GAME NOTES: The Harvard Crimson will take part in their final non-conference game of the season on Tuesday, when they face off with the Florida Atlantic Owls at FAU Arena.
The Crimson have been off since Jan. 11 when they took on Dartmouth in their Ivy League opener. That contest ended in a 61-45 decision in favor of Harvard, which is 14-2 overall and has won 10 of its last 11 games. The Crimson get another shot at the Big Green in their next outing.
Winning has been much more difficult for FAU this season, as the Owls are just 6-12 overall. They were defeated in a 65-60 final by league foe Old Dominion on Saturday, ending a two-game win streak. Up next is a three-game road trip that begins at FIU.
Harvard collected a 63-51 win over FAU during the 2011-12 season in the only other meeting between the two programs.
In its win over Dartmouth, Harvard forced 18 turnovers and limited the opposition to just 37.8 percent shooting. The Crimson also held a 19-9 scoring advantage at the free-throw line, and a 24-4 edge in points off giveaways. Brandyn Curry poured in 17 points in the win.
The Crimson's stellar campaign has been filled with strong defensive showings. They are holding teams to just 61.4 ppg and 40.5 percent shooting, while ranking in the top-25 in the country in assists allowed (9.8 apg). Harvard will need to keep up that defensive pace this evening, as leading scorer Wesley Saunders (15.7 ppg) is listed as questionable with a strained knee, which kept him out of action against Dartmouth. Curry (9 ppg) did a solid job in his absence, although Siyani Chambers (11.4 ppg, 4.7 apg) and Kyle Casey (11.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) are the more reliable scoring options.
There were only three lead changes in FAU's bout with Old Dominion, but the teams were never separated by more than 10 points. The Owls let themselves down by turning the ball over 15 times, while assisting on just seven of their 22 field goals. Justin Raffington (15 points, 12 rebounds) posted a double- double in the losing effort.
Wasting offensive possessions is something very few teams can afford. FAU is not a squad that can, as it is netting just 68.6 ppg and shooting 42.7 percent from the floor. Pablo Bertone (18 ppg) is the top offensive weapon the Owls have, as he ranks second in Conference USA in scoring. Bertone finished with 15 points against ODU, but he also turned the ball over four times. The list of scorers dries up quickly for the Owls, with Jackson Trapp (10.9 ppg) the only other player averaging in double figures, although he shoots just 35.8 percent from the field.
Harvard's defensive prowess makes it a team that can certainly travel well. The Crimson will have an easy time of slowing the Owls, especially if they can key in on Bertone.
Game Date and Time