Balanced Attack Leads Men’s Basketball Past Yale, 77-64

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Bryce Aiken and Seth Towns combined for 40 points, as Harvard men's basketball (17-7, 9-2) bested Yale, 77-64, Friday evening at Lavietes Pavilion in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,195.

Bryce Aiken posted his seventh game over the 20-point plateau with 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Towns added 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds, chipping in two assists and two steals. Senior Zena Edosomwan matched his season high with 15 points.

Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, has won the most Ivy games of any Harvard coach with 93 and sits No. 6 in the Ancient Eight.

The Crimson shared the ball, dishing out 18 assists on 31 baskets. Harvard converted 17 Yale turnovers to 20 points on the other end and shot 55.4 percent (31-of-56) from the field.  

Yale (14-10, 6-5) was paced by 20 points from Alex Copeland. Sam Downey added a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Trey Phills added 13 points and five steals.

The two teams went back-and-forth to open the game, before the Crimson pushed out to an 18-10 lead seven minutes in. Chris Lewis converted a lay-up to cap the 7-2 spurt. Chambers stripped Sam Downey and made an acrobatic lay-in on the other end to make the score 22-16 three minutes later, but Yale spouted off a 12-0 run to gain a six-point advantage, 28-22.

Aiken broke up the rally with a three from the corner and the Crimson crawled its way back within one, 32-31, on a jumper by Seth Towns with under a minute to play. Yale made two free throws to take a 34-31 lead into the locker room.

Harvard came out of the break on fire, making seven of its first nine shots to push out eight, 46-38, five minutes in. Edosomwan capped the 15-4 spurt with back-to-back dunks off dishes from Towns. Yale pulled within six, 51-45, but Aiken nailed a three in front of the student section, starting a 12-1 run by the Crimson to up its lead to 17, 63-46, at the 7:43 mark.  

Yale made a run, posting 11 of the next 15 points to pull within 10, 67-57, but the Crimson held off the Bulldogs rally, winning by a 13-point margin.

For the full, archived game on the Ivy League Digital Network, click here.

The Crimson return to Lavietes Pavilion for the regular season finale against Brown. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on the American Sports Network.  

Game Notes: Seth Towns posted double-digits for the 15th time this season. Bryce Aiken posted double-digits for the 16th game this year. It marked the seventh time that Aiken has reached the 20-point plateau. Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, moved into sole possession of sixth place in the Ivy League, and first at Harvard, for the most Ivy victories with 93. Edosomwan earned his fifth double-digit game this season and second-straight. In the all-time record book, senior co-captain Siyani Chambers ranks third all-time in assists (585), sixth in steals (161) and No. 14 in points (1,244). The 18 fast break points marked the most since 2009 and the third-most all-time under Tommy Amaker.