Harvard (2-1) at Saint Joseph's (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, November 20, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hagan Arena (4,200) -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Television: NBCSN. Home Record: Harvard 2-0, Saint Joseph's 1-0. Away Record: Harvard 0-1, Saint Joseph's 0-0. Neutral Record: Harvard 0-0, Saint Joseph's 0-0. Conference Record: Harvard 0-0, Saint Joseph's 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: A pair of 2-1 teams hook up in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, as the Harvard Crimson come calling on the Saint Joseph's Hawks.
Harvard has sandwiched a pair of wins against MIT (69-54) and Manhattan (79-45), both at home, around a loss at UMass (67-64). The Crimson still have tough non-conference bouts against Boston College, Connecticut, California and Saint Mary's-CA to play before opening Ivy League action at Dartmouth on Jan. 12. 2013.
Saint Joseph's opened the season with a win over another Ivy League team in Yale (61-35), and followed that up with an upset of nationally-ranked Notre Dame (79-70) in overtime. Unfortunately for the Hawks, the euphoria from that victory was short-lived as they suffered their first defeat against Florida State, with the games against the Fighting Irish and Seminoles both taking place in Brooklyn, New York as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. With the exception of a visit to a ranked Creighton squad on Dec. 1, the rest of SJU's non-conference slate appears manageable. The team will open Atlantic 10 Conference play at home against league newcomer Butler on Jan. 9, 2013.
The all-time series between Harvard and Saint Joseph's is knotted at 1-1, with the Crimson picking up their victory last season in a 74-69 decision at home on New Year's Eve.
Harvard has performed well at both ends of the court here in the early part of the season, averaging 70.7 ppg while allowing just 55.3 ppg. The Crimson boast four double-digit scorers, led by Wesley Saunders with his 13.0 ppg. The team as a whole is shooting 45.8 percent from the field, knocking down 42.9 percent of its three-point attempts along the way. At the same time, foes are hitting just 36.6 percent of their total shots, which includes a 34.0 percent showing from beyond the arc. Siyani Chambers is another guy who has produced for Harvard, netting 12.3 ppg while also doing his best to get his teammates involved by virtue of his 5.7 apg. Laurent Rivard was high man for the Crimson in their recent win over Manhattan, as he scored 17 points on the strength of five three-pointers. Chambers added 14 points behind two treys and a 6-of-6 showing at the foul line, and three others scored in double figures as well Harvard knock down 54.3 percent of its field goal attempts. Meanwhile, the Jaspers were held to 34.1 percent from the floor, and they were outscored at the charity stripe (21-11), outrebounded (33-24), and committed an unsightly 26 turnovers.
Saint Joseph's prides itself on playing outstanding defense, and the Hawks haven't disappointed in that regard as they are holding foes to just 59.3 ppg on 39.8 percent field goal efficiency. They are +5.0 in rebounding margin and goad the opposition into nearly 14 turnovers per outing. From an offensive standpoint, the team relies on five double-digit scorers, led by Ronald Roberts and his 15.3 ppg. Roberts actually averages a double-double as he corrals 13.0 rpg. As a team, the Hawks are hitting 44.1 percent of their total shots, but they have been off the mark far more time than not from long range, draining a mere 13-of-52 three-point tries (.250). Saint Joseph's put four players in double figures in its recent clash with Florida State, but the Seminoles shot a sizzling 54.5 percent from the floor to earn the victory. Roberts, who had 21 points and 16 boards in the upset of Notre Dame, was huge once again for the Hawks, tallying 15 points and 11 rebounds. Carl Jones made his first appearance of the season, netting 13 points in 28 minutes of action off the bench.
This game should be hotly contested, with both teams trading blows throughout. In the end, give the nod to the home team as Harvard will be hard-pressed to find someone to slow down Roberts.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Joseph's 67, Harvard 63
11/20 10:40:38 ET