Aiken’s 21 Not Enough as Men’s Basketball Falls to Stanford, 80-70

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Play Video

SHANGHAI, China – The Harvard men's basketball team (0-1) dropped an 80-70 decision to Stanford (1-0) at Mercedes-Benz arena in Shanghai, China Friday evening. The Crimson rookies accounted for 51 points, led by 21 from freshman Bryce Aiken.

Senior captain Siyani Chambers added 12 points and four assists. Rookies Henry Welsh and Chris Lewis poured in 11 and 12, respectively, while Welsh paced Harvard in rebounding with six. Senior Zena Edosomwan also pulled down six boards.

The Cardinal was led by Reid Travis, who posted a double-double with 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting and 17 rebounds. Michael Humphrey added 15, as five players registered double-figures.  

Stanford outscored the Crimson 14-2 on the break and headed to the free throw line 43 times, making 29 from the stripe.

Stanford jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but the Crimson battled back to level the score at 11-11 at the 9:47 mark after a pair of free throws by Welsh. The two teams stayed within a possession of each other until six-unanswered points pushed the Cardinal ahead, 21-15 at the 5:41 mark. A three from the far wing by Bryce Aiken pulled Harvard within four, 27-23, with 3:23 to play. Two free throws by Chambers made the score 30-28 heading into the locker room.

Out of the break, the Cardinal scored nine of the first 11 points to push its advantage to nine, 30-39, capped by a dunk on the break by Travis at the 17:13 mark. An and-one dunk by freshman Seth Towns put an exclamation point on a steady Crimson comeback, pulling Harvard within three, 47-44, with 11:48 to play.

At the same margin two minutes later, the Cardinal started a 10-2 run that pushed the lead to 12, 62-50, with under eight minutes remaining. Aiken jumpstarted a 11-5 Crimson run with a drive to the basket, converting on both free throws. A drive to the basket by Chambers pulled Harvard within six, 67-61, but the Crimson could get no closer.

The Crimson heads back to the USA and Lavietes Pavilion, taking on NAIA school Fisher College Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Chambers posted double-digits for the first time this season and the 59th time in his career with 12 points … In their first career action, Bryce Aiken, Henry Welsh and Chris Lewis each posted double-figures. Aiken eclipsed 20 points for the first time in his career.