Columbia (13-8) at Harvard (19-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 4th, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,195) -- Cambridge, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Columbia 6-4, Harvard 7-0. Away Record: Columbia 5-4, Harvard 9-2. Neutral Record: Columbia 2-0, Harvard 3-0. Conference Record: Columbia 2-3, Harvard 5-0. Series Record: Columbia leads, 93-73.
GAME NOTES: Winners of seven straight, the Harvard Crimson takes the floor at home tonight as they host the Columbia Lions in Ivy League action at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge.
Harvard, which has suffered just two setbacks against Fordham and UConn this season, remained undefeated in conference play last night with a 71-60 victory over Cornell at home in front of a sell-out crowd.
As for the Lions, they are further down in the Ivy standings with just two wins in five chances after beating Dartmouth on the road last night, 64-62. The victory was the second in the last three outings for a Columbia squad that has been fighting back from an 0-4 start to the 2011-12 campaign.
As far as the all-time series between these two teams is concerned, Columbia is ahead by a count of 93-73.
Mark Cisco played the hero for the Lions as he knocked down the game-winning jumper in the waning moments of the meeting against Dartmouth last night at Leede Arena. Cisco finished the contest with 18 points as he converted all but one of his eight field goal chances, while Brian Barbour tacked on 13 points as he shook off a 3-of-11 shooting performance. Off the bench it was Van Green who chipped in 10 points as he made both of his three-point tries, but the rest of the team went just 3-of-12 from beyond the arc. Playing close to 35 minutes per game, Barbour leads the program in scoring overall with 15.5 ppg, although his 38.3 percent effort from the floor is somewhat questionable. Cisco is now up to 10.0 ppg thanks to his 61.9 percent accuracy. Defensively, this group is putting all the pieces together as they limit the competition to just 59.4 ppg.
The defense by Harvard locked down on Cornell last night as the visitors shot just 37.7 percent from the floor and 6-of-21 (.286) behind the three-point line en route to the double-digit decision. Laurent Rivard led all scorers with 16 points, shooting 3-of-7 behind the three-point line, while Kyle Casey tacked on another 13 points in a mere 16 minutes as he dealt with foul trouble. A bit sloppy at times, the Crimson turned the ball over 16 times and shot just 6-of-20 beyond the arc, but made up for it with 29-of-34 shooting at the free-throw line, compared to just 14-of-16 at the stripe for the visitors. Casey (11.0 ppg) and Rivard (10.9 ppg), along with Keith Wright (10.5 ppg, are the key offensive figures for the Harvard offense, but like Columbia the Crimson base much of their success at the other end of the floor where they have limited the competition to just 53.7 ppg, which is one of the best marks in all of Division I right now.
Playing these back-to-back games on the weekends is never easy for the Ivy teams, but as long as the scoring stays low Columbia might have a shot at taking down Harvard, but it still isn't likely.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 63, Columbia 57
02/04 10:35:37 ET