No. 25 Harvard hosts MIT in season lid lifter

Nov 14, 2014 - 4:32 PM Cambridge, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The No. 25 Harvard Crimson, the first Ivy League program to begin the season ranked in 39 years, will start their 2014-15 season off with a home contest at Lavietes Pavilion against cross-town foes the MIT Engineers.

The Crimson have been the class of the Ivy League for the majority of this decade, having won at least a share of the league title in four straight years under head coach Tommy Amaker. The team reached new heights in 2013-14 with a school-record 27 victories while finishing 13-1 in league play. As a No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Harvard upset No. 5 Cincinnati, 61-57, before falling to No. 4 Michigan State in the third round, 80-73.

MIT, a member of Division III's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), went 20-9 in 2013-14 and won three games in the conference tournament en route to its fourth title in the past six seasons.

Harvard has won 11 in a row over MIT, most recently last November (79-37), to take a 51-9 lead in the all-time series.

The Engineers will benefit from welcoming back two of the NEWMAC's best players this season. Matt Redfield led the team in scoring with 13.0 ppg while also pulling down 8.5 rpg and blocking 2.3 shots per contest. Andrew Acker (11.8 ppg, 9.6 rpg) is also a nightly double-double threat and shot greater than 57 percent from the field. Justin Pedley shot just 35.5 percent from the floor but generated enough volume to score 11.6 ppg.

Harvard was excellent on both ends of the floor last season, scoring 73.2 ppg while allowing just 61.0 ppg, and more of the same is expected this time around as it returns its top three scorers and four others who played significant roles. Wesley Saunders is the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year and heads into his senior season trying to improve upon his gaudy all- around numbers (14.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.7 bpg). Siyani Chambers (11.1 ppg, 4.6 apg) and Steve Moundou-Missi (10.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) also return as mainstays in the starting lineup.






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