Chambers played all 45 minutes as the Crimson defeated BU in overtime (Sam Wasson).
BOSTON – The Harvard men's basketball team went 11-of-12 at the free throw line while outscoring Boston University 13-2 in overtime to pull away and earn a 79-68 victory Saturday afternoon at Case Gymnasium.
Wesley Saunders finished with a season-high 25 points, five assists and four steals to pace the Crimson as Kyle Casey added his first double-double of the year with 19 points and 12 boards. Siyani Chambers, who played all 45 minutes, chipped in 16 points and four assists.
Harvard improves to 9-1 with the victory, its fifth straight, while BU falls to 6-3. The Crimson shot 41.9 percent (26-62) against a 39.7 percent (25-63) clip for the Terriers, but went 21-of-27 at the line compared to a 12-of-20 performance by the hosts to take the win.
BU had three players reach double-figures with Dom Morris' 15 and Maurice Watson, Jr's., 14 leading the way.
BU took an initial 5-4 lead to begin the game, but a pair of baskets by Saunders helped the Crimson build a 10-5 advantage. A layup from Malik Thomas pulled the Terriers within one, 10-9, before Dylan Haines' three-pointer evened the score at 12. Evan Cummins put Harvard back in front with a tough layup in the paint, and after another Saunders step-back it was an 18-15 game.
Chambers knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to grow Harvard's margin to nine, 24-15. BU answered back with nine straight points, however, and tied the game at 24 off a three from Travis Robinson. Morris gave the lead back to the Terriers, 28-26, but the Crimson came back to score six straight for a 32-30 halftime lead.
Saunders led all scorers at the half with 12 points while Chambers added eight. The Crimson shot 39.3 percent (11-28) in the frame and was 8-of-9 from the line.
Casey and Saunders opened the second half with a pair of driving layups before Casey got a running start for a two-handed jam that forced a BU timeout. Another layup by Saunders pushed the score to 40-34 in favor of the Crimson, but the Terriers kept fighting and took a 44-43 edge thanks to a D.J. Irving triple. Not to be outdone, Chambers drilled his third three-pointer of the game, putting Harvard back on top, 46-44.
Tied at 46, Saunders sparked a 14-4 run for the Crimson with a reverse layup off a baseline drive. Casey took over from there, hitting a three-pointer and pull-up jumper before Rivard followed with a three of his own. Jonah Travis added a reverse layup and after a steal and breakaway layup by Chambers, Harvard's margin stood at 60-50.
The Terriers got to within six points with just over 4:00 remaining and made it a 62-58 game off Watson's layup with 2:26 to go. Casey ended the BU run with a two-handed alley-oop off a feed from Saunders, but after John Papale sank a pair of three-pointers the lead stood at just one, 65-64, with 26.5 seconds on the clock.
Harvard was able to beat the Terriers' trap and went up 66-64 as Steve Moundou-Missi hit the first of two at the line. Watson raced down the court after the miss and was able to convert at the rim to tie the score. At the other end, Chambers attempted a long three to win the game, but his attempt came up just short and Saunders' tap-in rattled off the rim, sending the game into overtime.
Game Notes: Harvard improves to 9-1, matching its best record through 10 games under head coach Tommy Amaker … The victory moves head coach Tommy Amaker into sole possession of third place on Harvard's career wins list (121) … Harvard has won five straight games, its longest win streak since taking nine in-a-row between Jan. 7 and Feb. 10, 2012 … Wesley Saunders went over 20 points for the third time this season, ninth time in his career … Kyle Casey registered 19 points and 12 rebounds for the fifth double-double of his career … Saturday's game was the first between Harvard and BU to go into overtime.