Harvard, which is off to its best Ivy League start (7-1) since 1970-71, heads to the Empire State for road games at Cornell and Columbia. The Crimson, winner of three straight games, stands at 18-4 overall, its second best start in program history and is in second place in the Ivy League. The Big Red own a 6-16 mark and is 2-6 in the Ancient Eight.
Audio for this weekend's games will be broadcast via a subscription at GoCrimson.com. Video (via a subscription) and live statistics will be available at CornellBigRed.com for Friday's game and video (via a subscription) and live statistics will also be available for Saturday's game at Columbia at GoColumbiaLions.com.
Keith Wright earned his seventh double-double of the season, scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 boards, including nine on the offensive glass, in a 78-57 win over Cornell Jan. 29. Kyle Casey added 16 points and nine rebounds, while Laurent Rivard (12 points), Brandyn Curry (10) and Christian Webster (10) also scored in double figures. Curry and McNally each handed out seven assists, helping Harvard to a 17-to-4 assist-to-turnover ratio for the game.
Last Time Out
Harvard overcame a 24-point deficit early in the second half to Brown before outscoring the Bears 54-23 for the remainder of the game to emerge with an 85-78 victory. Keith Wright, who was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week, led the way with 22 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, as the Crimson recorded the largest comeback in program history and the second biggest in the history of the Ivy League. By overcoming a 22-point deficit at halftime, Harvard's historic comeback ranks fourth in NCAA history.
The Big Red nearly upset first-place Princeton Feb. 12, but the Tigers held on for a 57-55 win in Ithaca. Chris Wroblewski paced Cornell's offense with a 14-point showing, while Errick Peck added 13 points. Cornell shot only 39.2 percent from the field, but made 11 steals.
The Crimson heads into Friday night second place in the Ivy League with a 7-1 conference mark, trailing only Princeton who boasts a 7-0 Ancient Eight record. With six games to play, Harvard has two games remaining at Lavietes Pavilion and four contests left to play on the road. Yale is in third place with a 5-3 conference mark, while Columbia is fourth at 4-4. Harvard also has the second best overall record in the conference, behind only Princeton (19-4), and the Crimson sports an 11-1 record in its last 12 games.
The Crimson is shooting 53.9 percent from the floor (55-of-102) and 42.1 percent from long distance (16-of-38) in the final five minutes of games this season. Harvard has only been called for 61 fouls in that time span, while drawing 94 fouls by opponents.
Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker enters the weekend with a 26-24 (.520) record against Ivy League opponents. Harvard is 19-5 against Ancient Eight foes since the start of the 2009-10 campaign and won four straight conference games to open this season. Harvard has also won its last three Ivy games entering Friday evening.
For the second straight season, Harvard swept Dartmouth to open conference play and sits at 7-1 in Ivy League action after sweeping Yale and Brown Feb. 11-12, respectively. Harvard's best Ivy League record occurred in 1970-71, when the team finished 11-3 in conference games. The 2010-11 Crimson has tied the 1970-71 team with a 7-1 conference start.
Keith Wright is averaging nearly a double-double in conference games, scoring 17.9 points per game, while collecting 9.1 rebounds per contest. Wright is also shooting 62.1 percent from the field in Ivy League contests. Kyle Casey (14.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Christian Webster (13.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg) are also averaging double figures. Brandyn Curry is handing out 5.8 assists per game, while scoring 8.5 per contest. Harvard is averaging 73.6 points per game as a team, while surrendering 65.8 ppg, for a +7.8 point margin.
Harvard is riding a 15-game win streak at home, a program record. The current win streak at home is the longest for Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion and is tied for the 11th current longest streak in the NCAA. Harvard has established a new record for home victories in a season with 12, surpassing last season's 11 wins at Lavietes. The 1937-38 Crimson finished the season 10-0 at home.
In the last four minutes of games this season, McNally leads Harvard with a perfect 1.000 shooting percentage. He has made all five of his shots in the closing moments of games, four of which were from beyond the arc. He is averaging 1.6 points in the last four minutes of games and is 22-of-24 from the foul line (.917).
With Harvard's dramatic, 83-82 victory in double overtime at Penn Feb. 5, the Crimson has won its last three games that have gone past regulation. The Crimson held off William & Mary, 87-85, in three overtimes with Jeremy Lin's 3-point buzzer beater Nov. 15, 2009, and downed Yale, 82-79, in overtime, Feb. 12, 2010.
Harvard is 6-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points, topping Colorado, 82-66, Nov. 28, Fordham, 80-57, Dec. 1, Boston University, 87-71, Dec. 11, MIT, 84-58, Dec. 31. Penn, 83-82, in double overtime Feb. 5 and Brown, 85-78, Feb. 12.