Men’s Basketball Drops Tight Battle with Minnesota, 65-55

Photo by Eric Miller
Photo by Eric Miller
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MINNEAPOLIS – Despite limiting Minnesota to its lowest offensive output of the season, Harvard men's basketball fell in a defensive battle with the Golden Gophers, 65-55, on Saturday afternoon at Williams Arena.

Junior Corey Johnson led the Crimson (5-8) with 12 points to go with six rebounds, while sophomores Seth Towns and Chris Lewis were also in double figures with 10 points apiece. Sophomore Justin Bassey tied a career-high with 10 rebounds, while classmate Christian Juzang dished a career-best six assists.

Harvard jumped out to an early 9-4 lead after buckets from Lewis, Juzang and Towns, but the Gophers (12-3) fought back to take the lead with just over 12 minutes to play in the period. The Crimson held the Gophers to 28.6 percent shooting in the opening frame.

The Crimson was resilient in the second half, pulling within three, 45-42, despite trailing by double digits to open the period. The Golden Gophers responded with a run of their own, and the home team hit 10 straight free throws down the stretch to secure the result.

Harvard Highlights

  •  Johnson hit a season-high four 3-pointers to finish with 12 points.
  •  Bassey tallied a career-best 10 rebounds, while Juzang notched a career-high six assists.
  •  Harvard limited Minnesota to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field.

Game Notes

  •  The meeting was the first in program history.
  •  Harvard closes 2017 with a 5-8 record.
  •  The game was aired on the Big Ten Network, and Harvard has played 12 of its 13 games this season on TV.

What's Next?
Harvard returns home for the first of two-straight at Lavietes Pavilion when it hosts Vermont on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on NESNplus and the Ivy League Network.