Men’s Basketball Triumphs at Yale, 54-52

Lewis tallied game-highs in points, rebounds and blocks (Gil Talbot).

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Earning its second Ivy road victory, Harvard men's basketball triumphed in a defensive battle over Yale, 54-52, on Friday night at John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Sophomore Chris Lewis tallied game-highs with 16 points, a career-best 11 rebounds and two blocks, while sophomore Seth Towns and junior Corey Johnson finished with 11 points apiece. Towns filled out the scoresheet with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals, while Johnson hit a game-leading three triples.

Harvard (8-10, 3-0 Ivy League) led at the break, 31-27, behind 11 points from Johnson. The junior knocked down three triples in the opening frame, while Lewis and Towns had six apiece in the first 20 minutes. The Crimson led by as many as 16 in the period, coming after back-to-back highlight reel dunks from Lewis and Towns, but Yale (8-11, 1-2 Ivy League) closed the period on a 16-4 run to keep the contest close.

Prevailing in a back-and-forth second half, Lewis outmuscled the Yale big men for 10 points and eight rebounds in the second half, including a game-tying layup with just under five minutes to play. Sophomore Justin Bassey, who finished with nine points, gave Harvard the lead for good when he was fouled on a 3-pointer and hit all three free throws. Bassey followed with tremendous defense on Yale's game-tying three in the closing seconds, forcing an air ball.

Harvard Highlights

  • Lewis tallied his third-career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
  • Johnson recorded his fifth game this season with at least three 3-pointers.
  • Towns' five assists tied a career-high, and he scored in double figures for the eighth-straight game.

Game Notes

  • Harvard held Yale to a season-low 52 points, and has now held nine-straight opponents to under 65 points. The Crimson improved its Ivy-best scoring defense to 65.5 points per game.
  • The Crimson moved to 3-0 in Ivy play, and are one of 17 unbeaten teams in conference play around the country. Harvard is tied atop the Ivy League table with Penn.
  • Harvard is 3-0 in Ivy play for the second-straight year, and for the sixth time in the past eight years.
  • The Crimson has won three of the last four meetings in New Haven, and improves to 79-118 all-time against the Bulldogs.

What's Next?
Harvard treks to Brown for a 6 p.m. tip-off on Saturday, Jan. 27. The game will be broadcast by NESNplus and the Ivy League Network.