/07 10:15:24 ET