Strong Second Half Pushes Colorado Past Men's Basketball, 70-62
Moundou-Missi led the Crimson in both scoring and rebounding at Colorado (Joel Broida).
BOULDER, Colo. – The Harvard men's basketball team suffered its first setback of the season on Sunday as it fell at Colorado, 70-62.
Harvard (4-1) was unable to hold on to a 42-30 halftime lead as Colorado (6-1) outscored the Crimson 40-20 after the break. Harvard finished the game shooting a season-low 37.1 percent (23-62) after connecting on 15-of-28 attempts in the first half, while Colorado hit 45.3 percent (24-53) of its shots and outrebounded the Crimson 46-29.
Steve Moundou-Missi led a quartet of double-digit scorers for the Crimson with 13 points and nine rebounds. Siyani Chambers added 12 points and four assists, as Kyle Casey chipped in 11 and Laurent Rivard 10.
Spencer Dinwiddie netted a game-high 17 points to go with a 12-point, 11-rebound effort from Josh Scott.
Harvard found its stroke early from beyond the arc as it opened the game 4-of-4 from deep for a 16-4 lead. Back-to-back three-pointers from Casey and Chambers put the Crimson in front initially, 8-3, before a third triple from Wesley Saunders moved the score to 11-4. Colorado was forced to call a timeout after Chambers stole the ball and converted a breakaway layup, before another Chambers triple gave Harvard the 12-point margin.
A 12-3 stretch pulled the Buffaloes back within three, 19-16, following a baseline drive from Tre'Shaun Fletcher. A pair of Casey free throws and a Chambers pull-up ended the run, and Moundou-Missi gave the Crimson 27-18 edge with a spinning baseline drive. Casey later found Moundou-Missi cutting to the basket for an and-one, 32-24, and then finished a fast break off an alley-oop from Brandyn Curry to regain a double-digit lead, 34-24. Curry came back on the next possession to burry a spot-up three, pushing the advantage to 37-24.
The Crimson went into the break on top by 12, 42-30, thanks to 16-of-29 shooting from the field and a 6-of-12 performance from three. Chambers led all scorers through the first 20 minutes with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting as Casey added nine points and Saunders seven.
Colorado opened the second half on a 9-2 run as Harvard shot just 1-of-11 through the first five-plus minutes. Chambers got into the lane in transition to end the team's drought, and after a pair of Rivard free throws it was a 48-41 game. On the ensuing Buffaloes possession, Jonah Travis came away with a steal in the paint and finished at the other end with a two-handed dunk, moving the score to 50-41 with 11:31 to play.
Colorado continued to force the issue and pulled to within two points on a DinWiddie floater, 52-50. Xavier Johnson gave the Buffaloes their first lead since the 19:25 mark of the first half with a three-pointer, 53-52, and followed that on the next possession with another three for a 56-52 advantage. DinWiddie added a third straight triple for a 59-52 lead with 3:53 remaining.
Baskets by Rivard and Moundou-Missi pulled Harvard within four with under 2:00 to play, and a Rivard three-pointer made it a 66-62 game with 29.5 seconds on the clock. Colorado sealed the victory at the line, however, to escape with a 70-62 victory.
Game Notes: Four Crimson scored in double-digits for a second time this season; Steve Moundou-Missi (13), Siyani Chambers (12), Kyle Casey (11), Laurent Rivard (10) … Steve Moundou-Missi led Harvard in scoring for the first time this year while pacing the squad in rebounds for a third time … Harvard has recorded at least 10 steals in each of its last four games, matching a program record under head coach Tommy Amaker … Harvard's six three-pointers in the first half matched the team's season-high.