Harvard (17-7) at Princeton (14-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 1, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jadwin Gym (6,854) -- Princeton, New Jersey. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Harvard 11-1, Princeton 7-4. Away Record: Harvard 6-6, Princeton 7-4. Neutral Record: Harvard 0-0, Princeton 0-1. Conference Record: Harvard 9-1, Princeton 7-2. Series Record: Princeton leads, 128-41.
GAME NOTES: The top two teams in the Ivy League kick off the final month of the regular season against each other on Friday night, as the Princeton Tigers host the Harvard Crimson at Jadwin Gym.
Harvard, which is an impressive 11-1 at home but has managed to only break even in 12 road tests this season, could clinch at least a share of the league crown for the third year in a row if it sweeps the games it has this weekend against Princeton and Penn. The Crimson is riding a four-game win streak and has captured eight victories in the last nine outings overall, thanks to a 72-66 triumph versus Yale last Saturday in New Haven.
As for the Tigers, currently sitting at 7-2 in league play and trailing the 9-1 Crimson, they've posted back-to-back victories of their own by closing out a four-game road trip last week with a 65-40 decision over Columbia and a 72-53 rout of Cornell.
The Crimson won the first meeting of the campaign just a couple weeks ago, 69-57, at home, which means the all-time series now stands at 128-41 in favor of the Tigers. Harvard has not won in Princeton since 1989.
Of the seven players that took the floor for the Crimson last weekend against Yale, all but two scored in double figures. Steve Moundou-Missi came off the bench to record a game-high 17 points, Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers checked in with 14 points apiece, combining for 11 assists, while Laurent Rivard and Christian Webster responded with 13 and 10 points, respectively, as the team made good on 54.5 percent from the field, but at the same time allowed the Bulldogs to hit on 52.2 percent as well.
Against the rest of the Ancient Eight, Harvard is getting the bulk of its production from Saunders (17.9 ppg) and Chambers (14.5 ppg), who are not only top-notch scoring threats themselves, they've also combined to hand out 100 of the team's 136 assists in those 10 league bouts. Giving the group a boost off the bench is Moundou-Missi (10.9 ppg), his 66.7 percent shooting effort helping to lift the entire program to 51.6 percent from the field en route to 72.2 ppg.
Cornell didn't put up much of a fight during its meeting with the Tigers last weekend, particularly in the first half when it made a total of just five field goals. Leading the way for the Princeton offense was Ian Hummer with 23 points and seven rebounds, followed by Will Barrett and Denton Koon with 13 and 11 points, respectively, as the unit knocked down an impressive 57.9 percent from the floor and held the Big Red to just 31.6 percent from the floor.
Hummer, the leading scorer in two of the last three games for the Tigers, is atop the team's scoring list overall with his 16.1 ppg, shooting 53.9 percent from the floor. But more than just putting the ball in the basket, he's branching out to collect a team-best 6.3 rpg as well as hand out 100 assists, which is also tops on the unit. Koon checks in with another 11.0 ppg for a program that is producing 64.0 ppg but more importantly, holding the opposition to just 57.0 ppg.
This meeting will go a long way in deciding which one of these teams deserves to represent the Ivy League in the NCAA Tournament this season. Harvard seems to have the upper-hand, but it just isn't that easy when the Tigers are so stubborn on defense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Princeton 64, Harvard 61
03/01 10:36:40 ET