Kenyatta Smith recorded the first double-double of his career (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Kenyatta Smith made a Harvard record 10 blocks and scored a career-best 20 points to go along with nine rebounds, while Wesley Saunders poured in 23 points, as the Harvard men's basketball team topped Penn, 73-54, before a sold out crowd of 2,195 Lavietes Pavilion Friday evening.
With the win, Harvard improves to 6-1 in conference play, 14-7 overall and 10-1 at home this season, while the Quakers fall to 5-8 and 2-4 in Ivy League action. Harvard finished the game with 15 blocks, also a program record, and shot 52.3 percent as a team. The Crimson held Penn to34.9 percent shooting, while Darien Nelson-Henry paced the Quakers with 14 points. Steve Moundou-Missi added 11 points for Harvard, while Smith's double-double was the first of his career.
The Crimson remains at home to host Princeton tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. in a game that will be shown live on NBC Sports Network.
After a slow start for both teams, Smith made a block on one end of the floor and then hit a layup, making it 5-2 Crimson with just over 16 minutes left in the first. After Saunders made it 7-2 with a bucket off the glass, Saunders added another basket, 9-4. Penn tied the contest, 9-9, but Saunders responded with a triple from the corner to put Harvard back on top, 12-9.
With just under 11 minutes to go, Webster nailed another triple, as the Crimson led, 17-11, and then Steve Moundou-Missi hit a jumper as Harvard went up by eight, 19-11. Moundou-Missi found Saunders for a layup, making it 25-15, and then Smith hit two from the foul line, 27-18. At the 5:47 mark, Saunders drew contact before hitting a jump shot, 29-20, followed by a two-handed dunk by Smith, 31-20.
With time winding down in the first, Saunders nailed a jumper to send the Crimson to the half with a 37-27 advantage. Saunders had 17 points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting. Harvard shot 48.1 percent from the field in the first stanza and had seven blocks, while holding the Quakers to 38.7 percent shooting as a team.
In the second, Smith was fouled before hitting a basket and the ensuing foul shot, 40-29. With 18:05 remaining, Saunders sent a pass to Laurent Rivard who hit a 3-pointer, as Harvard went up by 13, 44-31. At the 15:43 mark, Webster went up to shoot a 3-pointer, but was fouled. Webster made all three free throws, as the Crimson continued to pull away, 49-33.
Saunders put Harvard up by 15 when he converted a conventional 3-point play, 52-37, and then Siyani Chambers nailed a triple, 55-37. After the Crimson stretched its lead to 20, the Quakers went on a 5-0 run, 57-42, but the Crimson responded with a 7-0 run of its own to go up by 22, 64-42.
Down the stretch, Moundou-Missi made two foul shots with just over three minutes left, 70-47, and then Smith made his 10th block of the game with 2:01 left.