Strong Second-Half Shooting Propels Men's Basketball to 67-62 Win at GW

Strong Second-Half Shooting Propels Men's Basketball to 67-62 Win at GW

Kyle Casey recorded a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds (Mitchell Layton).

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Harvard men's basketball team extended its win streak to five games, as the Crimson went on the road and picked up a 67-62 victory at George Washington Saturday afternoon. The Crimson battled back from a nine-point deficit in the second half, and outscored the Colonials, 41-29, in the second frame.

Kyle Casey collected a career-high 15 rebounds and scored 10 points to earn a double-double for the Crimson, which shot 52.4 percent from the floor for the second half. Laurent Rivard added 16 points, making 4-of-6 shots, including 3-of-4 from long distance, while Oliver McNally, who also handed out four assists, also scored 16 shots on 4-of-6 shooting.

Harvard, which improves to 12-3 on the season, made 7-of-17 treys in the game and came down with 15 offensive rebounds, including five by Casey. The Colonials, who fall to 10-7, were led offensively by Tony Taylor, who scored 14 points, and Bryan Bynes, who added 13.

The Crimson struggled with the ball early, turning it over four times in the opening minutes to fall behind the Colonials, 8-2.Harvard snapped an 8-0 run for GW at 15:53 when McNally swung a pass underneath the basket to Wright, who went up for a two-handed dunk. On Harvard's next possession, Webster buried a wide-open trey from the corner, bringing his team within one, 8-7. Following a technical foul on the GW bench, McNally made both shots from the line, giving the Crimson a one-point edge. Webster then added to the Crimson lead, as he drilled another three-pointer to make it 12-8.

Harvard, which was aggressive on the offensive glass in the first half, grabbing nine boards on its end, took a 16-14 lead when Brandyn Curry made a layup after being fouled in the paint. The Colonials, though, went on a 12-4 run, capped by two three-pointers by Nemanja Mikic, to go up, 26-20, over the Crimson with four minutes to play in the first stanza. McNally ended GW's run by making a free throw after hitting a jumper with contact, pulling Harvard within five, 28-23.

In the final seconds of the half, Wright was fouled going to the basket and made one free throw, as Harvard headed to the locker room down seven, 33-26. The Crimson shot only 28.1 percent from the floor and was 2-of-9 from long distance (.222). Webster led Harvard with eight points at the break, while McNally and Wright had seven points each.

Coming out of halftime, Rivard, who scored all of his points in the second half, buried a trey from the right side, as Harvard pulled within six, 35-29. Rivard stayed hot from long range and made another three moments later to make it a 39-34 game in favor of the Colonials. When Rivard attempted to make a third straight shot from beyond the arc, he was fouled, giving him three chances from the foul line. Rivard, who entered the weekend first in the nation with a 97.2 shooting percentage from the charity stripe, made two of three, as Harvard trailed 41-36 with 15:45 to play.

With 11:37 to go, Harvard got within one possession, as McNally stepped up and drilled a trey to make it 45-42. The Crimson continued to pick up momentum, getting within a single point, 48-47, after Casey hit a free throw after making a basket in the paint. Harvard remained aggressive on offense, and one possession later, Rivard tied the game, 50-50, on a long three from the right side. The Crimson took the lead its first lead of the half only moments later when Andrew Van Nest found Casey for a layup under the basket.

A trey by McNally with seven minutes to go continued the momentum in favor of Harvard, as the Crimson went up by four, 55-51. GW and Harvard traded baskets over the next few possessions until Rivard made one more shot from the charity stripe, giving the Crimson a four-point cushion, 60-56, with 4:00 remaining.

With Harvard holding a 60-58 advantage with 1:08 to play, Curry drew contact while driving the lane, earning two free throws. Curry connected on both, putting the Crimson up by four points. On Harvard's next possession, Curry dribbled until the shot clock wound down and found Casey wide open for a layup. GW made two free throws, making it 65-62, with 16 ticks left on the clock, but after a Harvard timeout, McNally was fouled and buried two key free throws, giving Harvard a five-point lead and putting the game out of reach.

GW owned a slight advantage in rebounds for the game, 38-35, with both teams collected 15 offensive boards. Harvard held the Colonials to only 26.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc for the game.

Harvard, which stands 1-0 in the Ancient Eight, returns to Lavietes Pavilion for an Ivy League matchup against Dartmouth Saturday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m.