Men's Basketball Begins Ivy Title Defense on Saturday at Home vs. Dartmouth

Mason Forbes action photo
Photo Courtesy: George Kubas.
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard, the preseason Ivy League favorites and two-time reigning conference regular-season champions, opens Ivy action at home against travel-partner Dartmouth. The Saturday afternoon contest, which is the Crimson's first outing since Jan. 4, is set for a 2 p.m. ET start and will air on ESPN+.

How to Follow
Broadcast: ESPN+ | International Stream
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Game Notes: vs. Dartmouth
Twitter: @HarvardMBB

What to Know

• Harvard, which is receiving votes in the latest AP Top-25 Poll, carries a season-best six-game winning streak into Ivy League action, marking its longest winning streak heading into its conference opener in the history of Ivy play (start of 1955-56 campaign). The previous longest winning streak heading into Harvard's conference opener under Tommy Amaker was four in 2009-10.

• Harvard's six-game winning streak is tied for the eighth-longest in the country (through Jan. 14 games). The Crimson, meanwhile, has won seven straight at home, dating to last season, which is tied for the 43rd-longest nationally (through Jan. 14 games).

• The Crimson defeated UC Irvine at home, 77-73, in its last outing on Jan. 4. The victory ran Harvard's winning streak to six games, matching the eighth-longest winning streak in the Amaker era. The Crimson also finished its non-conference home slate with an unblemished 5-0 record.

• Harvard shot 47.2 percent from the floor against the Anteaters, marking the fifth time in its last six games it has shot at least 47 percent. During the six-game stretch, the Crimson is shooting 50.9 percent, while holding its foes to 39.4 percent from the floor. Harvard has also enjoyed a plus-8.5 rebounding advantage.

• Senior Christian Juzang led the Crimson against UC Irvine with a team-best 15 points and a game-high five assists. The guard has played some of his best basketball of late, averaging 15.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists, while shooting 53.6 percent from the field (.471 3FG), in his last three games.

• Senior Chris Lewis has been impressive of late, scoring in double figures in a career-high-tying five consecutive games. During this recent run, Lewis is averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots. The forward has also made 36 of his 49 attempts from the floor (.735) and been even more deadly from the free throw line, making 8-of-10. Against UCI, Lewis tallied 10 points (5-7 FG) and four rebounds.

• First-year Chris Ledlum turned in 12 points off the bench against UC Irvine, which wrapped up a week in which he averaged 12.0 points (.471 FG), 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 2.0 blocked shots. For his efforts, he was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season. Ledlum has earned the award on Nov. 18, Dec. 9, Dec. 30 and Jan. 6, in 2019-20.

• At 11-4, Harvard is off to its best 15-game start since the '14-15 campaign when it opened with an identical mark. That Crimson team finished 22-8, won the Ivy League and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

• The Crimson enters the Dartmouth game with an 11-1 record in Ivy openers under Amaker. Harvard, however, will look to avenge its only Ivy-opening blemish after it fell to the Big Green a season ago, 81-63, in Hanover, New Hampshire.

• The Ivy game represents the latest in the calendar year that Harvard has played a conference game in league history. The Crimson will have also had two weeks between games (vs. UCI - Dec. 4; vs. Dartmouth - Dec. 18), its second-longest layoff of '19-20. The first netted positive results as Harvard defeated UMass at home, 89-55, on Dec. 7, only to return on Dec. 21 to beat George Washington on the road, 88-75.

At The Helm
The all-time winningest head coach in Harvard men's basketball history, Tommy Amaker is on the Harvard sidelines for his 13th season. The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball has directed the Crimson to a period of unprecedented prosperity in the form of four NCAA tournament appearances (2012-15), seven Ivy League championships (2011-15, 18-19) and six 20-win seasons (2010-15). Amaker owns a 417-274 career record: 241-135 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall.