No. 25 Harvard Men’s Basketball Powers Past GW, 69-48

Steve Moundou-Missi and the Crimson went 14-2 during non-conference play (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Steve Moundou-Missi tallied a career-high 16 points, as he made all seven of his shots from the floor, helping the No. 25 Harvard Men's Basketball team to down George Washington, 69-48, Saturday afternoon at a sold out Lavietes Pavilion.

With the victory, Harvard extends its home win streak to 23 games, the fifth longest active streak in the country. The Crimson also improves to 15-2 overall and concludes its non-conference schedule with a 14-2 mark against non-Ivy opponents. GW falls to 6-11 overall.

Laurent Rivard added 16 points, shooting 4-of-5 overall, including 3-of-4 from long distance, while Keith Wright came down with eight rebounds, while tallying 11 points. Rivard earned two four-point plays, capitalizing on both opportunities. Harvard shot 64.9 percent from the floor (24-of-37) and 85 percent from the line (17-of-2), while holding the Colonials to a 30 percent shooting percentage (15-of-50). Tony Taylor led GW with 13 points, while Dwayne Smith grabbed 10 boards, including seven on the offensive end.

The Crimson scored the first two baskets of the game, both coming off GW turnovers, as Harvard led, 4-0, after the first two minutes. A two-handed jam by Kyle Casey made it 8-1 at the first media timeout, as Harvard hit four of its first five field goal attempts. Rivard hit a wide-open triple to give the Crimson a seven-point cushion, 11-4, and Casey followed with two foul shots to make it a nine-point game.

With 11 minutes left in the first, GW cut the deficit to four, 15-11, and neither team managed another field goal until the 8:33 mark when Casey was fouled before hitting a layup under the hoop. Casey missed the foul shot, but Harvard led, 19-11. The Crimson stretch its lead back to 10-, 21-11, with a dunk by Keith Wright off a pass from Rivard. Wright added another bucket with 5:42 to go, giving Harvard a 14-point advantage, 25-11.

Rivard was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to make it 28-13 in favor of the Crimson. With 2:43 left in the half, Oliver McNally found Moundou-Missi for the freshman's first-career 3 pointer, as Harvard led, 33-13. The Crimson carried that 33-13 edge into the break, with Wright leading the team with six boards and eight points, as he went 4-of-4 from the field. Rivard also had eight points at the half, as Harvard held GW to only 3-of-20 shooting (.150) and 13 points, the lowest of any Crimson opponent for a half this season.

GW opened the second with four quick points to cut into the Crimson lead, 33-17. With 18 minute left, Rivard made a 3-pointer from the corner and was fouled. He made the ensuing free throw for a four-point play, putting Harvard back up by 20, 37-17. Brandyn Curry found Moundou-Missi for a basket through traffic in the lane, as the Crimson maintained its lead, 42-21.

With 11:15 to go, Moundou-Missi made his fifth field goal with the shot clock expiring, making it 49-28 in favor of the Crimson. Jonah Travis earned a 3-point play after making a layup and being fouled under the hoop with 8:39 remaining, 57-34.  With 4:31 left, Rivard earned his second 4-point play of the afternoon and made the free throw, putting Harvard up 27, 68-35.

Down the stretch, Moundou-Missi added a strong to two-handed dunk with just over two minutes to go, his third jam of the day and his seventh field goal in as many chances. Harvard outscored GW, 36-25 in the second half to hold on for the win.

Harvard will return to Ivy action by visiting Dartmouth Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.