Harvard Men's Basketball Wins Foreign Trip Opener

Brandyn Curry and the Crimson are 1-0 on the tour in Italy (Harvard Athletic Communications).

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RIETI, Italy – The Harvard men's basketball team opened its four-game tour of Italy with a 75-64 win over Rieti. Wesley Saunders paced the Crimson with 16 points, while Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry each added 13 points for Harvard, which improves to 1-0 on the trip.

Kenyatta Smith pulled down 10 rebounds, while Steve Moundou-Missi grabbed nine boards. Curry paced Harvard with three assists.

Rieti held an 8-5 lead midway through the first quarter, before Dee Giger made a steal at finished with a dunk on the break, cutting the Crimson deficit to one. Moments later, Jonah Travis drew a foul before hitting a layup and then hit the ensuing free throw to put Harvard up, 12-10. Following three straight 3-pointers by Casey, Harvard opened a 21-14 advantage in the final minute of the opening stanza.

After Rieti crawled back making it 26-22, Moundou-Missi drained two from the line to give Harvard a six-point edge, 28-22, with 5:02 remaining in the second. With 3:24 left to go, Giger found Saunders open under the hoop for a layup, giving Harvard a 30-26 lead. On the Crimson's next possession, Saunders drove the lane and finished with a bucket after being fouled. He then hit the free throw, extending the Crimson lead to 33-28. Casey led all players with 11 points at the break, as Harvard carried a 40-35 advantage into the break.

In the third, with the Crimson owning a four-point edge, 46-42, Rieti's Federico Granato nailed a trey to cut Harvard's lead to one, 46-45, with 4:31 left. At the 3:27 mark, Smith grabbed a loose ball under the Harvard hoop and hit a layup before being fouled, making it 48-45 in favor of the Crimson. Harvard scored the next five points to grow its lead to 53-45. The Crimson extended its scoring run to 13-1 in the final minute of the third to take a commanding, 59-46, advantage.

With Harvard leading 61-48, Moundou-Missi caused a turnover, and then scored on a two-handed dunk off an offensive board on the ensuing Crimson possession. Harvard maintained a double digit advantage for the remainder of the contest, leading by as much as 17, 75-58, with 1:47 to play.

The Crimson will return to action Friday, Aug. 24 when the team faces Pallacanestro Firenze in Florence.