PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Oliver McNally tallied a team-high 20 points to lead the Harvard men's basketball team to a 74-68 win at Brown, as the Crimson overcame an 11-point deficit to the Bears at halftime. With the victory, Harvard improves to 10-1 in Ivy League play and 21-4 overall, as the Crimson ties its program record for victories in a season (21-8 in 2009-10).
Keith Wright recorded his 12th double-double with 12 points and 11 boards, while Laurent Rivard added 12 points and two 3-pointers. Wright and McNally also handed out four assists apiece, and the Crimson shot 14-of-16 (.875) from the foul line.
Tucker Halpern led Brown with 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting, as the Bears slip to 10-15 and 3-8 in the Ancient Eight.
The Bears made two quick treys to open an 8-3 lead on the Crimson, but Wright made a layup to get the Crimson back within three. Brown, though, answered with a 7-0 run to take a 15-5 lead with 14:57 remaining in the first half. McNally netted his second 3-pointer of the half to cut the deficit to seven, 17-10. Kyle Casey, who led Harvard with seven rebounds for the game followed with a jumper, making it 17-12 in favor of Brown. With just under seven minutes to play, Webster and McNally converted back-to-back layups as Harvard made its way back within seven, 25-18.
With 4:54 left to go in the opening stanza, McNally buried his third triple, making it a 31-21 contest. Rivard connected on two free throws with 2:31 remaining, as Harvard moved within 11, 36-25. Rivard hit a layup on the Crimson's next possession, as Harvard kept pace with Brown, 38-27. Rivard continued his hot streak with a trey, as Harvard got within eight just moments later. Brown took a 41-30 lead entering the break, as the Bears shot 57 percent from the field and was 7-of-14 (.500) from beyond the arc. McNally led the Crimson with 13 points after the first 20 minutes, while Rivard scored nine in the half.
Wright opened the second half with an offensive board and hook shot, and Casey followed with a layup off the top of the backboard, getting the Crimson back within seven, 41-34. Brandyn Curry added two from the charity stripe as Harvard started the second half with a 6-0 run. With 14:43 left, Rivard made a 3-pointer from the right wing, as Harvard cut it within four, 45-41. Curry connected on another triple about a minute later, getting the Crimson within one possession, 47-44.
After Christian Webster made two free throws, Casey drilled a jumper as Harvard took its first lead since early in the first half, 48-47, with just under 12 minutes to go. With 10:55 remaining, McNally stole the ball in the Brown zone and drilled down the left side and made a shot after being fouled. McNally then made the ensuing free throw, as Harvard went up by four, 53-49.
With 7:47 left, Matt Brown drilled a trey from the left side, as the Crimson opened up its largest lead to that point, 62-54. Webster connected on a triple from the left corner, as Harvard led by six, 65-59, with 5:24 left to play. After Brown got back to within just a pair, 67-65, Casey made the first of two free throws, as Harvard led, 68-65, with 2:26 left. After a blocked shot by Wright, Curry found McNally for a layup on the break, giving the Crimson a five-point edge, 70-65.
Harvard shot 51.9 percent in the second half (14-of-27) and held Brown to just a 36.0 percent clip (9-of-25) in the final 20 minutes.
The Crimson closes out the road portion of its schedule at Yale Saturday at 6 p.m. Please note the start time.