ATLANTA – Taking the court at the home of the Atlanta Hawks, Harvard men's basketball triumphed over Mercer, 71-67, on Saturday at State Farm Arena. Harvard improved to 6-5 with the result, while Mercer fell to 5-8.
First-year Noah Kirkwood led the Crimson with 19 points, while junior Chris Lewis and sophomore Danilo Djuricic added 13 and 11, respectively. Additionally, junior Christian Juzang tallied eight points, while dishing a game-high six assists.
Harvard held an early 10-9 lead against the Bears, but quickly built a 10-point advantage, 23-13, after eight points from Kirkwood, who had 17 in the first half, and a triple from classmate Spencer Freedman. Kirkwood kept up the scoring with a jumper near the end of the first half to give Harvard its largest lead, 41-23, and the Crimson left for the locker room at the half leading 41-28.
Lewis scored Harvard's first seven points of the second half, and 11 points total in the period. The Bears managed to cut Harvard's lead to single digits, but Harvard connected on 10 second-half free throws to seal the victory.
- Kirkwood led Harvard in scoring for the second-straight game, finishing with 19.
- Lewis and Djuricic poured in double-digit tallies with 13 and 11.
- Juzang's six assists tied a season-high.
- Harvard remains undefeated in the series history with Mercer, improving to 5-0.
- The outing was Harvard's first neutral site action of the season, and Harvard's first at an NBA arena since facing Holy Cross at the TD Garden in November, 2014.
The Crimson heads to Chapel Hill to take on No. 14/14 North Carolina Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. The contest with the Tar Heels will be broadcast on ESPN2.