Harvard Men’s Basketball Slips at Saint Joseph’s

Wesley Saunders tied his career-high with 18 points (Greg Carroccio).

PHILADELPHIA – Wesley Saunders scored 18 points to tie his career-high and grabbed nine rebounds, while Laurent Rivard made four 3-pointers and finished with 15 points, but the Harvard men's basketball team dropped a road game at Saint Joseph's by a score of 75-56 Tuesday evening.

Harvard struggled offensively, shooting 19-of-50 (.380) and was only 5-of-17 from beyond the arc (.294), and falls to 2-2 on the season. Carl Jones paced SJU with 24 points, as the Hawks see their record go to 3-1.

Saint Joseph's jumped out to a 10-3 lead early, with the Crimson's first three points coming off three foul shots by Rivard, who drew contact will attempting a trey from the corner. After the Hawks went up, 13-3, Siyani Chambers found Jonah Travis open in the paint for a two-handed dunk, 13-5. The Crimson, who started 1-of-8 from the field, got a basket off the glass by Saunders with just under 10 minutes left in the half to cut the deficit to 23-9.

Saunders added another bucket at 6:19, making it a 31-13 contest in favor of the Hawks. Saunders scored on a nice move under the hoop on the next Crimson possession, and later drew contact before making a layup, but SJU led, 36-18. In the final minutes of the first half, Christian Webster scored on a tip-in, and Saunders hit one free throw, making it 41-23. At the break, Saunders had 10 points and six rebounds to pace the Crimson.  

In the second, Saunders scored again in the paint with a reverse layup, but SJU continued to lead, 50-27, with 15:43 remaining. Steve Moundou-Missi added a dunk for Harvard, but the Crimson fell further behind by the next media timeout, 58-30.

Down the stretch, Rivard nailed a triple from the left wing with 8:11 remaining, snapping a scoring drought for the Crimson since the 13:52 mark. Rivard connected another trey, but SJU held a 70-36 advantage with less than seven minutes to go. Harvard scored on another 3-pointer, this time by Webster, on its next trip down the floor, 70-39. Rivard buried his fourth 3-pointer of the half moments later, making it 72-45.

Harvard cut the deficit to 75-56 in the final minutes, as the Crimson went on a 23-5 run to close the game. The Crimson held the final count in rebounds 38-34, but struggled with 18 turnovers.

The Crimson will return home to host Vermont in another contest to be shown live on NBC Sports Network. Harvard will take on the Catamounts Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion.