Harvard Men’s Basketball Ties Program Win Mark, Handles Yale, 66-51
Keith Wright tied the Harvard career record for blocks in a 66-51 win over Yale Saturday night (Kerzner International/Issac Baldizon).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's basketball team won its 27th home game, downing Yale by a score of 66-51 before a sold out Lavietes Pavilion Saturday evening. With the win, Harvard (23-3, 9-1 Ivy) improves to 10-0 at home and extends its home win streak to 27 consecutive games, the second longest streak in the nation. The Crimson also ties last year's squad with its 23rd victory, a program record.
Keith Wright, who tied Brian Cusworth '07 for the Harvard career block record with 147, tallied 10 points and grabbed eight boards. Brandyn Curry paced the Crimson with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Oliver McNally added nine points, while Laurent Rivard chipped in seven. Greg Mangano paced Yale (17-7, 8-2) with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Crimson shot 25-of-46 (.543) for the game and owned the edge on the boards, 33-22.
After Harvard led, 5-3, after the first two minutes of play, Wright grabbed an offensive board and put it back to give the Crimson a 7-5 advantage. Harvard opened a five-point edge, 12-7, when McNally drained a wide open trey with 14:06 left. One minute later, McNally knocked down another triple, making it 15-9 in favor of the Crimson. With 11:24 remaining. Steve Moundou-Missi made a reverse layup, putting Harvard up by 10, 19-9.
Harvard extended the run to 14-2 when Curry dished a pass to Kyle Casey for a bucket in the paint at the 10:21 mark, 23-9. Casey added another basket off a pass from McNally, as Harvard maintained a 14-point lead, 27-13. With 7:08 to go in the first, Casey found Moundou-Missi for a basket through traffic, as the Crimson remained in control 29-15.
Harvard pushed its lead to 35-15 when Curry hit a runner with 3:57 to go, giving the Crimson its largest advantage to that point. The Bulldogs managed a 9-0 run to get back within 11, 35-24, with 54 seconds left on the clock. Yale cut the deficit to nine, 35-26, with a jumper right before the half. After the first 20 minutes, Harvard was shooting 57.7 percent (15-of-26), while holding the Bulldogs to 8-of-24 (.333). McNally paced the Crimson with eight points, and the Crimson held an edge in rebounds, 16-13.
In the second, Yale got within eight, 37-29, but Curry answered with a layup on the break to push the Harvard lead back to 10. The Bulldogs responded with another mini-run, cutting the deficit to five, 39-34, with 16 minutes remaining. With 13:26 to play, Wright made a layup giving the Crimson a six-point edge, 44-38. Less than 40 seconds later, Corbin Miller sent a pass to Curry who drained a triple, making it a nine-point advantage, 47-38.
With 9:29 left, Miller connected on a 3-pointer from the left side, keeping Harvard by nine, 50-41. Curry added a dunk on the Crimson's next trip down the court, putting Harvard up by 11. With 5:15 left, Christian Webster made the front end of two foul shots, as Harvard led, 57-46. Wright hit a tough layup on Harvard's next possession, keeping the Crimson ahead by double digits, 59-49.
With four games left in the regular season, the Crimson will remain home to host Princeton Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.