Strong-Defensive Effort Pushes Harvard Men’s Basketball to 65-47 Victory at Brown

Wesley Saunders and the Crimson are 3-1 on the road in conference play (Gil Talbot).

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Wesley Saunders extended his streak of reaching double figures in scoring to 23 games, tallying 19 points, as the Harvard men's basketball team improved to 8-1 in the Ivy League with a 65-47 win at Brown Friday evening.

The Crimson, which allowed its second fewest point total of the season, has won three straight games and is now 16-7 overall on the year. Harvard forced 19 turnovers and held the Bears to 37.2 percent shooting, including 1-of-14 (.071) from long distance. Siyani Chambers scored 14 points and made a career-best four steals, and Saunders came down with nine rebounds.

Christian Webster added nine points, while Kenyatta Smith had eight points and two blocks for Harvard. Cedric Kuakumensah (11 points) and Sean McGonagill (10 points) paced Brown (9-14, 3-6 Ivy) in scoring.

Smith made a jump hook to put Harvard up, 3-2, and then Saunders hit a bucket in the paint, as the Crimson led, 5-2. Smith connected on another basket, 7-2, and then Siyani Chambers stole the ball and finished with a layup on the break, 11-2. Harvard continued to remain in control when Saunders fought off two defenders and scored a bucket, 13-2, and then added a foul shot, making it 14-4, with just under nine minutes to go in the first.

After Harvard grabbed a 16-4 advantage, Jonah Travis hit a layup from under the hoop, 18-5, followed by a jumper by Chambers, 20-5. With less than four minutes to play in the opening frame, Chambers headed to the line and made both, 24-9. Christian Webster made a jump shot, 26-9, and the Crimson added three more foul shots later in the half, as the Crimson took a 29-18 advantage into the break.

Harvard forced 14 turnovers in the first half, while only committing two miscues. Chambers had four steals in the opening 20 minutes, breaking his career-high for takeaways in a game.

In the second, both teams started slowly again, but Smith hit two foul shots, making it, 31-18. After Brown got within 10, 31-21, Laurent Rivard drew a foul and connected on two free throws, 33-21, and then Webster nailed a triple, 36-21. The Bears made it a 12-point game, 37-25, with 13 minutes to play, but Smith answered with a bucket in the paint.

The Bears went on an 8-2 run to make it 39-33, but Webster put Harvard back up by eight with a jumper just inside the arc. Chambers found Saunders for a one-handed dunk on the break, 44-33, and then Steve Moundou-Missi drained two from the line, 46-35.  With just under five minutes to go, Saunders converted a conventional 3-point play, 51-39, and then Smith connected on a short jumper, as the Crimson maintained a 12-point lead.

With 2:30 left to go, Moundou-Missi took a pass from Chambers and finished with a strong jam, as the Crimson led, 57-43.

The teams combined to shoot 35-of-60 from the line, with Harvard going 21-of-37 (.568) and Brown finishing 14-of-23 (.609).

The Crimson will play at Yale tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. The game will be shown live on CBS Sports Network.