Laurent Rivard netted 12 points off the bench for the Crimson at Vermont (Scott Cunningham).
BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Harvard men's basketball team improved to 7-0 on the season by topping Vermont, 55-48, on the road Thursday evening. Keith Wright led the Crimson with 13 points and eight boards, while Laurent Rivard came off the bench and finished with 12 points for Harvard, which is off to the best start of any Ivy League school since Princeton went 7-0 during the 1997-98 season.
Harvard, which now stands a 3-0 on the road, will look to move to 8-0 overall for the first since 1984-85 when the Crimson hosts Seattle Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. The Crimson has not allowed more than 49 points in each of the last four games.
Casey netted the Crimson's first four points of the game as he hit a jumper and then made two from the foul line to give Harvard a 4-1 lead early on. The Catamounts netted seven of the next eight points in the game to grab an 8-6 advantage following the first media timeout. Rivard answered for the Crimson with a trey to give Harvard a 9-8 lead. Jonah Travis came off the bench and immediately made two baskets as Harvard and Vermont traded baskets, 13-12, Crimson.
Corbin Miller buried a 3-pointer with 12 minutes to go as Harvard maintained a lead, 16-14. Casey drained a jumper from the top of the key with just over nine minutes left as the Crimson opened a 20-14 advantage. With 7:30 left, Oliver McNally found Curry wide open in the corner for a 3-pointer as the Crimson upped its lead to seven, 23-16. Rivard headed to the line and hit both to give Harvard a nine-point edge, 27-18, with five minutes left in the frame.
A 3-pointer by Christian Webster gave Harvard a 10-point lead, 30-20, with 3:43 to play. With just over two minutes to go, Rivard stole the ball in the UVM zone and dribbled the ball the length of the floor before finishing with a layup, 32-22. Casey added a bucket on the Crimson's next possession, as Harvard grabbed its largest lead of the half, 34-22. The Crimson carried a 36-26 advantage into the half, as Casey (eight points) and Rivard (seven) paced Harvard, which shot 14-of-23 (.609) from the field and 4-of-7 (.571) from long distance.
Wright opened the half with a bucket from underneath the hoop for the Crimson, making it 38-26. Neither team could find the scoring touch for the next four minutes, as Harvard held a 39-27 lead with 15:50 to go in the second. The Catamounts responded first and went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to just four, 39-35, with 13:30 to play.
UVM added another basket to get within just two, 39-37, before Wright ended the 10-run for UVM with a layup, making it 41-37 in favor of the Crimson. Curry added another baskets for the Crimson with nine minutes to go as Harvard led, 43-39. With 6:20 to go, Rivard buried a long trey from the right side, upping the Crimson's advantage back to 10, 49-39.
The Catamounts went on a 7-3 run to get back within six, 52-46, with two minutes remaining. UVM added a bucket with just 21.6 ticks left on the clock, shrinking Harvard's lead to 52-48. Rivard made two free throws in the closing seconds to ice the game, as Harvard put the game out of reach.
Harvard shot 50 percent for the game (20-of-40), while holding the Catamounts to 35 percent shooting (18-of-51). UVM finished with the edge in rebounds, 29-28.