College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, February 15, 2013
The Harvard Crimson got a huge effort from sophomore center Kenyatta Smith, winning on the road at Penn, 73-54, to maintain a 1/2 game lead over Princeton in the Ivy league.
Smith put up a career high with 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting, adding 4-for-5 from the foul line. A monster in the paint, Smith also set a career high with nine rebounds and set a school-record with 10 blocked shots. Riding Smith's inside prowess, the Crimson expanded a ten-point half time lead to win by 19.
If Harvard is to continue on to capture the conference crown - and earn a trip to the NCAA tourney in the process - they'll have to compete hard over the next five games. Following Saturday's home game with Princeton, the Crimson embark on a pair of weekend road trips - at Brown and Yale next weekend and at Princeton and Penn the following Friday and Saturday.
Harvard is 14-7 overall with a 6-1 mark in the Ivy. Last season they went 25-6, won the Ivy League and lost to Vanderbilt, 79-70, in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
NOTABLE: In a rare Friday night Big East tilt, #15 Georgetown improved to 9-3 in the conference with a 62-55 victory at Cincinnati. The win gave them a 1/2 game lead over Syracuse and Marquette, both at 8-3. The Orange play at Seton Hall Saturday night; Marquette hosts Pitt earlier in the day.
The Big East scramble is monumental, with six teams within a game of the lead. In addition to the top three, Louisville, Pitt and Notre Dame have each posted 8-4 conference marks. All six of the leading contenders in the conference are ranked.