NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Harvard spoiled
Yale’s senior night and broke a nine-year winless streak at
the Lee Amphitheater with a 69-59 downing of the Bulldogs in the
Ivy League season finale.
Despite captain Andrew Pusar going down with an ankle injury early in the game, Harvard seniors Drew Housman and Evan Harris teamed with freshman Oliver McNally to overcome a significant height advantage for the home-standing Bulldogs.
Harvard finishes its season at 14-14 overall (6-8 Ivy) while Yale finishes at 13-15 and 8-6 in Ivy play.
Housman scored 15 points to finish with 1,228 in his career – good enough for 12th place on the Crimson’s all-time list. Housman also added six assists and two steals in his final outing.
Lin meanwhile, became the first Harvard player to reach the 1,000-point plateau in his junior season since 1996 when Kyle Snowden ’97 accomplished the feat. One of seven players to accomplish the feat, Lin dazzled in the second half, scoring 14 of his game-high 19 points to finish the season with a combined 1,007 points.
McNally had a good effort as well, adding 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting (3-6 3PT). Fellow freshman Keith Wright also finished in double figures with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting to go with six rebounds. Harris added six points (3-5 FG) with a team-high seven rebounds.
Travis Pinick led Yale with 18 points while fellow senior Ross Morin had 17. The duo combined to shoot 14-for-23 from the floor while the rest of the team shot 8-for-25.
Following a close first half, Wright gave Harvard a 35-32 lead with a jumper in the paint. A driving reverse layup from Housman made it a 42-38 margin after Yale had scored five straight to take a lead. After a 3-pointer rattled out for Yale, Lin converted a fastbreak layup to prompt a Bulldogs’ timeout with the score in favor of Harvard, 46-40, with 15:05 left.
After Yale went 1-for-4 at the free throw line, Lin sank a rainbow triple from the corner to give his side a 49-41 lead with 13 minutes left. Housman then found Wright on a beautiful no-look baseline pass to give the Crimson a 53-43 cushion with 10:27 remaining.
Yale tried to full court press to get back into it but Harvard added another point to its lead when Housman buried a contested triple with the clock winding down for a 56-45 lead. With 5:40 left, Lin stole a pass and glided in for two and a 59-47 lead. After a Yale turnover, Lin went to the rack for two more and completed a three-point play for a 62-47 margin. Yale would never threaten again.
Harvard shot 53 percent for the game and over 58 percent in the second half, making 14-of-24 shots.
In the first half, Yale used a 7-1 spurt to pull away from an 8-8 tie, 15-9 before McNally connected for a pair of triples and Harris used a putback bucket to tie it again, 17-17. The Crimson took its first lead at 23-22 after the second of two pull-up jumper from Lin.
A pull-up from Max Kenyi made it a two-point lead, 25-23 but Eric Zampier got the lead back with a contested triple with 2:20 left. The lead went back and forth six more times with Housman giving Harvard a 33-32 lead at the buzzer with a hook shot in traffic as time ran out.