Double-Overtime Thriller: Harvard Men’s Basketball Tops Brown, 89-82

Christian Webster hit two three-pointers in overtime against Brown (Feb. 2).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Four players reached double figures in scoring, as the Crimson men's basketball team improved to 9-1 at home this season with an 89-82 victory over Brown Saturday evening at Lavietes Pavilion.

Saturday's game marked Harvard's first double-overtime game since winning, 83-82, at Penn Feb. 5, 2011 and the first at home since a triple-overtime thriller against William & Mary Nov. 15, 2009 when Jeremy Lin '10 hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer.

Siyani Chambers tallied 17 points and handed out 10 assists for his second-career double-double, while Wesley Saunders scored 18 points and Laurent Rivard added 16 points with four 3-pointers. Christian Webster again stepped up late in a contest and nailed four 3-pointers in the game, scoring 16 points. With the win, Harvard moves to 4-0 in Ivy League play and 12-6 overall, while the Bears fall to 8-10 and 2-2 in conference action. Sean McGonagill paced Brown with 20 points, while Matt Sullivan had 18 points

Harvard finished the game shooting 55.6 percent from the floor (30-of-54) and was 6-of-9 (.667) in overtime. The Crimson made 10 3-pointers in the game and tallied 40 points in the paint.

With Brown leading, 5-3, Siyani Chambers dribbled through the lane and finished with a floater to tie the game. Laurent Rivard put the Crimson up 8-5 with a triple from the corner off an assist by Webster. At the 16:37 mark, Steve Moundou-Missi drew a foul before sinking a layup and hit the ensuing free throw, as Harvard went up, 11-7. Moundou-Missi had another and-one at 15:56, and made the other foul shot as well, 14-9.

Rivard launched another 3-pointer to give the Crimson a six-point edge, 19-13, and then Chambers hit a trey of his own, 22-13. Chambers added two from the charity stripe, 24-13, and then made another triple, 27-16. With 8:48 to play in the first, Chambers slipped a pass to Kenyatta Smith who finished with a strong, two-handed dunk, 29-19. Harvard led, 34-25, when Webster drove baseline and finished with a layup, making it an 11-point game.

With 3:19 left, Wesley Saunders beat the shot clock with a floater, 38-30, and then Smith hit a layup, 40-32. Saunders made an and-one with 49.1 ticks left, and Brown was assessed a technical foul on the play. Rivard drained the two foul shots, and then Saunders hit the foul shot from the original play as Harvard led, 47-34. In the final seconds of the half, Chambers added two free throws, as the Crimson headed to the break up, 49-36.

Chambers led Harvard with 14 points and five assist in the opening 20 minutes. The Crimson shot 5-of-10 from beyond the arc (.500) and was 10-of-11 (.909) from the foul line.

Early in the second, Saunders sent a pass inside to Jonah Travis for a two-handed jam, 51-36, and then Saunders mad a nice move in the paint for a bucket, 53-39. Saunders added a dunk on the break, 55-41, and then Webster stepped up and nailed a 3-pointer to make it a 17-point game, 58-41.

With just under 13 minutes to play, Chambers assisted on a trey by Rivard, as the ball hit the front of the room before bouncing in the air and falling into the hoop, 63-41. After Brown went on a 14-0 run to make it 63-55, Saunders snapped the streak by driving coast to coast, finishing with one-handed dunk with his right hand.

The Crimson had a six-point lead, 65-59, with five minutes to go when Moundou-Missi sank one foul shot to make it a seven-point contest. With 1:57 remaining, Moundou-Missi made the first of two free throws, as the Crimson led, 67-60. With Harvard up by five, 67-62, Brown went to the line and hit two shots, making it a three-point game, but Rivard made two free throws on the other end, 69-64.

The Bears got back within two, 69-67, with 13.1 seconds left, and then McGonagill made a buzzer beater to send the game to overtime, 69-69.

In the extra session, Rivard opened the scoring with a three-pointer, 72-69, but Brown answered with a triple on the other end to knot the score. At the 3:05 mark, Moundou-Missi made the second of two foul shots, putting Harvard up one, 73-72, and then Saunders had a nifty move for a basket, making it a three-point game, 75-72. After the Bears tied it again, 75-75, Webster nailed a triple from the wing, as the Crimson went back on time by three points.

Brown tied it again with a 3-pointer with 20 second left as the game headed to a second overtime. Webster made another big 3 to open the second extra session and then Chambers added a bucket to put Harvard up five, 83-78.  

With the Crimson up by three, 83-80, Webster drew a foul and sank two from the charity stripe to make it a five-point game, 85-80, and then Saunders put the game out of reach with an and-one with 42.8 seconds left, 88-82.

Harvard will go on the road next weekend. and visit Cornell Feb. 8 and Columbia Feb. 9.