Men's Basketball Defeats Northeastern for Fourth Straight Win, 72-64

The Crimson earned its first true road win to improve to 8-1 (Zack Williamson).

BOSTON - Kyle Casey and Wesley Saunders scored 17 points apiece to help the Harvard men's basketball team defeat Northeastern, 72-64, at Matthews Arena Wednesday evening.

With the win, the Crimson improves to 8-1, matching the best start under head coach Tommy Amaker (2011-12). Northeastern slips to 2-6 on the year.

Saunders shot 7-of-12 from the field, while Casey was 6-of-11. Evan Cummins, who tied his career-high with 10 points, and Laurent Rivard, who nailed two 3-pointers, also reached double figures for the Crimson. Siyani Chambers handed out eight assists and also tallied eight points.

Northeastern was led offensively by Scott Eatherton (17 points) and Reggie Spencer (16 points).

Casey scored six straight points to help Harvard to an 8-4 lead out of the gates. Northeastern came back to pull within one, 9-8, but Jonah Travis powered his way to the basket for an 11-8 advantage. Saunders followed up with a fade-away jumper, and after a Chambers layup it was a 15-10 game. Spencer kept the Huskies in the game, however, scoring 10 straight points for the home squad as Northeastern pulled within one, 19-18.

A T.J. Williams layup in transition gave Northeastern its first lead, 20-19, but after Chambers found Casey along the baseline for a tough layup the Crimson was back in control, 23-22. Rivard extended the margin with a three-pointer on the team's next possession, and Saunders moved the score to 28-22 with a tip-in off his own miss. Saunders later ended the half with a two handed slam on the break to make the score 34-29, just beating the buzzer after a bounce pass from Chambers.

Casey led all scorers at the break with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with 11 points from Saunders on 5-of-7 shooting.

The Crimson started quickly coming out of the break as Casey found Steve Moundou-Missi underneath for an easy lay-in. Moundou-Missi added four more points to give Harvard its largest lead to that point, 40-31, but a pair of Northeastern baskets cut the deficit to four at the first timeout, 40-36. Harvard extended its advantage to 43-36 off a Cummins putback, but once again the Huskies answered back to make it a 44-41 game.

Saunders broke Harvard out of its second-half slump with four straight points before Chambers' three-pointer extended the lead to double-digits, 53-43, forcing a Northeastern timeout. The margin bounced between 11 points and six points over the next six-plus minutes as the teams went shot-for-shot at each end of the court. A layup by Cummins finally began a run for the Crimson, as Chambers drove the lane on the next possession for a 67-56 lead. Cummins' block of Eatherton with just 39 seconds remaining all but secured the win, and after free throws from Rivard and Saunders, Harvard walked away with the 72-64 win.

Game Notes: At 8-1, Harvard has matched its best nine-game start to a season under head coach Tommy Amaker … Head coach Tommy Amaker moved to third on the Crimson's all-time wins list, tying Edward Wachter (1920-33) with 120 career victories … Laurent Rivard made his 100th career appearance for the Crimson, 54th career start … After scoring 15 points in his first 11 career appearances, Evan Cummins has scored 20 points over the last two games.