Princeton (12-3) at Harvard (15-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 31, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,195) -- Boston, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Princeton 6-0, Harvard 6-0. Away Record: Princeton 5-2, Harvard 5-3. Neutral Record: Princeton 1-1, Harvard 4-0. Conference Record: Princeton 0-1, Harvard 2-0. Series Record: Princeton leads, 129-41.
GAME NOTES: The Harvard Crimson will try to remain undefeated both at Lavietes Pavilion and in the Ivy League on Friday night when they take on the Princeton Tigers.
Princeton lost its Ivy League opener on Jan. 11 at Penn, but it has won three of its last four otherwise, most recently downing Kean University at home on Sunday, 84-54. The Tigers are an impressive 12-3 this season and have been outstanding on the road, winning five of seven games.
Harvard has run out to a 15-3 record this season, which includes wins in all six of its home games. The Crimson were sliding a bit heading into their latest bout with losses in two of three, but they got back on the winning track with a dominating 80-50 victory at Dartmouth on Sunday to improve to 2-0 in league action.
The Tigers have dominated the storied rivalry with the Crimson, holding a 129-41 series lead. The teams split the two-game series a year ago, with each side winning at home.
The Tigers did what was expected of them against a Division III foe earlier in the week, as they shot 43.8 percent from the field, including 17-of-43 from 3- point range - a program record for most 3-point attempts in a game - on their way to the easy 30-point win. Will Barrett, T.J. Bray and Spencer Weisz all scored 15 points, with Barrett doing all of his damage from beyond the arc (5- of-8). In total, 14 players scored in the blowout victory.
On the season, Princeton shoots 45.4 percent from the field for 75.4 ppg, while allowing just 67.1 ppg on 44.4 percent shooting, and its 10.5 3-pointers per game (at a 38-percent clip) rank fourth-best in the nation. It also puts forth a great effort in the takeaway battle, forcing 2.1 more turnovers per game than it commits. Bray shots 53.6 percent from the field for 17.2 ppg and also has an outstanding assist (65) to turnover (17) ratio. Barrett (11.8 ppg) and Hans Brase (11.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg) also score in double figures, while Ben Hazel (9.9 ppg), Denton Koon (9.6 ppg) and Weisz (9.5 ppg) narrowly miss that distinction.
The Crimson went on the road and dismantled Dartmouth in their latest bout, making a blistering 65.9 percent of their shots from the field, including 10- of-14 from beyond the arc, in the 30-point triumph. Their great shooting effort and stout defense helped mask a game-high 22 turnovers. Laurent Rivard was nearly flawless en route to 15 points at 4-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Siyani Chambers and Brandyn Curry both scored 14 points, while Steve Moundou-Missi (12 points) and Wesley Saunders (nine points, six rebounds) rounded out the balanced effort.
Harvard's dominance this season has been well represented in its statistical production, as it shoots 45.7 percent from the field for 72.8 ppg while allowing only 60.4 ppg. Much like Princeton, the Crimson boast a balanced squad, with six players scoring at least 8.6 ppg, led by Saunders and his 15.0 ppg. Saunders is one of the most multi-talented guards in the league, adding 5.1 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.2 spg and 0.9 bpg. Chambers (11.5 ppg) has made 41.2 percent of his 3-point attempts, while Kyle Casey (10.3 ppg) pulls down a team-high 5.9 rpg.
Princeton appears poised for a strong run in the league this season, but Harvard is playing like the Ivy's best team at the moment, and on its home floor it'll find a way to take down the Tigers.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 72, Princeton 65
01/31 10:31:44 ET