Rivard sank six three-pointers as Harvard earned the weekend sweep of Princeton and Penn (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's basketball team completed its first full weekend of Ivy League play with a resounding 80-50 victory over Penn to remain as the lone unbeaten in the Ancient Eight.
Harvard, which improved to 17-3 overall and 4-0 against the Ivies, now holds a one-game lead over both Brown (11-7, 3-1 Ivy League) and Yale (9-9, 3-1 Ivy League) who will visit Lavietes Pavilion next week. The victory was also the Crimson's 19th straight at home, the sixth longest home win streak in the nation.
Laurent Rivard continued to have the hot hand and led Harvard with a season-high 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting from three, 4-of-5 from the line. Rivard finished the weekend averaging 20.0 ppg while going 11-of-17 from deep, and moved into a tie for fourth place in Ivy League history with 253 career three-pointers. The senior's six treys on Saturday also matched his career-high.
Kyle Casey was a dominant force on both ends, registering his third double-double of the year with 15 points and 11 boards. Casey was an efficient 5-of-7 from the floor and also came away with three steals. Zena Edosomwan, meanwhile, contributed 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting, 4-of-6 at the line, as Wesley Saunders turned in nine points and eight assists.
The Crimson combined to shoot 50.0 percent (21-42) for the game, marking the third straight game the team has shot 50.0 percent or better from the field. Harvard also made a season-high 12-of-20 attempts from three, and assisted on 15 of its 21 made baskets.
Penn (4-13, 1-2 Ivy League) was limited to 41.2 percent (21-51) shooting and turned in a 1-of-7 performance from deep and a 7-of-15 effort at the line. Tony Hicks led the Quakers with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists, as Miles Jackson-Cartwright and Darien Nelson-Henry totaled 10 apiece.
Harvard fell behind 5-2 after Casey gave the Crimson an initial 2-0 lead. Saunders got to the basket off the dribble to move the score to 5-4, and Brandyn Curry tied the game at 8-8 as he rose up over Jackson-Cartwright from beyond-the-arc. Penn was able to keep Harvard at bay and maintained a slight advantage through the second media timeout, 18-15, but a bucket by Saunders ignited a 29-5 run by the Crimson to close out the half.
A Casey dunk and Moundou-Missi drive moved the score to 21-18, and Siyani Chambers got to the line for two to make it a 23-18 game. Rivard kept the run going with a shot from deep, and then hit all three free-throw attempts after getting fouled in the act to make it 14 straight points and a 29-18 margin. A jumper by Edosomwan and free throws by Casey pushed the lead to 34-20.
Rivard drilled his second three-pointer and Casey added a short jumper to give the Crimson a 20-point lead, 41-21, before a triple from Curry sent Harvard into the locker room in front 44-23. Seven Crimson scored during the period led by Rivard's nine. Casey nearly contributed a double-double with eight points and eight boards as the team combined to shoot 57.1 percent (12-21) from the field.
Casey opened the second half with a three from the top of the key, and after free throws from Saunders it was a 49-23 game. Chambers followed Casey's second triple with one of his own, and after Brandyn Curry connected from long range the score stood at 59-32. Harvard took a 62-33 edge with Matt Brown at the free throw line, as the lead bounced between 23 points and 29.
Rivard caught fire after the under-eight timeout, hitting three-pointers on three consecutive possessions to extend the margin to 32 points, 73-41. Rivard added another triple for good measure, his sixth of the game, as the Crimson rolled to the 80-50 final.
Game Notes: Harvard earned its 19th straight win at home, the sixth longest streak in the nation … The Crimson has started 4-0 or better in Ivy League play each of the last four years … Harvard's 30-point margin of victory was its largest ever against Penn … Trailing 18-15, Harvard went on a 29-5 run to close out the first half and take a 44-23 lead into the break … Laurent Rivard tied his career-high with six three-pointers and moved into a tie with Tim Begley (Penn '05) for fourth place in Ivy League history with 253 career makes … Laurent Rivard finished the night with a season-high 22 points, the eighth 20-point performance of his career … Kyle Casey recorded his third double-double of the year, seventh of his career, with 15 points and 11 rebounds … Harvard made a season-high 12 three-pointers, its highest total since hitting 12 at Cornell on March 3, 2012.