Sophomore guard Brandyn Curry netted 10 points (AP Photo/Bob Child)
HARTFORD, Conn. – The Harvard men's basketball team fell in its upset bid at No. 4 Connecticut by a score of 81-52 Wednesday evening at the XL Center. Keith Wright paced the Crimson in scoring with 18 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the field, and grabbed seven rebounds, while Laurent Rivard added 12 points and Brandyn Curry contributed 10.
Harvard sees its record fall to 7-3, while the Huskies go to 10-0.
Following an 11-0 run by UConn to open the game, Laurent Rivard drilled two free throws to get the Crimson on the scoreboard. Harvard, which controlled the offensive glass early, grabbing four offensive rebounds in the opening minutes, earned its first field goal on a jumper in the lane from Wright. Moments later, Kyle Casey stole the ball from Kemba Walker in the UConn zone and dribbled in all alone before finishing with a strong two-handed dunk, pulling Harvard within nine, 15-6.
Wright led Harvard with eight points at the half, while Rivard contributed seven points, as the Crimson headed into the locker room down, 48-21. Harvard came down with 16 rebounds in the frame, including eight offensive boards, and made all six of its chances from the foul line.
The Crimson opened the second with a layup by Wright, pushing him to double digits on the night. Casey added a layup of his own and buried two free throws, while Rivard hit a trey from the right side, cutting Harvard's deficit to 58-33 with 14:16 to play. Following a three-pointer from the right corner by Curry, the Crimson continued to shoot the ball well in the second half. After a UConn turnover, Rivard hit a jumper through traffic, helping Harvard play its best basketball of the game and go on a 12-3 run to pull within 19, 61-42, with 11 minutes remaining.
Harvard would not get any closer, as the Huskies used a 20-10 run to close out the game. The Crimson shot 12-of-14 from the charity stripe and was 18-of-60 from the floor. Casey came down with six rebounds, while Andrew Van Nest pulled down five, and Christian Webster handed out three assists.
Walker scored 20 points, and Alex Oriakhi netted 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Huskies.
The Crimson returns to action in one week, as Harvard will host Monmouth at Lavietes Pavilion Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m.