Fordham (1-5) at Harvard (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,195) -- Cambridge, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 0-1, Harvard 2-1. Away Record: Fordham 0-2, Harvard 0-2. Neutral Record: Fordham 1-2, Harvard 0-0. Conference Record: Fordham 0-0, Harvard 0-0. Series Record: Fordham leads, 8-3.
GAME NOTES: The Fordham Rams and the Harvard Crimson both attempt to avoid three-game losing streaks on Saturday afternoon when the two meet at Lavietes Pavilion.
Fordham opened its season with three consecutive defeats before winning its only game of the year against Penn (70-68) in the NIT Season Tip-Off consolation round. Since that time, the Rams have fallen back to their losing ways with defeats against both Fairfield (74-71) and Manhattan (65-58).
The Crimson won their opener at home versus MIT, 69-54, but since then they have lost three of four to UMass (67-64), Saint Joseph's (75-56) and Vermont (85-78).
Fordham leads the all-time series with Harvard, 8-3. The Rams won the last matchup, 60-54, on Jan. 3, 2012, a game in which the Crimson were ranked No. 21 in the nation at the time.+
The Rams have not gotten off to a stellar start shooting the ball, as they make good on just over 41 percent of their field goal attempts for 64.0 ppg. It was much of the same in the recent loss to Manhattan, shooting 20-of-55 from the field (including 3-of-18 from three-point range), as they let a second-half lead evaporate down the stretch. Ryan Canty provided a spark from off the bench, doing all he could to keep his team in the game by scoring 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. Brandon Frazier did not have as much success from the field (3-of-11), but he made nine of his 10 free throw attempts en route to 16 points. Frazier puts up a team-best 16.7 ppg and hands out 4.3 apg, but he hurts the squad by shooting poorly from the field overall (.375) and from beyond the arc (.242). Chris Gaston tallies 11.3 ppg and 8.7 rpg, but as a team Fordham gets outrebounded by nearly eight boards per game. Bryan Smith rounds out the unit's double-digit scorers with 10.2 ppg, and he has nailed a team-high 13 treys.
Harvard has put together a respectable start at the offensive end of the court (69.2 ppg), but its typically strong defensive presence has been inconsistent in the early going, as it allows just 49.5 ppg in its two wins but 75.7 ppg in its three losses. The Crimson were hot from the floor in their latest game by making 24-of-47 field goal attempts (.511), but Vermont spoiled that effort by shooting a lofty 59.6 percent from the floor. Wesley Saunders had a strong performance despite the loss with 21 points, four assists, four rebounds, and four steals. Laurent Rivard drained four three-pointers on his way to 17 points, and Siyani Chambers scored 16 points and handed out eight assists. Saunders has been Harvard's top performer in the early going with 15.6 ppg, while adding 5.2 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.8 spg. Rivard adds 12.8 ppg on greater than 45 percent shooting from three-point range, and Chambers has played well at the point with 11.0 ppg and 5.4 apg.
Harvard might not be the best team in the Ivy League like it was last season, but it still possesses enough talent to play better than it has through five games. At home, the Crimson should be able to get back on track against the struggling Rams.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 72, Fordham 62
12/01 10:35:48 ET