Since losing at George Mason in their season opener, the Crimson have reeled off five straight wins. That marks the program's longest win streak since winning seven in a row from Dec. 28, 2009 to Jan. 29, 2010. Harvard knocked off Fordham Wednesday night, 80-57, and the team is looking to start 6-1 for the second straight year.
Michigan is coming off Tuesday night's 69-61 triumph at Clemson as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The victory snapped a two-game skid for the Wolverines, who are a perfect 3-0 at home thus far. This afternoon's tilt kicks off a season-long eight-game homestand for Michigan.
Michigan has won two of the three previous meetings between these two schools, although Harvard notched a 62-51 victory when they last met on Dec. 1, 2007.
Harvard drained 15-of-27 three-pointers (.556) in Wednesday's win over Fordham, marking the program's most treys in a game since knocking down 17 against Rice in December of 2002. The Crimson committed only nine turnovers Wednesday night as they played frontrunner throughout. Freshman Laurent Rivard buried five of those threes off the bench, finishing with a career-high 21 points in just 20 minutes of action. Christian Webster scored 18 in the win, while Kyle Casey added 13 and Keith Wright finished with 10 points. On the season, Harvard has made 52 three-pointers already and is shooting nearly 40 percent as a team from the perimeter. Defensively, the Crimson have held opponents to 27-percent shooting from outside. Webster paces the squad with 16.5 ppg, followed by Wright with 16.0 ppg and a team-best 8.0 rebounds. Harvard leads the Ivy League in scoring defense (62.2 ppg) and is a +9.7 in scoring margin through six games.
Michigan has held its foes to 53.7 ppg and enters this tilt a +11.3 in scoring margin. The Wolverines are limiting the opposition to 36.7-percent shooting from the floor while also holding a +5.7 rebounding advantage. Darius Morris leads the way with 13.8 ppg, followed by Tim Hardaway Jr, son of the five-time NBA All-Star, with 12.0 ppg. Down low, Jordan Morgan also averaged double figures (10.2 ppg) in addition to leading the team in rebounding (6.8 rpg). Evan Smotrycz led the way in Tuesday's win over Clemson with 18 points to go along with six rebounds. Hardaway scored 15, while Morris grabbed seven boards to go along with his 13 points. The Wolverines held Clemson to 36.5-percent shooting in that contest, and they also held a key 19-8 scoring edge at the foul line. However, after leading by as many as 20 late in the first half, the Wolverines let things get interesting in the second stanza as they went the final 5:07 without a field goal.
Even if their long-range shooting is off, the Crimson have thrived on second- chance points as coach Tommy Amaker continues to preach maximum effort. Playing at Crisler Arena is no easy task, but the Crimson should be up for it.
GAME NOTES: The surging Harvard Crimson visit Crisler Arena to take on the Michigan Wolverines in a non-conference matchup this afternoon.
FACTS & STATS: Site: Crisler Arena (13,751) -- Ann Arbor, Michigan. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Harvard 3-0, Michigan 3-0. Away Record: Harvard 2-1, Michigan 1-0. Neutral Record: Harvard 0-0, Michigan 0-2. Conference Record: Harvard 0-0, Michigan 0-0. Series Record: Michigan leads, 2-1.