This weekend's trip to Penn and Princeton by the Harvard women's basketball team should be a study in contrasts.
Look for a high scoring game tonight when the Crimson (2-5 Ivies, 8-13 overall) takes on the Quakers (2-4 lvies, 6-13 overall) at The Palestra. Penn features the league's second highest scoring offense (68.3 points per game in league play) but also the worst scoring defense (allowing 70.0 ppg).
Saturday's match-up against Princeton (5-1 Ivies, 11-9 overall) should be the reverse. Princeton's 57.8 ppg offense is the weakest in the league, but its scoring defense is the best in the lives , Allowing only 49.5 ppg.
By the way, Harvard is sixth in scoring (59.4 ppg) and fourth in defense (65.3 ppg).
* * *
In case you're wondering, the hoopsters have never swept a Penn/Princeton trip. But that's not so bad since this is only their third such trip ever.
Penn leads its lifetime series with Harvard, 9-5, and has won the last five match-ups between the two squads, Princeton holds a 10-3 series edge over the Crimson.
Each opponent won its first game against the Cantata this season. The Tigers beat Harvard. 58-49, at Briggs Athletic Center on January 11. and the Quakers took an 81-63 decision the following evening.
* * *
Harvard is tied for sixth place with Cornell in the league standings (each 2-5). Brown (6-1) and Princeton are atop the Ancient Eight.
Thought-provoking stat of the day I: no Ivy team has won more than half of its non-league contests.
* * *
Only two Harvard players are among the Ivy leaders for league play. Barb Keffer is second in assists (45 assists in 7 league games) and Co-Captain Anna Collins' 54.7 field goal percentage is also second best in the league.
* * *
Thought-provoking stat of the day 2: the Crimson has come back from a halftime deficit to win four games. That represents half of all its victories.