Comeback Falls Short as Men’s Basketball Falls at Columbia, 65-62

Photo courtesy of Mike McLaughlin
Photo courtesy of Mike McLaughlin
Play Video

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Despite a season-high 21 points from sophomore Corey Johnson, Harvard men's basketball could not overcome a 19-point deficit, falling to Columbia, 65-62, at Levien Gymnasium.

Freshman Seth Towns recorded his first career double-double with the Crimson (11-6, 3-1), recording 12 points and a personal-best 12 rebounds. Johnson shot 7-of-14 from behind the arc, matching his career high for 3-pointers in a game. Senior Zena Edosomwan neared a double-double with nine points and nine boards, adding six blocks. The six rejections stands in a tie for third all-time at Harvard in a game.

Columbia (9-8, 3-1) saw double-figures from four players, including 13 apiece from Jeff Coby and Nate Hickman. Coby paced the Lions in boards with eight.

Rookie Robert Baker nailed a 15-foot jumper as the shot clock expired to put the Crimson ahead 12-9 with 7:30 gone. Columbia's Quinton Adlesh, who posted 11 points on the night, and Johnson traded 3-pointers and the two teams stayed within a possession of each other for the next two minutes. Knotted 20-20 at the 8:15 mark, the Lions outscored Harvard 21-6 to end the half and hold a 41-26 advantage at the break.

Columbia started the second half with back-to-back buckets by Nate Hickman, taking its largest lead of the game, 45-26, at the 18:47 mark. Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers, starting an 18-3 rally that pulled Harvard within four, 48-44. The Crimson defense held Columbia without a field goal for 7:33, as Towns scored six points during the run.

Five-straight points by the Crimson – a triple by Johnson and jumper from the foul-line extended by Towns – narrowed the Columbia advantage to three, 57-54, with 6:19 to play. Four-unanswered points by the Lions seemed to shift momentum in Columbia's favor, but a Towns lay-up and another three by Johnson again pulled Harvard within three.

A long trey on the wing by Johnson pulled Harvard within two, 64-62, with 2:19 left. Coby hit a free throw with just over 90 seconds to play and the Crimson was unable to pull even, falling 65-62.

For the full, archived broadcast of today's game, please click here

The Crimson will be back home for Alumni Weekend Feb. 3-4, taking on Penn Friday and Princeton Saturday. Both games will tip at 7 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN3.

Game Notes: For the first time in his career, Seth Towns posted a double-double with 12 points and a personal-best 12 rebounds. Towns scored in double-figures for the 10th time this season. For the ninth time this year and 23rd time overall, Corey Johnson scored 10-plus with 21 points. He paced the Crimson for the second-straight night and fourth time this season. Johnson matched his season high in points and career high in 3-pointers made. The 39 3-pointers attempted neared the program high (41, against Rider 12/10/02).