Pictured: Keith Wright had 16 points and three blocks in Harvard's 92-71 victory at Seattle on Saturday (Steve Slade).
SEATTLE, Wash. - Harvard set a program record for nonconference victories in a season Saturday evening as the Crimson defeated Seattle University, 92-71, at Key Arena.
The Crimson improves to 10-3 on the season, eclipsing its nonleague wins record set during the 1957-58 season. Seattle sees its record dip to 4-2 at home this year and 6-9 overall.
The Crimson received little respect in its first visit to Washington despite an RPI rating of 21st nationally (on Friday). Seth Kolloen of the Seattle Sun Times had this to say in a season preview of Seattle basketball, taking a jab at Harvard in the process: "(Seattle's Charles) Garcia ... will be the most talented player on the floor in many of SU's games this year (especially against Harvard)..."
Harvard players responded in force as four players logged double figures in the first half alone - including the duo charged with guarding the SU star. Kyle Casey had his second straight career-high outing with 19 points (7-10 FG) while Keith Wright had 16 points (8- 13 FG) and three blocks.
Jeremy Lin (8-9 FG) made his first five shots of the game and played through foul trouble to finish with 21 points and four steals in 30 minutes while Christian Webster had 10 points and five assists in the first half alone, finishing with 12 points and three steals.
Harvard shot nearly 59 percent for the game and was 20-of-23 at the free throw line.
Harvard led by 26 in the first half and 21 at the break but a 15-0 Seattle run spanning the halves got the Redhawks within 52-41 early in the second half before Harvard scored seven straight. Seattle never got within double figures after the opening minutes of the game.
Garcia led Seattle with 19 points but was harassed all game, shooting 2-for-7 to start and finishing at 6-for-16 for 19 points.
In the first half, Harvard shot near 75 percent for the first 17 minutes of the half before settling for a 21-34 mark (.618) while holding SU to a 31 percent mark.
Harvard made six of its first eight in a fast-paced game including a fastbreak triple from Webster to grab a 16-7 lead at the first media break. By the second timeout, Harvard was 10-of-12 from the floor en route to a 31-16 lead with 10:00 left. A long triple from Lin made it 34-18 with 8:51 left.
Harvard stayed hot thanks to crisp ball movement, and three easy layups gave Harvard a 42-20 lead with 6:30 to go as the Crimson was shooting 17-of-23 (.739). A follow-up dunk from Casey on a fastbreak made it a 46-20 lead and a step-back jumper from Webster made it 52-26 before SU scored the last five points of the half.
Harvard did find itself in some foul trouble at the break with five players saddled with two fouls each but Seattle did not capitalize to the fullest with just a 9-for-18 mark from the line in the opening 20.
Harvard continued to get whistled for fouls in the second half but SU again could not capitalize, finishing 16-for-35 at the line on 24 Harvard fouls.
Brandyn Curry became the fourth different Harvard player to record at least six assists in a game this season with a career-high.
The Crimson returns to action Monday night with a 10:30 p.m. (EST) game at Santa Clara University. As of Saturday afternoon, there were fewer than 300 tickets available for purchase.