Penn (5-17) at Harvard (13-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 15, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,195) -- Cambridge, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Penn 4-5, Harvard 9-1. Away Record: Penn 1-9, Harvard 4-6. Neutral Record: Penn 0-3, Harvard 0-0. Conference Record: Penn 2-3, Harvard 5-1. Series Record: Penn leads, 128-34.
GAME NOTES: For the first of two meetings in a span of just over two weeks, the Penn Quakers take on the Harvard Crimson in Ivy League action at Lavietes Pavilion on Friday night.
A winner in all three Ivy home games thus far, leading to a 9-1 mark in their own building this season overall, the Crimson are hoping to avoid just their second set of back-to-back defeats when they take the floor against Penn. Last Sunday, after winning four straight games and opening league play with a perfect 5-0 mark, Harvard clashed with Columbia on the road and bowed to the Lions, 78-63. That game was one of a handful of contests that had to be postponed at least one day due to a winter storm that struck the Northeast.
As for the Quakers, a squad which has won just one of 10 true road dates and just a single decision away from home in 13 attempts overall, they hosted Brown last weekend and claimed a convincing 71-48 final in order to snap a two-game slide and move to 2-3 in conference play.
In a relationship that dates back more than a century, the Quakers have ruled over Harvard by a margin of 128-34. However, Penn had been on the losing end of six straight matchups before slipping by the Crimson in the most recent meeting last season, 55-54, on the road.
Miles Cartwright scored a career-high 28 points as the Penn Quakers rolled over the Brown Bears by 23 points in an Ivy League contest at The Palestra. Cartwright, who knocked down 5-of-6 shots beyond the arc, added seven rebounds and five assists to lead Penn in both of those categories as well. Tony Hicks added 15 points for Penn which outscored Brown 27-6 from 3-point range and claimed a 44-35 edge in rebounds.
Over the course of 22 games this season, of which he has appeared in and started all but one, Cartwright leads the Quakers in scoring with his 14.0 ppg and is also tops in assists with 73. Cartwright has done quite a bit of damage at the free-throw line where he has logged 97 of his 294 points. However, the team as a whole has been outscored by 99 at the charity stripe and that has contributed to the squad being beaten by almost six ppg on the average as well.
Harvard defeated Cornell by just two points a week ago, so maybe the Crimson were not completely ready to be taken out of their routine and be on the road against a spunky Columbia group on Sunday as well. Although, don't tell that to Wesley Saunders who made good on all 10 of his free-throw attempts and finished with a team-best 27 points for the visitors to Levien Gym over the weekend. Siyani Chambers added 12 points as he made good on 8-of-10 at the stripe as well.
A 75.0 percent shooter at the free-throw line on the season, Saunders is producing a team-best 16.8 ppg for Harvard at the moment, while Chambers is also clutch as the stripe with 83.9 percent accuracy which has led to his 13.5 ppg. Between the two they've accounted for 199 of the unit's 283 assists in an effort to keep everyone involved at the offensive end of the floor. One of those players is Laurent Rivard (10.8 ppg) who is actually shooting better beyond the arc (.421) than he is the floor overall (.420).
By no means are the Quakers the team that has historically dominated the Ivy League, but with so much time to prepare for these contests there's always a chance Penn could surprise an opponent, even on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 68, Penn 55
02/15 10:31:51 ET