Off to the best Ivy League start in its history, Harvard could
be poised for its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1946.
Riding their longest winning streak since that same season, the
Crimson now have a shot to avenge the last-second loss that kept
them from last year’s tourney.
No. 25 Harvard looks to snap its 22-game road losing streak at
Princeton and earn its 10th straight victory overall when the
longtime rivals square off at L. Stockwell Jadwin Gymnasium.
The Crimson (21-2, 7-0), whose 8-0 start was highlighted by a
46-41 upset of then-No. 22 Florida State on Nov. 25 in the Bahamas,
extended their current winning streak to nine Friday with a 56-50
victory over Penn.
Beating the Quakers wasn’t easy for Harvard, which missed 15 of
19 3-point attempts and only broke open a tie game with an 11-2 run
midway through the second half. Sophomore Laurent Rivard, who
entered play as the team’s leading scorer at 11.3 points per game,
suffered through his worst effort of the season by going 0 for 5
from the field and finishing with two points.
Freshman guard Corbin Miller helped pick up the slack by scoring
a career-high 17 points and junior Kyle Casey added 15 as the
Crimson kept their hopes alive for an unblemished Ivy League
season, though coach Tommy Amaker doesn’t want to entertain such
“We have a long way to go to think of ourselves as anything
along those lines,” Amaker said. “We’re working toward becoming a
contender on a consistent basis. But right now, we’re full steam
ahead with what’s right in front of us.”
Harvard has won nine in a row for the first time since a 13-game
run to conclude the 1945-46 regular season. Those Crimson went on
to the only NCAA tournament appearance in school history, falling
67-61 to NYU in the third-place game.
It only may seem like 66 years since Harvard won at Princeton
(12-10, 3-3). The Crimson have dropped 22 consecutive visits to
their league rivals from New Jersey since a 63-57 victory Feb. 3,
Harvard and Princeton split their regular season meetings in
2010-11, and finished with identical 12-2 conference records to
force a tiebreaker game at New Haven, Conn. The Tigers won that
March 12 contest 63-62 on a buzzer-beating jumper by Douglas Davis
to clinch the Ivy’s automatic NCAA tourney berth.
“Doug has an amazing mid-range game and it was an amazing shot,”
Princeton guard Dan Mavraides said.
Mavraides graduated last spring, but Davis brings his shooting
back to this matchup. The senior guard, who is averaging 13.6
points per game, finished with a game-high 20 while making 5 of 7
3-pointers to lead the Tigers over Dartmouth 59-47 on Friday
Davis’ performance Friday helped Princeton overcome a dreadful
night from leading scorer Ian Hummer (16.5 ppg), who went 0 for 11
from the field and finished with four points – his lowest output
since his 2009-10 freshman season.
Hummer averaged 14.0 points and shot 54.8 percent in last
season’s three matchups with Harvard, while Casey posted an
identical average while shooting 59.3 percent for the Crimson.
These teams will meet again Feb. 24 at Cambridge, Mass.