Chambers, Moundou-Missi Lift Men's Basketball Past Columbia in 2OT, 88-84

Saunders added 19 points, seven assists as the Crimson got its second overtime victory (Gil Talbot).

NEW YORK – Siyani Chambers and Steve Moundou-Missi each scored 22 points, and Wesley Saunders added 19, helping the Harvard men's basketball team to an 88-84 double-overtime victory over Columbia Friday night at Levien Gymnasium.  

After drawing a charge at the end of the first overtime to extend the game, Harvard's all-time leader in three-pointers, Laurent Rivard, connected on his third triple of the night to give the Crimson an 82-77 edge with 0:59 remaining in the second overtime. Harvard finished out the extra session by going 5-of-10 at the free throw line, securing the victory and keeping the Crimson atop the Ivy League standings.

Harvard improves to 19-4 with the win, and is tied with Yale for first place in the conference with a 6-1 mark. Columbia, meanwhile, drops to 14-10 and is 3-4 against the Ancient Eight.

Both Chambers and Moundou-Missi finished with 22 points, with Chambers shooting 5-of-9 from the field, 3-of-5 from three and 9-of-11 at the line. Moundou-Missi, meanwhile, was 7-of-13 overall and 8-of-10 at the line, and also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.

Saunders added 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting, 8-of-12 at the line, to go with seven assists, three blocks and two steals. Rivard chipped in 10 points with three makes from deep as the Crimson shot 45.6 percent (25-57) for the game and 74.4 percent (29-39) from the line.

Alex Rosenberg posted a game-high 34 points with seven rebounds while shooting 10-of-17 from the field, 4-of-6 from three and 10-of-12 at the line. The Lions combined to shoot 47.5 percent (28-59) and went 21-of-24 at the line.

Kyle Casey blew past Rosenberg for the game's first basket and after Rivard pulled down an offensive rebound and found a wide open Saunders for three, it was a 5-2 game. Rosenberg briefly tied the game with a three of his own, but a spot up triple from Rivard put the Crimson back in front, 8-5. Columbia took its first lead off an Isaac Cohen layup, before baskets by Saunders and Agunwa Okolie moved the score to 12-9 in Harvard's favor.

Chambers stepped into a three and Casey hit a mid-range jumper for a 17-11 edge, but the Lions came right back with eight unanswered points to go on top on a Cory Osetkowski putback, 19-17. Brandyn Curry and Moundou-Missi went to the line to regain an advantage for Harvard, 21-19, as the lead continued to swing back and forth.

Columbia used a 7-0 run to gain a 28-25 edge before Chambers beat the buzzer with a runner in the lane to send the Crimson into the break in front, 30-28. The first half featured six lead changes and seven ties as Harvard shot 41.7 percent (10-24) against a 44.0 percent (11-25) clip for the Lions. Saunders paced the Crimson with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting while Rosenberg totaled 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

The Lions quickly regained the lead to open the second half, 33-31. Saunders got to the rim to even the score, and an emphatic alley-oop slam by Casey from Curry put Harvard back in front, 35-34. Chambers moved the score to 38-34 on the next trip down the floor with his second triple of the night, and a 15-foot jumper from Moundou-Missi put the score at 40-37.

A Rivard three-pointer was followed by six straight points for Moundou-Missi, the last of which came on a two-handed dunk, as Harvard's lead grew to 12 points, 49-37. Moundou-Missi continued to have the hot hand, hitting a long jumper for a 51-42 lead, but the Lions fought back to pull within 55-48 with 7:41 to play. Free throws from Casey and another Chambers three regained a double-digit margin, 60-48, before a 7-0 stretch which included five points from Rosenberg pulled the Lions within five, 60-55.

Rosenberg buried an open triple from the top of the key to make it a 62-60 game, and after Grant Mullins' drive to the basket with 2:49 to play the margin remained at two, 64-62. Rosenberg went to the line with 2:18 on the clock and tied the game at 64 before Osetkowski spun baseline to give the Lions a 66-64 edge. It was Chambers' turn to come up big with 57.4 seconds remaining, and the sophomore calmly hit both ends of a one-and-one to pull Harvard even once again, 66-66. More free throws for Rosenberg made it a 68-66 game, but Moundou-Missi tipped in a Saunders miss on Harvard's final possession to send the game into overtime.

The Lions twice took the lead early in the extra session but both times the Crimson answered back with Moudnou-Missi and Chambers at the line. Maodo Lo made it a 73-72 game in the hosts favor, but Saunders went 1-of-2 at the line to tie it at 73 and force the second extra session.

Harvard opened the second overtime with baskets by Curry and Moundou-Missi to take a 77-73 edge. Buckets by Jeff Coby and Rosenberg kept the score close, but Rivard's three-pointer helped keep the Lions at bay.

Game Notes: At 19-4, Harvard is one win shy of becoming the first team in the Ivy League with five straight 20-win seasons since Penn did so a record six times from 1970-75 … Siyani Chambers and Steve Moundou-Missi eached scored 22 points, marking the second time this season that Harvard has had two 20-point scorers … Both Siyani Chambers and Steve Moundou-Missi scored 17 points in the second half and overtime … Both Siyani Chambers and Steve Moundou-Missi have scored at least 20 points three times this season … Harvard improves to 9-3 all-time in overtime under Head Coach Tommy Amaker and is 3-1 when going to double overtime.