Long Distance Shooting Keys Men's Basketball's 80-57 Win Over Fordham

Long Distance Shooting Keys Men's Basketball's 80-57  Win Over Fordham

Pictured: Laurent Rivard had a game-high 21 points in just 20 minutes minutes as Harvard raced past Fordham on Wednesday night.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's basketball team made 15 three-pointers en route to an 80-57 victory over Fordham in a non-conference matchup Wednesday evening at Lavietes Pavilion. The 15 treys on only 27 shots (56 percent) mark the most for the Crimson since Harvard made 17-of-42 attempts against Rice Dec. 10, 2002.

The win improves Harvard's record to 5-1 on the season, while the Rams drop to 2-4.

Laurent Rivard posted the best game of his rookie season, shooting 5-of-8 from three-point land and 6-of-11 overall for 21 points in just 20 minutes. Christian Webster added 18 points and four rebounds, while Kyle Casey hit three triples while collecting six rebounds and scoring 13 in his strongest performance of the year in 17 minutes. Brandyn Curry handed out nine assists, while Oliver McNally had seven dimes.

In what has become a common occurrence, Keith Wright carried Harvard's offense early, as he netted the team's first six points on two layups and a dunk, putting the Crimson up 6-4 after the first three minutes. Following a 6-0 run by the Rams to give them a 10-6 advantage, McNally and Andrew Van Nest drained back-to-back threes to put Harvard back on top, 12-10, at the first media timeout.  Wright finished the game with 10 points in the balanced attack.

Casey also got into a groove offensively in the first half, as he threw down a dunk and then buried a trey from the top of the key to put Harvard up 17-15 just before the second media timeout with 11:52 to play in the first half. The Crimson continued to attack the basket midway through the frame, going on a 10-0 run to pull ahead, 24-15, with nine minutes to play. McNally handed out two of his six assists in the half during the scoring run, which was capped by a layup from under the right side of the basket by Wright.

The Crimson, which led by as much as 16 in the half, shot 45 percent from the floor and was 6-of-13 from three-point land (46 percent) to take a 42-29 lead into the intermission. Harvard also made all six of its free throws in the period and was led offensively by Casey, who had 10 points at the break. The Crimson capitalized on Fordham turnovers in the half, scoring 13 points on miscues by the Rams in the first 20 periods.

Fordham opened up the second half with consecutive layups by Chris Gaston and Kervin Bristol to help the Rams pull within eight, 46-38, with 17:02 to play. The Crimson, though, used long-distance shots to keep Fordham at bay, as Webster drained a trey from beyond the arc to give Harvard a 14-point edge with 13:55 remaining. Harvard continued to work the ball from deep, as Rivard hit two threes and Casey and Van Nest made a trey apiece, as the Crimson connected on four consecutive triples in grabbing a 24-point advantage, 66-42. Over that time span, Harvard went on a 24-6 run to put the game away.

In its best all-around performance of the season, the Crimson committed only nine turnovers in the game and was an impressive 9-o-11 (82 percent) from the line, while Harvard had 21 assists on 28 field goals.

Gaston (14 points and 10 rebounds) and Butler (11 points) paced Fordham's offense.

Up next, Harvard will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face Michigan Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m.