Aiken Scores at the Buzzer, Men’s Basketball Beats Yale 88-86

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Capping a wild night in New Haven in walk-off fashion, junior guard Bryce Aiken scored at the buzzer to lead the Crimson to an 88-86 victory over Yale on Saturday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Harvard improves to 14-9 this season, including a 7-3 Ivy mark, while Yale drops to 18-5 with an 8-2 Ivy League record.

Aiken led the offense with a game-high 28 points, including the last-second dagger from 18 feet as time expired. First-year Kale Catchings pitched in a career-high 16 points, while sophomore Danilo Djuricic and junior Christian Juzang were in double figures with 14 and 10, respectively.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 14-point lead in the first half, with the home team connecting on its first 10 shots of the game. Undeterred, the Crimson fought back to take its first lead with 3:29 to play after a Kirkwood triple punctuated an 11-2 run. First-year Mason Forbes had an important tip-in right before the half ended, but Yale took a one-point lead into the intermission, 44-43.

Aiken and Catchings combined to score 29 points in the second half, which included 13 lead changes. Yale looked to re-gain momentum with just under seven minutes to go, as the home team held a 77-70 lead. Djuricic, Chris Lewis and Juzang all scored as Harvard made its final push, but a dunk in traffic and a triple from Catchings gave Harvard a lead with 27 seconds to go. After Djuricic hit a couple free throws, Yale's Alex Copeland hit a game-tying triple with just under eight seconds to play, but Aiken was composed as he pulled up from 18 feet and sunk the game-winner.

Harvard Highlights

  • Aiken continued his string of contests with late-game heroics, scoring at the buzzer with the last of his 28 points.
  • Catchings tallied career-highs across the board with 16 points, including five in the final 1:04, four rebounds and three steals.
  • The team combined to shoot 50.9 percent from the field, while posting a 22-for-27 mark from the free throw line.

Game Notes

  • Harvard has topped Yale in four consecutive meetings, and is the only Ivy team to beat the Elis this season.
  • Harvard hit double digit 3-pointers for the 11th time this season, and the fourth-straight outing.
  • The Crimson is a game behind Yale for first place in the Ivy League with four games to go, and is tied with Princeton.

What's Next?
The Crimson returns to Lavietes Pavilion for its final home games of 2018-19 when it hosts Penn and Princeton March 1-2, each at 7 p.m. The Penn contest will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU, while the Princeton game can be found on ESPN+. The bout with the Tigers will also be aired nationally on Westwood One radio.