No. 24/25 Harvard Men’s Basketball Falls at No. 9/9 UConn, 67-53

Kyle Casey led Harvard with 12 points, making four baskets (Stephen Slade).

STORRS, Conn. – Kyle Casey had 12 points and five rebound, and Keith Wright scored nine points and came down with five boards, but the No. 24/25 Harvard men's basketball team dropped its first game of the season, falling, 67-53, at No. 9/9 Connecticut Thursday evening. The Crimson slips to 8-1 on the season, while the Huskies improve to 8-1.

Christian Webster added eight points and three rebounds, while Brandyn Curry dished out six assists for the Crimson. Oliver McNally made four dishes, while Jeremy Lamb scored 18 points, and Andre Drummond netted 12 for the Huskies.

Harvard shot 18-of-50 for the game (.360), while UConn hit 47.3 percent of its shots (26-of-55). The Huskies finished with the advantage in rebounds, 35-28;

Up next, Harvard will visit local rival Boston University Saturday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. The game will be shown live on NESN.

A 15-foot jump shot by Casey got the Crimson going with a 2-0 lead, and Webster followed with a trey, making it 5-2 in favor of Harvard. On the Crimson's next possession, Curry found Casey for an alley-oop, as Harvard led, 7-4. The Huskies scored the next five points, but a McNally trey ended the run, putting Harvard back on top, 10-9. With UConn holding a 15-12 edge, Steve Moundou-Missi drained a jumper to get the Crimson back within one.

Midway through the first, Wesley Saunders made a steal in the UConn zone and made a pass to Jonah Travis who finished with a layup, tying the game, 19-19. The Huskies followed with a 9-0 scoring run until Casey buried a trey with the shot clock winding down to make it 28-22 in favor of UConn. With 4:24 left in the half, Webster hit a 3-pointer, cutting the Crimson deficit in half to 30-27.

At the half, UConn led, 30-28, as Casey paced the Crimson with nine points, while Webster scored eight in the frame.  Harvard made 4-of-10 3-pointers in the half (.400) and shot 10-fo-24 overall (.417). The Huskies made 40.0 percent of their baskets (12-of-30) and outrebounded the Crimson, 18-11, in the half.

UConn netted the first six points of the second to open a 36-28 advantage, but Keith Wright recorded the Crimson's first bucket of the half with a layup, 36-30. The Huskies scored 12 of the next 12 points in the game to open up a 16-point lead, 47-31. Rivard broke the streak with a trey and then Wright added a bucket to get the Crimson back within 11, 47-36, with 11:33 remaining.

Wright scored another basket, and on Harvard's next possession, he was fouled and made one free throw to make it 47-39 in favor of UConn, as the Crimson went on an 8-0 run. The Huskies, though, upped the lead back up to 15, 54-39, with three straight buckets. With 7:16 left, Saunders drained two from the line and added a dunk on the Crimson's next time down the floor, cutting the deficit to 56-43.

With just over six minutes to play, Harvard pulled back within 10 when Rivard hit a long trey. Wright followed by making two from the line, getting within eight, 56-48. Casey nailed a 3-pointer with 4:52 to remaining, but the Huskies quickly answered with a bucket of their own to keep the lead at nine, 60-51. Curry made a runner in the lane with just under three minutes left, to get the game back within eight, 61-53, but the Crimson could not inch closer.