Steeves swatted the game-sealing block, capping a career-high 25-point night (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Led by a career-high 25 points from Patrick Steeves, the Harvard men's basketball team held on for a 73-71 victory Friday night over Princeton at Lavietes Pavilion.
Steeves connected on 9-of-13 from the floor, including three triples and the game-sealing block. Zena Edosomwan registered his 11th double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Agunwa Okolie and Evan Cummins chipped in with 12 and eight points.
Steven Cook led Princeton (20-6, 10-2 Ivy League) with 16 points, while Amir Bell followed with 14. With the loss, Princeton falls one game behind Yale in the loss column. Yale can clinch the Ivy League title outright tomorrow with a win at Columbia, while Princeton remains alive needing a Yale loss and wins at Dartmouth and versus Penn on Tuesday to force a one-game playoff.
Harvard (12-16, 5-8 Ivy League) returns to Lavietes tomorrow for its final game of the season against Penn. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Harvard seniors set the tone early as Cummins and Okolie each netted a pair of baskets to give Harvard an initial 8-4 advantage at the first media break.
A Princeton triple out of the break put the game within one, but the Crimson responded with a 6-2 run to hold the upper hand at 12-7. The Tigers made it a one-possession game after a 5-2 run before Edosomwan converted on an and-1 to move the score to 17-12 in favor of the Crimson with 11: 35 remaining.
The Tigers cut their deficit to 31-29 with 4:15 remaining, but Corbin Miller connected from beyond-the-arc and Steeves converted on an and-1 to advance Harvard's lead to eight. Steeves and Tommy McCarthy registered the final nine points of the half for the Crimson, capped by a Steeves triple in the waning seconds to send Harvard to the break with a 43-35 advantage.
Princeton hit back-to-back 3's as part of an 11-2 run to open the second stanza, taking its first advantage at 46-45 with 14:44 remaining. Steeves reclaimed the lead for the Crimson at 13:10, converting on an and-1 to snap a seven-minute scoring drought. The senior continued to have the hot-hand, sinking three-straight buckets to push Harvard's lead by to five at 54-49 with 9:42 left.
The Tigers clawed back to within one at 62-61 with 6:07 to go, but Steeves connected from deep to make it a two-possession game. However, the Tigers closed the gap once again and took a 69-68 edge with 1:35 left. Edosomwan muscled his way to the hoop and converted on an and-1 to back in front before Princeton's Devin Canday tied it up again with a layup with 34 ticks left.
Steeves was fouled on the ensuing possession and stayed clutch by sinking a pair from the line to thrust Harvard ahead, 73-71. Down to its last possessison, Princeton had a look at the basket, but Steeves swatted the shot as time expired to seal the win.
Game Notes: The game was played in front of a sold-out crowd, Harvard's sixth sell out of the season ... Harvard's senior class of Evan Cummins, Agunwa Okolie and Patrick Steeves combined for 45 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists … Patrick Steeves scored a career-high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting … Zena Edosomwan registered his 11th double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds … Zena Edosomwan's 262 rebounds this season are seventh most in program history … Agunwa Okolie has scored in double-figures in 10 of 13 Ivy League contests … Corbin Miller set a career-high with five assists … Harvard has matched the program record with 212 3-pointers this season … Harvard's 434 assists this season are the fourth most in program history … Harvard's 1,074 rebounds this season are the sixth most in program history … Harvard's 142 blocks this season are the second most in program history.