Courtesy: Tod Fierner

St. Mary's Hosts Harvard in New Year's Eve Tussle: Game Preview

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The St. Mary’s Gaels host the Harvard Crimson at McKeon Pavilion this New Year’s Eve. The Gaels (10 – 3) defeated Yale, another Ivy League opponent, 78 – 62 yesterday in Moraga, CA. Matthew Dellavedova leads the Gaels in scoring with an average of 18.5 points per game. The Gaels feature a balanced scoring attack with Stephen Holt (11.3 ppg), Brad Waldow (10.5 ppg), with Beau Levesque and James Walker III averaging 9.8 ppg each.

Waldow (5.8 rebounds per game), Holt (5.6 rpg), Mitchell Young (5.2 rpg), and Levesque (4.9 rpg) top the Gaels in rebounding. In addition to leading the Gaels in scoring, Dellavedova is also the top playmaker, averaging 6.4 assists per game, with Jorden Page averaging 2.5 apg.

St. Mary’s averages 80.6 ppg, while allowing opponents 65.8 ppg. The Gaels shoot 51.0% from the field, 41.0% behind the 3-point line, and 75.8% from the free throw line. The Gaels also own a distinct advantage over opponents on the boards (37.2 to 28.0 rpg).

Harvard (7 – 4) held Cal in check and defeated the Golden Bears 67 – 62 in Berkeley on Saturday. Harvard also boasts a balanced attack, with Wesley Saunders (16.0 ppg) leading the Crimson, followed by Siyani Chambers (12.2 ppg), Laurent Rivard (10.6 ppg), Christian Webster (9.0 ppg), and Jonah Travis (8.5 ppg). Travis leads the undersized Crimson with 5.2 rpg, followed by Saunders with 4.5 rpg. Chambers is Harvard’s leading playmaker with 5.5 apg, with Saunders next at 3.2 apg.

Harvard averages 68.3 ppg, while allowing opponents 63.7 ppg. The Crimson shoot 45.8% from the field, 39.9% behind the 3-point arc, and 74.3% at the charity stripe. Despite starting no players over 6’6″, Harvard has a slight rebounding advantage over opponents of 31.7 to 29.1 rpg.

The Crimson run a patient offense, running the shot clock down on many possessions, and display crisp passing and sharp cuts to find open perimeter shots, as well as easy layups in the lane. On defense, the Gaels will have to limit Chambers’ dribble penetration, as he is the key to creating offense for the Crimson. On offense, the Gaels will look to run on missed shots, increasing the number of possessions and wearing down a thin Harvard front court. Clearing the defensive boards should be achievable as the Gaels enjoy a sizable height advantage as well as depth in the front court.

Tip off is 5 pm Pacific time.

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Tags: Beau Levesque Brad Waldow Christian Webster College Basketball Harvard Crimson James Walker III Jonah Travis Jorden Page Laurent Rivard Matthew Dellavedova McKeon Pavilion Mitchell Young Moraga NCAA Saint Mary's Gaels Siyani Chambers Stephen Holt Wesley Saunders

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