Laurent Rivard and the Crimson have won five straight games (Stephen Slade).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Laurent Rivard scored a game-high 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while Steve Moundou-Missi added 10 points, as the No. 23 Harvard men's basketball team improved to 3-0 in Ivy League play with a 65-35 victory at Yale Friday evening. The Crimson forced 22 Yale turnovers in the win, as Harvard moves to 17-2 overall on the season.
The margin of victory, 30 points, marks the widest in the series history against Yale (183 games), surpassing the previous mark of 23 points from an 81-58 win back in 1999.
Harvard shot 45.3 percent overall (24-of-53) for the game, while holding the Bulldogs to 31.7 percent (13-of-41) shooting from the field. The Crimson, which entered the weekend fourth in the nation in defense, has now allowed less than 50 points in a game 10 times this year and has surrendered 48 points or less in each of the last three contests. Brandyn Curry handed out six assists, while Keith Wright and Moundou-Missi grabbed five rebounds apiece.
Greg Mangano paced Yale (12-5, 2-1 Ivy) with 17 points and four rebounds.
Rivard and Curry each made early baskets, as the Crimson led the Bulldogs, 4-2, at the first media timeout. With 15:07 left, Rivard was fouled attempting a trey and drained all three free throws to put Harvard up by five, 7-2. After Yale went on a mini-run to tie the game, 9-9, Wesley Saunders hit a jumper before the shot clock expired to put the Crimson back on top, 11-9.
Harvard remained ahead, 15-12, when Moundou-Miss stole the ball at midcourt and dribbled down the floor for a two-handed dunk. Moundou-Missi added another slam off a steal to make it 17-13 in favor of Harvard with just under eight minutes left in the opening half. The Crimson extended is lead further, 20-13, with a triple by Oliver McNally, giving Harvard its largest advantage to that point.
Rivard knocked down another trey for the Crimson, making it a nine-point game, 23-14, with 4:29 to go. With 1:51 remaining, Corbin Miller sank a triple with the shot clock winding down, expanding Harvard's lead to 13, 30-17.
The Crimson, which forced 10 turnovers for Yale in first half, carried a 30-19 lead into the break. Harvard scored 14 points off those turnovers and shot 12-of-30 overall (.400) in the frame, while the Bulldogs made 6-of-20 attempts (.300). Rivard and Moundou-Missi each led Harvard with eight points at the intermission.
Curry opened the scoring in the second half with an acrobatic runner in the lane, making it 32-19. After Kyle Casey made a layup through traffic, McNally buried a wide-open 3-pointer, extending Harvard's lead to 38-23. Christian Webster hit a reverse layup, and Moundou-Missi grabbed and offensive board and put it back for two points, as Harvard led, 44-25, with 12:39 remaining.
With 8:51 left in regulation, Rivard knocked down his second triple of the game, extending Harvard's advantage to 22, 53-31. The Crimson continued to increase its lead as Casey made a jump shot with 7:04 left, as Harvard went on a 27-9 run since the 17:33 mark in the second half.
Harvard will head to Providence, R.I., to face Brown Saturday evening at 6 p.m.