Harvard (6-4) at California (8-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 29, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Haas Pavilion (11,877) -- Berkeley, California. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Harvard 5-1, Cal 4-2. Away Record: Harvard 1-3, Cal 1-1. Neutral Record: Harvard 0-0, Cal 3-0. Conference Record: Harvard 0-0, Cal 0-0. Series Record: California leads 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Harvard Crimson head west for their first of two games in the Golden State, as they take on the California Golden Bears in a non- conference matchup at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
Harvard has won two straight, the most recent of which being a 72-65 home victory over Holy Cross on Dec. 22, where four Crimson players reached double figures in scoring. Sophomore Wesley Saunders tallied 15 points, while Siyani Chambers (14), Christian Webster (13) and Laurent Rivard (10) also had solid scoring nights. The Crimson outrebounded the Crusaders 27-25, and shot 50 percent from the floor, including 7-of-19 from beyond the arc. Following Saturday's game, the Crimson finish their road trip with a contest at Saint Mary's on Monday.
As a team, Harvard is shooting 40.4 percent from long range with an average of 6.3 3-pointers per contest. Saunders, part of a four-guard starting lineup, leads Harvard in scoring at 15.8 points per game, while freshman Chambers kicks in 12.7 points along with 5.1 assists per contest. Chambers was recently named a nominee for the Bob Cousy Award, given annually to the nation's top point guard.
California and Harvard have met twice on the hardwood previously, with the Golden Bears taking both. Cal defeated the Crimson, 69-54, nearly 11 years to the day on Dec. 28, 2001 in Berkeley. The Bears also claimed a 77-74 victory over Harvard on Dec. 22, 1970 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Led by Allen Crabbe's 23-point effort, Cal downed Prairie View A&M, 85-53, on Dec. 22. Crabbe went 8-of-11 from the floor, while Richard Solomon shot 7- of-11 to finish with 18 points. Justin Cobbs chipped in with 14 points, and Tyrone Wallace dished out five assists.
Six of the Golden Bears' eight wins this season have come by double digits, including three of the last five. Cal has out-rebounded nine of its first 11 opponents, averaging 40.8 caroms per contest. The Bears recorded 40 or more rebounds in four straight games earlier this season for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign. They have averaged 47.7 rebounds per game over the last three contests. The junior guard duo of Crabbe and Cobbs are the highest scoring pair in the Pac-12 Conference. The pair has combined to produce 406 of Cal's 796 points (51 percent) and connect on 137 of the Bears' 289 field goals. With an average of 20.4 points per game through the first 11 contests, Crabbe leads the Pac-12 and is 13th in the nation in scoring.
The Crimson can shoot the ball very well and its four-guard lineup may cause problems for the more conventional Bears. But expect Cal to dominate down low, in both scoring and on the glass, which should be enough to secure the home victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 75, Harvard 66
12/29 10:32:18 ET