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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,195) -- Boston, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Brown 5-2. Harvard 8-1. Away Record: Brown 3-7, Harvard 3-5. Neutral Record: Brown 0-0, Harvard 0-0. Conference Record: Brown 2-1, Harvard 3-0. Series Record: Harvard leads, 91-72.
GAMES NOTES: The Harvard Crimson will look to stay perfect in Ivy League play when the Brown Bears come to Lavietes Pavilion for a conference conflict on Saturday night.
Brown bounced back from a 76-64 loss in overtime last Saturday with a 62-50 win over Dartmouth last night. The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Bears who are now just a game below .500 overall (8-9). The victory over Dartmouth came in the second contest of the current five-game road trip for the Bears, who are just 3-7 in 10 previous away games. Next up Brown will tip off with Princeton on Friday.
As for the Crimson, they were able to hold on for a 67-64 win against Yale last night. The win was the fourth in the last five games for the Crimson who have improved to 11-6 overall, while taking wins in their first three league battles. At Lavietes Pavilion, opponents have had a rough go of it against Harvard which has eight wins in nine changes on its home floor. Harvard will hit the road in its next two games however against Cornell and Columbia.
As with any Ivy League rivalry there is a great deal of history between these two programs. They have met a total of 163 times. Harvard has accumulated the all-time series lead (91-72), winning each of the last six meetings.
Led by a game-high 22 points from Rafael Maia and a 52.2 percent shooting effort, Brown was able to ease by Dartmouth. The Bears assisted on 15 of their field goals in the contest, while turning the ball over just nine times. On the defensive end they held Dartmouth to 43.5 percent shooting.
Leading the way for the Bears this season has been the backcourt duo of Sean McGonagill (14.4 ppg) and Matt Sullivan (14.2 ppg). McGonagill has been a bit better though since league play began scoring 13.7 points a game. Sullivan scored 13 points in the team's first two Ivy League contests but had just five against Dartmouth. Overall on the season the pair rank among the top five scorers in the conference while McGonagill. Maia (10.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg) is one of the top rebounders in the conference and has upped his scoring in league play by scoring 13.7 points per game in the three contests. The Bears lack depth though offensively as they score just 61.9 points per game while shooting a shade under 40 percent from the floor.
Harvard led by as many as 15 points and never trailed after taking a 12-10 lead with 13:54 to go in the first half against Yale. The Crimson shot at a 54.8 percent rate in the contest and outscored the Bulldogs 24-12 from beyond the arc.
Although offensively Harvard doesn't stand out at the national level, the Crimson have been the top scoring team in comparison to the rest of the Ivy League by putting in 69.8 points per game, while ranking among the top 25 teams in the country in field goal percentage (.482). Ball movement has been key to Harvard's strong offensive effort as it ranks second in the conference in assists (14.4 pg). Wesley Saunders (16.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.0 apg) is the top scoring threat for the Crimson and has been in double figures in every game this season, including a game-high 15 points against Yale. Siyani Chambers (13.1 ppg, 5.9 apg) provides additional scoring, while leading the conference in assists.
Though Brown has two of the better scorers in the conference it cannot compare to the offensive balance the Crimson have led by Saunders and Chambers. Expect Harvard to stay perfect in league play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 70, Brown 61
02/02 10:47:48 ET