Brandyn Curry and the Crimson will play No. 20 Florida State in the semifinal Friday at 4:30 p.m. (Kerzner International/Issac Baldizon).
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Keith Wright scored 13 points and pulled down seven boards, while Kyle Casey tallied 11 points, added seven rebounds and handed out three assists to propel the Harvard men's basketball team to a 75-47 win over Utah in the opening road of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament Thanksgiving evening.
Corbin Miller added 13 points off the bench for the Crimson, while Brandyn Curry scored nine and dished out three assists. Josh Watkins (12 points) and Chris Hines (11 points) led the way for Utah (1-3).
Harvard, which improves to 4-0 for the first time since 2005-06, will face No. 20 Florida State in a second-round game Friday, Nov. 25 at 4:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Versus.
The Crimson jumped out to an early 5-0 lead on a Curry trey from the left side after Casey grabbed an offensive board and dished out a pass to the top of the key. The Crimson upped its lead to 9-2 on an acrobatic layup by Curry after he cut through traffic. Harvard continued to attack the basket and took a 13-2 advantage with a bucket by Wright.
Harvard, which made 7-of-9 shots to start the game, grabbed a 19-4 lead with a basket in the lane by Steve Moundou-Missi. The Crimson increased its advantage to 17 points, 21-4, on a layup by Jonah Travis with just under 12 minutes to go in the half. A jumper by Casey made it 27-9 in favor of Harvard with 8:13 remaining. The Crimson remained poised offensively, pushing its lead to 23, 32-9, when Oliver McNally buried a 3-pointer after receiving a pass from Curry. Harvard made its fourth trey with just under five minutes left, as Christian Webster made it a 25-point game, 39-14.
Harvard, which led by as much as 29 in the first frame, 45-16, shot 18-of-33 from the floor (.545) and drained five shots from beyond the arc to take a 49-24 lead into the break. The Crimson's 49 points was the most in a half since scoring 54 in the second stanza in an 85-78 win over Brown Feb. 12, 2011. Wright led Harvard with 13 points at the break, going 5-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 from the foul line.
In the second half, Curry made another acrobatic shot, and Travis followed with two connections from the free-throw line, as Harvard led by 27, 58-31, with just under 13 minutes to play. With 11:26 to play, McNally stole the ball in Utah's zone and dished it to Corbin Miller who finished with a layup on the break, making it 60-31.
With just under five minutes left, Laurent Rivard hit a 3-pointer to give Harvard a 27-point cushion, 69-42. Rivard added another triple with 3:31 remaining to make it 75-42.
Harvard outrebounded the Utes, 38-32, and only turned the ball over eight times, while finishing with 14 assists. The Crimson shot 44.3 percent for the game (27-of-61), and was 9-of-24 from long distance (.375).
Harvard Head Coach Tommy Amaker
On Florida State tomorrow
I'm sure they were there watching the game like we were watching their game. We were just focused on doing what we had to do and taking care of business with Utah. Now we'll worry about FSU.
Started on a tear, what was working for you early on
As coach said, keeping things up and come out and be aggressive. He said they (Utah) were going to want to run a lot of sets and slow the game down so I wanted to set the pace and be aggressive on defense and offense so that was my mindset going into the game.
What it's like to play in a hotel ballroom
It's quite an experience being out there with all the lights and stuff and being in a ballroom, but we're just embracing the moment right now. We're happy to be here and happy to have the opportunity so we are going to go out there and play our best to try to win this thing. We'll just take it day by day and go out there and play our game.