Brandyn Curry scored 16 points for the Crimson Saturday evening (Harvard Athletic Communications).
BASSANO DEL GRAPPA, Italy – The Harvard men's basketball team earned its third straight win on its foreign tour of Italy, as the Crimson defeated Bassano Basket, 83-52, Saturday evening.
Brandyn Curry and Wesley Saunders each scored 16 points to lead the Crimson, while Kenyatta Smith added 15 points and Kyle Casey netted 14 points. Casey, Jonah Travis and Christian Webster all pulled down six rebounds.
In the inaugural game played at the Palazetto Di Creazzo, the Crimson took a 12-7 lead at the 6:28 mark of the first quarter when Saunders accepted a bounce pass from Christian Webster and threw down a highlight reel dunk with his right hand. Harvard upped its lead to 14-7 when Casey went to the line and connected on both from the charity stripe with five minutes left in the first. After the Crimson went ahead by 12, Bassano scored seven straight points to cut the deficit to 19-14.
With 30 seconds left in the quarter, Kenyatta Smith added a layup, followed by a bucket in the paint by Saunders, who led the team with 12 points in the first half, as Harvard went up, 24-14, after the first. Harvard went on a 9-2 run to open the second and then grabbed a 35-20 advantage when Casey dribbled past a defender and finished with a floater with 4:37 left in the stanza. Bassano came back to within 10, 35-25, with 2:32 remaining, but Saunders made a steal at midcourt and dished a pass off to Casey who scored on the break, making it 39-27 in the final minute of the half. In the final seconds, Curry scored two straight buckets, including one on a dunk on the break, as the Crimson took a 43-30 lead into the break.
In the third, Smith grabbed a defensive board and pushed the ball up the floor, leading to a Steve Moundou-Missi layup from under the hoop, as the Crimson held a 49-32 advantage. At the 4:50 mark, Casey drove the lane and was fouled before sinking a basket, keeping Harvard in control, 51-39. With 32.9 seconds left in the quarter, Webster went to the line and hit both, making it a 59-43 contest.
Webster added a buzzer beater on a runner through traffic before time expired in the third, as the Crimson grew its lead to 61-44. With 4:56 left in the game, Casey tipped in a missed free throw, giving the Crimson its largest advantage to that point, 72-50. Later in the fourth, Harvard went up by as many as 28, 78-50, when Curry nailed a one-handed shot off the glass, with just over three minutes to play.
The Crimson will conclude its Italian trip by playing Paffoni Omegna in Milan Monday evening.