Pictured: Max Kenyi returned to the starting lineup Saturdya against Penn.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A new-look Harvard
men’s basketball team took care of business Saturday night as
the Crimson handled Penn, 80-66, in front of a sold out Lavietes
Harvard picked up its 15th victory – its most since 1996-97 – and moves to 15-5 overall and 4-2 in the Ivy League. Penn sees its record fall to 3-15 overall and 2-2 in the Ancient Eight.
Head coach Tommy Amaker used a new starting lineup to shake up a
depleted Crimson team wracked with injuries. Brandyn Curry made his
first collegiate start and responded with a tremendous defensive
effort. Likewise, Max Kenyi re-entered the lineup for the first
time since being injured on Nov. 23 and the sophomore led Harvard
with seven rebounds.
Harvard came out hot in front of another loud Lavietes crowd as the Crimson raced out to a 12-2 lead after a layup from Doug Miller. Harvard led by as many as 16 in the opening half, 25-9, before Penn did well to get within single digits at the break, 41-32.
Harvard continued to roll in the second half, taking a 62-45 lead on a Kyle Casey layup. However, Penn rattled off 10 straight points to get within six before Oliver McNally and Christian Webster buried consecutive 3-pointers to regain momentum as the Crimson pulled away.
Curry finished with nine points, six assists and three steals while Kenyi had nine points to go with his seven boards. Jeremy Lin jammed up the box score once again with 19 points (4-8 FG, 10-10 FT), six assists, five steals, five rebounds and three steals. Casey had 13 points (5-10 FG) and six rebounds.
McNally came up big time and again from long range, finishing 4-of-5 from deep for 14 points while Webster also responded off the bench with 10 points.
In all, Harvard converted 10-of-21 from long range and shot 50 percent in the second half to pull away.
Penn’s Dan Monckton came off the bench and utilized a series of backdoor cuts en route to 19 points (7-10 FG) while Zack Rosen also had 19 points but turned the ball over eight times while being hounded by Curry and Lin.