HANOVER, N.H. – A career night by freshman Justin Bassey and a strong inside game led Harvard men's basketball past Dartmouth, 74-58, Saturday night at Leede Arena. The Crimson (7-5, 1-0) also saw double-digit contributions from senior Siyani Chambers (12 points, seven assists) and freshman Chris Lewis (14 points, five rebounds).
Bassey paced the Crimson in points with 14 on 6-of-9 shooting and rebounds with six. For the game, Harvard shot 53.4 percent from the field and scored 40 points in the paint, while holding the Big Green (3-11, 0-1) to 38.0 percent from the floor. Dartmouth was led by Evan Boudreaux with 15 points on 4-of-13 shooting and 12 points from Miles Wright.
Leading 11-10, Dartmouth scored five quick points to take a 16-10 advantage at the 12:28 mark. Chris Lewis responded with two-straight buckets, including one on the break, to pull Harvard within two. Bassey started a 10-0 run with a triple from the wing, sparking the Crimson to a 24-18 lead with under six to play in the stanza.
A Dartmouth three did not stymie the Crimson, as Harvard ripped off nine-unanswered points to push ahead, 33-21, with 90 seconds remaining. Chambers assisted on an and-one to Bassey and scored the final four points of the run. The Big Green scored the final five points of the half and Harvard went into the locker room leading, 33-26.
The two teams traded baskets to start the second half, until a 14-5 rally ballooned the Crimson lead to 15, 50-35, with 15 minutes remaining. Bassey and Edosomwan ended the spurt with two empathic dunks. Five quick points by Dartmouth threatened to close the gap, 55-46, but Bassey started an 8-2 spurt with a jumper, giving Harvard breathing room, 63-48, with 6:25 to play. Dartmouth would get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Harvard dips out of conference play to face McGill at home Tuesday, Jan. 10 (7 p.m.) and Bryant in Smithfield, Rhode Island Monday, Jan. 16.
Game Notes: Harvard moves to 87-96 all-time against Dartmouth. For the 30th time, the Crimson and Big Green met in the first game of Ivy League play, where Harvard is 20-10. Tommy Amaker is 10-0 in Ivy openers (all against Dartmouth). Justin Bassey recorded double-figures for the third time this year and second-straight. Chris Lewis scored double-figures for the fifth time this year and fourth over the last five games. Siyani Chambers contributed double-digits for the second-straight game and 63rd time in his career (fifth time this year). Harvard is 6-0 when leading at halftime.