Men's Basketball Falls in Final Seconds at Yale, 70-69
Christian Webster shot 6-of-9 from the field and was 3-of-5 from beyond the arc (Gil Talbot).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Christian Webster led Harvard with 22 points, and Kyle Casey added 13 points and eight rebounds, but the Harvard men's basketball team saw its six-game win streak snapped by falling at Yale, 70-69, Saturday evening.
Keith Wright tallied 12 points and came down with eight boards for the Crimson, which sees its record drop to 21-5 overall and 10-2 in the Ancient Eight. Brandyn Curry handed out six assists, while Webster shot 6-of-9 from the field and went 7-of-7 from the foul line.
Yale, which improves to 14-12 and 7-5 in the Ancient Eight, opened up the game with an 8-4 lead by the first media timeout at the 15:35 mark, A fallaway 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired by Webster got Harvard within a point, 8-7, on the next possession. Another trey by Webster at 13:07 gave Harvard its first lead, 13-10. Jeff Georgatos drove the lane to make it 15-12 in favor of Harvard, and then Webster buried his third triple of the half to give the Crimson a six-point edge, 18-12. Casey followed with an and-one, as Harvard opened up a 21-14 advantage with 9:57 left in the first half.
With under seven minutes remaining, Casey drained a jumper, as Harvard led, 27-22, and Laurent Rivard hit a shot on the Crimson's next possession, getting Harvard back up by seven. Rivard buried a long 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3:32 left, as Harvard maintained a seven-point edge, 35-30. The two teams combined for just one free throw the rest of the half, as the Crimson took a 35-31 lead into the break. Casey, who shot 5-of-6 from the floor in the first 20 minutes, and Webster, who had three treys, led Harvard with 11 points apiece at the intermission. As a team, Harvard drained 5-of-7 shots from long distance (.714) and assisted on nine of its 14 field goals in the frame, while the Bulldogs only committed one turnover in the half.
Yale came out of the break with two straight triples to regain a lead, 37-35. Casey connected on two shots from the charity stripe, but the Bulldogs answered with another 3-pointer to go up by three, 40-37. Keith Wright got Harvard within a point, 43-42, with a layup from the left side, and then Curry drained the second of two from the line to knot the game, 43-43. After Yale went back up by three, 48-45, Curry drove the lane and made a floater while drawing contact. Curry buried the ensuing free throw to tie the game at 48.
With Harvard up by two, 52-50, McNally drilled a triple from the top of the key, giving Harvard a five-point cushion, 55-50, with 9:49 to go. The Crimson extended its run to 9-0, as Curry made a basket to push Harvard's lead to seven, 57-50. Rivard hit a tough jumper while leaning out of bounds to give Harvard a 61-55 lead, with just over six minutes to go.
Yale went on a mini-run to get back within a point, 61-60, but Webster responded by hitting two foul shots, as Harvard went back up by three. With the game tied, 66-66, with less than two minutes to go, Yale went up by a bucket, forcing a Crimson timeout. On the Crimson's next possession, Webster drew contact, while attempting a jump shot. The ball rattled around the rim before finally going in to tie the game, 68-68, with 55.8 seconds left. Webster made the foul shot, giving Harvard a one-point edge, 69-68.
Yale's Jeremiah Kreisberg made a basket on its trip down the floor to go back up by a point, 70-69, with just 41 ticks left on the clock. On Harvard's final possession, Rivard missed a 3-pointer, but Wright grabbed an offensive board and the Crimson called timeout with 30 seconds left. With time winding down, Curry dribbled through the defense for a layup, but the ball rattled around the rim and out, as Yale held on.
Harvard shot 44.0 percent for the game (22-of-50) and made 6-of-13 treys (.462). The Crimson also led in rebounds, 33-29, while Yale hit 41.8 percent of its chances from the field (.23-of-55). Austin Morgan paced the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Eric Mangano recorded a double-double with 13 rebounds and 11 points.
Harvard will return to Lavietes Pavilion to close out the regular season against Penn and Princeton March 4-5.