Harvard (21-4) at Princeton (15-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 22, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jadwin Gym (6,854) -- Princeton, New Jersey. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Harvard 9-1, Princeton 8-1. Away Record: Harvard 8-3, Princeton 6-5. Neutral Record: Harvard 4-0, Princeton 1-1. Conference Record: Harvard 8-1, Princeton 3-5. Series Record: Princeton leads, 129-42.
GAME NOTES: The top team in the Ivy League is out on the road again tonight, as the Harvard Crimson tangles with the Princeton Tigers at Jadwin Gym in New Jersey.
Over the river in Philadelphia last night, the Crimson completed a rare season sweep of the Penn Quakers at The Palestra with an 83-63 thrashing, marking the third straight victory and the seventh in the last eight games overall for a Harvard squad that is 8-1 in league action.
While Harvard sits all alone at the top of the Ivy standings with eight wins in nine tries, the Tigers are currently in the bottom half of the standings with a mark of 3-5. Those three victories have come in the last four outings for the program, the most recent win being a 67-57 final over Dartmouth just hours ago.
Harvard won the first meeting of the season last month with an 82-76 decision at home, which means the all-time series now numbers 129-42 in favor of the Tigers. Boding well for Princeton is the fact that the team has won 24 straight meetings at home over the Crimson.
Except for Siyani Chambers, who finished with nine points and 10 assists, every starter for Harvard scored in double figures last night versus Penn, led by Steve Moundou-Missi with a modest 14 points. Laurent Rivard followed with 13 points, hitting 3-of-5 shots behind the 3-point line, while Kyle Casey and Wesley Saunders tacked on 12 points apiece for a team that shot 50.0 percent from the field and forced the hosts into 20 turnovers.
Playing close to 34 minutes per contest, Saunders paces the Crimson in scoring this season with 14.7 ppg, followed by Chambers and Casey with 10.9 and 10.1 ppg, respectively, as the team generates 73.2 ppg. Defensively, Harvard is limiting foes to only 31.7 percent shooting behind the 3-point line, an effort that has held those teams to just 60.9 ppg over the course of 25 outings.
Princeton made a total of just seven field goals in the first half and shot 36.5 percent from the floor for the game on Friday, yet that was still good enough to earn the team a double-digit win over visiting Dartmouth. Ben Hazel and Jimmy Sherburne gave the team a lift off the bench with 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Hans Brase led the way with 14 points and Spencer Weisz delivered a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as the team was able to hold on for the double-digit victory.
The Tigers have slowly come around in Ivy play this season, proving that the season may not be hopeless after all, given that they began the league slate with four consecutive defeats. T.J. Bray is leading everybody on the team in scoring, posting 17.7 ppg, not to mention handing out a team-best 98 assists almost effortlessly in just 18 appearances and 16 starts for a squad that has played 22 games. Brase and Will Barrett contribute 11.5 and 11.2 ppg, respectively, to the bottom line on offense.
Harvard is absolutely the top team in the Ivy League again this season and while it would be a shame to see the team take a fall, just remember that the Tigers have dominated the series since it began and have been untouchable at home in the last few decades, so don't expect the hosts to simply surrender without a fight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 77, Princeton 70
02/22 11:00:36 ET