PHILADELPHIA – Falling in heartbreaking fashion in the final minute, Harvard men's basketball dropped a hard-fought battle with Penn, 68-65, in the Ivy League Tournament championship on Sunday afternoon at the Palestra.
Sophomore Chris Lewis led the offense with 16 points, while four Harvard players ended in double figures. Sophomore Justin Bassey scored 15 with a team-leading eight rebounds, while classmates Seth Towns and Christian Juzang finishes with 13 and 11, respectively.
Harvard opened up a 13-point first half lead, using a 16-0 run to take a 26-10 advantage. Five different Crimson players contributed to the run, led by five points from Bassey. Penn responded with its own run, however, and took a 34-32 lead into the break.
The Quakers led by as many as 13 in the second half, 48-35, with just under 14 minutes to play, but the Crimson stormed back to cut the Penn lead to two, 55-53, with 6:32 remaining in the half. Harvard tied the score at 55-55, and took a three-point lead moments later. Penn responded with a pair of 3-pointers to take the lead, and following foul shots on both end, Harvard missed a pair of triples with under five seconds to go to close the game.
Lewis and Towns capped the event with selections to the all-tournament team.
- Lewis led the way with 16 points, while Bassey tallied 15 with a team-leading eight rebounds.
- The Crimson was a perfect 12-for-12 from the line, and won the rebound battle, 34-30.
- Despite the loss, Harvard advances to its seventh postseason tournament in nine years, and its second NIT berth.
- Lewis and Towns were named to the all-tournament team for their strong contributions.
Harvard earned a berth in the 2018 National Invitational Tournament (NIT), and will find out its opponent during a selection show at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.