Preview: Eight new Gophers players will be in uniform on Saturday as the team launches its third season under the leadership of coach Marlene Stollings. The Gophers have won 14 of their past 15 openers, including seven in a row. Harvard finished third in the Ivy League last season with a 14-14 record overall and was picked for another third-place finish this season. The game is not televised but can be streamed on BTN Plus.
Players to watch: Gophers G Carlie Wagner is expected to fill much of the scoring void left by Rachel Banham. Wagner averaged 18. 9 ppg last season, reaching double figures in every game. C Jessie Edwards was the Gophers' second-leading rebounder (5.7 average) and blocked a team-high 41 shots. Sophomore G Madeline Raster is Harvard's top returning scorer (6.7 ppg), and senior F Destiny Nunley was its top reserve (6.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg). Two Crimson guards are from Minnesota: freshman Mackenzie Barta (Maple Grove) and senior Taylor Finley (Edina/Providence Academy).
Numbers: The Gophers are 3-0 against the Crimson and 25-18 in openers. … Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith has headed the program for 34 seasons and has 546 victories, most in Ivy League history.