Men’s Basketball Falls In Heartbreaker at NC State, 78-77, in Second Round of NIT

Photo by Jeff Sochko
Photo by Jeff Sochko
Play Video

RALEIGH, N.C. – Locked in a back-and-forth battle with 15 lead changes in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), Harvard men's basketball fell in a heartbreaker to North Carolina State, 78-77, on Sunday night at Reynolds Coliseum. Harvard ends the season with a 19-12 overall record.

Junior Bryce Aiken and first-year Noah Kirkwood each finished with a game-high 19 points, while junior Chris Lewis tallied 16 points on a perfect 7-for-7 night from the field. Lewis also blocked four shots, tying a career-high, while grabbing a team-leading seven rebounds.

The Wolfpack (24-11) jumped out to an early seven-point lead, 14-7, but Harvard fought back to tie the game at 28-28 with six minutes to go in the first half, and took its first lead moments later after a pair of free throws from Christian Juzang. Juzang added a layup in transition to close the opening half, giving Harvard a 39-38 advantage at the intermission.

The lead changed hands 11 different times in the second half, but the Wolfpack pulled ahead for a five-point lead with under a minute to play. Undeterred, sophomore Rio Haskett knocked down a triple from the left wing with 27 seconds to go, and added another 3-pointer with three seconds left to pull Harvard within one. Following a timeout, the Wolfpack was able to run out the clock and secure the victory.

Harvard Highlights

  • Harvard appeared in the second round of the NIT for the first time in program history, and was the first Ivy team to do so since 2002.
  • Aiken and Kirkwood tallied 19 points apiece
  • Harvard blocked eight shots, with Lewis (4) and Baker (3) leading the way.

Game Notes

  • Harvard ends the season with a 19-12 record, including an Ivy League championship and a second-straight NIT berth.
  • The matchup was the first between the two schools in program history.
  • The Crimson outrebounded the Wolfpack, 37-33, and secured 11 on the offensive end.