Men’s Basketball Slips Against Yale in Ivy Tourney Semifinal, 73-71; Aiken Scores Career-High 28 Points

Bryce Aiken led all scorers with 28 points (Greg Carroccio).

PHILADELPHIA – Freshman Bryce Aiken netted a career-best 28 points, and Zena Edosomwan added eight points and 13 rebounds, but the Harvard men's basketball team dropped its Ivy League tournament semifinal matchup to Yale, 73-71, at The Palestra Saturday evening.

With the loss, the Crimson moves to 18-10 overall, while Yale (18-10) moves on to Sunday's championship game.

Chris Lewis scored 13 points and had eight boards, while Seth Towns also had the scoring touch with 10 points. Aiken shot 11-of-25 from the field and was 5-of-12 from beyond the arc. For the game, the Crimson shot 35.1 percent overall (27-of-77) and was 25.0 percent from three (9-of-36).

Late in the second half in the inaugural Ivy League tournament, Lewis hit a tip-in with just under three minutes left, but Yale responded with a bucket on the other end to give them another four-point edge, 68-64. Aiken drained a long two to get Harvard back within two, but Yale once again answered to go up, 71-66, with 1:31 to go.

With 1:11 remaining, Aiken hit a three from the top of the key, making it 71-69, and giving Aiken a career-high with 28 points. On Harvard's next possession, Aiken turned it over, and Trey Phillis went to the line after being fouled. Phillis made one shot to put Yale up, 72-69.

With the clocking ticking down, Harvard turned the ball over, and Jordan Bruner hit one foul shot with six second left to make it 73-71. Edosomwan made a layup with less than one second left, 73-,71, but Harvard could not inch closer, as Yale held on the for the victory.

Yale led, 7-3, after the first five minutes of action. With 13:30 to go, Seth Towns rejected a shot, starting a fast break by Siyani Chambers. Chambers dribbled down the right side and sent an alley-oop pass to Edosomwan, who had six rebounds in the first six minutes, for the two-handed jam, 9-5.

With the Crimson trailing, 15-8, Chambers hit an acrobatic, left-handed layup to pull Harvard back within five, with just over 10 minutes to go in the first half. Later in the frame, the Bulldogs pulled ahead by 10, 23-13, before Aiken connected on a triple to end a scoring drought for Harvard. On the Crimson's next possession, Justin Bassey nailed another trey, getting Harvard within four, 23-19.

Following a transition bucket by Edosomwan, which cut the Yale lead to two 25-23, the Bulldogs called timeout with 4:51 remaining.

Yale responded and went on a 13-7 run to close the half, taking a 38-30 lead into the break. Edosomwan finished the half with 10 boards.

In the second, the Bulldogs opened up an 11-point edge, 43-32, but the Crimson responded and crawled back with some scoring plays by a few of its freshmen. Following a conventional three-point play by Aiken, Towns nailed a three-pointer from the left wing, pulling Harvard within five, 47-32, with 14 minutes to play.

At the 9:48 mark, Aiken connected on another three to cut the deficit to five, 54-49. Moments later, Bassey sent a pass to Edosomwan for monster dunk on the break, as Harvard continued to chip away, 57-53. Aiken got the Crimson within two, 59-57, with a layup through traffic, and then tied the game with a trey from the top of the key, 60-60, with 5:38 to go.

Bryce Aiken notched double-digits for the 18th time this season and paced Harvard in scoring for the 13th time. Aiken's 28 points was a career-high. This was the sixth time Zena Edosomwan (13) finished in double figures in rebounds. Siyani Chambers ranks second all-time in assists (605), sixth in steals (163) and No. 13 in points (1,287).