Men's Basketball Knocks Off Green Bay, 76-64, to Reach Great Alaska Shootout Title Game
Rivard became Harvard's all-time leader in three-pointers and scored his 1,000th point Friday (Sam Wasson).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Laurent Rivard sank five three-pointers to become the program's all-time record holder and help the Harvard men's basketball team to a 76-64 win over Green Bay Friday night to advance to the finals of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.
Rivard now stands number one on the Crimson's career three-pointers list with 221, moving past the previous record of 220 set by Dan Clemente '01. The five triples allowed him to finish with a season-high 17 points, and along with classmate Kyle Casey, eclipse the 1,000 point plateau. Rivard had entered the game seven points shy of the milestone while Casey, who netted eight points, needed just three.
Wesley Saunders finished with a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds to go with 12 points from Siyani Chambers and 10 from Steve Moundou-Missi. Moundou-Missi narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds, while Jonah Travis did the same with nine points and 10 boards.
Harvard (6-1) shot 39.7 percent (25-63) on the night but was 21-of-25 at the line, including 8-of-8 in the final 1:32. Green Bay (3-2), which was held to 64 points after scoring 90-plus in each of its last two games, shot 47.2 percent (25-53) but was outrebounded 40-28 and committed 16 turnovers which led to 24 Crimson points. The Phoenix was led by Keifer Sykes who scored 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting.
The Crimson will now face TCU Friday, Nov. 30 at 12:30 a.m. in the title game of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout live on CBS Sports Network. The Horned Frogs earned the right to play Harvard for the championship with a 72-65 victory over Tulsa in the other semifinal.
Harvard got off to a fast start with baskets by Saunders, Rivard and Moundou-Missi giving the Crimson a 7-0 lead. Sykes pulled Green bay within four with a shot from the outside, 13-9, but Harvard answered right back with an and-one from Saunders. Rivard's second three-pointer put the score at 21-13 in the Crimson's favor, before a 15-4 stretch by the Phoenix capped off by an Alec Brown three-pointer gave Green Bay its first lead, 28-25.
Harvard evened the score at 28 with Travis at the line, and went back on top off a 15-foot jumper from Moundou-Missi, 30-28. After another Sykes basket put Green Bay back in front, Chambers drove the lane to beat the shot clock and tie the score at 32. Sykes went back down the court and once again gave the Phoenix a lead, but Chambers would not be denied as he beat the halftime buzzer to send the teams into the break tied at 34.
Harvard shot 40.0 percent (12-30) from the floor through the first 20 minutes but was 8-of-11 from the line to keep pace. Green Bay by comparison hit 50.0 percent (15-30) of its shots, including four three-pointers, but reached the line only once.
Saunders beat the shot clock to open the second half and Rivard followed with another three for a 39-34 margin. Green Bay answered with an 8-2 run, which included six points from Starks, to give the Phoenix a 42-41 edge, beginning a three-plus minute stretch in which the lead changed hands six times. Harvard appeared to have gained the upper hand after Rivard buried his fourth three-pointer for a 50-46 margin, but Brown converted in transition to once again even the score at 52.
Trailing 56-55, Chambers came up with a rebound and took it himself to the rim. Saunders followed with a jumper from 12 feet, and on the following possession Chambers went hard to the rim again on the break for a 61-56 edge. Rivard made it a 9-0 run with yet another make from beyond-the-arc, putting the Crimson on top by eight, 64-56.
Moundou-Missi moved the score to 68-59 with 2:19 to play, and Harvard secured its victory down the stretch as Chambers, Saunders, Rivard and Travis combined to go 8-of-8 at the line.
Game Notes: Laurent Rivard hit five three-pointers to become Harvard's all-time leader with 221, eclipsing the previous mark of 220 set by Dan Clemente '01 … Laurent Rivard and Kyle Casey each went over 1,000 points for their careers in the win, with Rivard now having scored 1,010 points and Casey 1,005 … Laurent Rivard's five three-pointers were the most for the Crimson since he hit five against New Mexico last year in the second round of the NCAA Tournament … Wesley Saunders scored 20 points to lead Harvard, marking the fifth time this season a member of the Crimson has scored at least 20.