There was no doubt that a Harvard men’s basketball player would earn Athlete of the Week honors after the team’s historic 68-62 upset of New Mexico in the NCAA tournament on Thursday. With Laurent Rivard taking home the top honors, here are some of the other athletes with great performances from this past week, including three more men from the basketball squad.
While the Harvard men’s basketball team looks to clinch a share of the Ivy League title with two wins at Princeton and Penn, March Madness has already started for other Crimson winter squads. Women’s hockey hosts Dartmouth tonight for Game 1 of the ECAC quarterfinals while women’s swimming and diving has already begun its three-day defense of its Ivy League title at Princeton. In addition, men’s hockey looks to wrap-up its regular season at the Bright with contests against No. 1 Quinnipiac and Princeton while women’s basketball hopes to make some noise against the Ancient Eight’s top two teams as it hosts Princeton and Penn. Here’s a look at some of the big numbers heading into the weekend.
In a new weekly series by The Back Page, Harvard beat writers will discuss topics about a Crimson athletics team. In this edition, basketball beat writers Hope Schwartz and David Freed discussed the men’s basketball team’s future in the Ivy League as well as their frontcourt rotation and ability to close out games.
Cordelia F. Mendez: The team is facing its second road weekend of the season and will have to meet its most difficult opponent, Princeton. How can Harvard even hope to stop or slow down the Tigers given that they put up a program-high 99 points last week?
Ivy League basketball hosted a midseason teleconference last week with each head coach speaking about the state of their teams going into conference play. The Back Page brings you the most interesting and relevant statements by each coach.
Yale coach Chris Gobrecht on freshman stepping up because of injuries:
“The biggest thing for us has just been bringing our freshman up to speed and getting our team healthy. We have not been a whole team yet this year.… We have a way that we play that is a very fast, very aggressive game, and it’s not an easy thing for a freshman to jump right in and play it. There’s nothing conventional about what we do, so it takes a while to catch on.”
You can’t count the Crimson out until the last whistle is blown. On Wednesday, the Harvard men’s hockey team orchestrated one of the finest comebacks in recent memory, coming back from a 5-2 deficit entering the third period to defeat No. 8 Boston University, 6-5, and snap a five-game losing streak.
In light of Harvard’s remarkable upset win, The Back Page takes a look back at some of the most memorable Crimson comebacks of the 21st century—so far.
The Game 2009: Harvard 14, Yale 10
After blanking their opponent for the first three quarters, the Bulldogs were in striking distance of an upset victory. But the Crimson—frustrated by a number of missed opportunities throughout the game—was not prepared to go quietly. With seven minutes left to play, Harvard quarterback Collier Winters found wideout Matt Luft with a 41-yard pass straight down the middle, putting the Crimson on the board and bringing the score to 10-7. Up by three, Yale chose a risky fake punt play on fourth and 22, leading to Harvard gaining possession at the 40. In crunch time, the Crimson would not falter. Winters found wide receiver Chris Lorditch on a 32-yard touchdown toss less than a minute later, cementing Harvard’s eighth win over Yale in nine years.
Baseball 2002: Harvard 13, Brown 12
Down 9-2 in the fifth inning, the game was all but over. Even after battling back to tie the game at 12 in the ninth, the Crimson’s chances of victory seemed slim. With a runner on second and one out, the Bears faced captain Ben Crocket, who was brought in as a reliever after throwing 140 pitches the day before. Crocket, who had limited relief experience, picked up back-to-back strikeouts and brought the Crimson to the plate. That’s when senior first baseman Josh San Salvador—previously sidelined with a partially torn ACL—stepped in, blasting a solo homerun to clinch the walk-off victory and keep the Crimson in the Ivy League title hunt.