Oliver McNally sent Harvard home with an 83-82 double-overtime victory (Mitchell Layton).
PHILADELPHIA – Oliver McNally made a running layup with 11.5 second remaining in double overtime to lift the Harvard men's basketball team to an 83-82 victory at Penn Saturday evening. Keith Wright shot 10-of-16 from the floor to establish a new career-high with 25 points and finished with six rebounds, while Kyle Casey added 18 points and nine boards and Christian Webster notched 17 points and seven rebounds in the win.
With the victory, Harvard extends its win streak over Penn to four games and improves to 16-4 overall and 5-1 in the Ivy League. The Crimson is off to its best conference start since the 1996-97 campaign when Harvard also started 5-1 in league play. Penn sees its record fall to 9-9 and 3-1 in the Ancient Eight.
The Crimson shot 51.9 percent from the floor overall and was 7-of-19 from beyond the arc (.368) in the contest. McNally finished with seven points and collected six rebounds. Harvard moved around the ball well in the victory, as Brandyn Curry recorded seven assists to go along with his seven rebounds, while Webster and McNally had four dishes apiece. Jack Eggleston led Penn with a 23-point effort.
In the second overtime, Penn took its first lead of the game on its first possession and went up by three, 80-77, when Conor Turley hit one at the foul line. Webster was fouled going to the basket with 2:05 to go in the frame and hit both shots, pulling Harvard back within one, 80-79. The Quakers made a basket on their ensuing possession, but Casey kept Harvard within a single point, 82-81, by connecting on two free throws of his own with 1:29 to play. With just 11.5 ticks left, McNally drove the base line and hit a runner, as he reclaimed Harvard's lead, 83-82. On Penn's final possession, Casey blocked a runner by Zack Rosen, sending Harvard home with the double-overtime victory.
Wright got the Crimson going with a conventional 3-point play in the opening minute of the contest. Wright added another layup moments later as Harvard jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Penn battled back to tie the game, but Wright hit another basket, and Curry drilled an open trey to put the Crimson back on top, 10-5. Wright continued his offensive surge with his fourth bucket at the 13:32 mark, giving Harvard a 12-7 advantage. A trey from the left corner by Laurent Rivard put the Crimson up, 15-7, and Casey followed with a two-point basket, giving Harvard a 10-point edge and capping a 12-3 run.
Harvard put Penn over the limit with fouls with 6:41 remaining in the half, and Oliver McNally connected on both tries from the line, making it 21-11. An alley-oop pass from McNally to Casey for a two-handed dunk snapped a min-run for Penn and gave Harvard an eight-point edge, 25-17. With just under two minutes to go in the half, Rivard hit one of his custom 3-pointers from way beyond the arc to make it 33-24 in favor of Harvard. Casey added a jumper in the closing seconds of the frame, as the Crimson carried an 11-point lead, 35-24, into halftime.
The Crimson held the Quakers to 10-of-26 shooting overall (.385) and 1-of-9 from 3-point range (.111) in the half. Harvard made 4-of-12 chances from long range (.333), while converting all five of its free throws and 13-of-25 from the field (.520). Wright led the Crimson with 11 points at the break, while Casey and Rivard added eight apiece.
Harvard began the second half just as it did in the first, as Curry found Wright for a layup under the basket, giving Harvard a 37-26 lead. Casey buried a jumper from just to the right of the top of the key, as the Crimson maintained a 10-point edge, 39-29. With 17:18 to go, McNally dribbled the base line and made a reverse layup after being fouled. McNally made the ensuing free throw, as Harvard owned a 44-29 lead.
At the 15:38 mark, McNally earned an assist on a 3-pointer from the right wing off the hands of Webster, giving Harvard its largest lead, 47-29, and capping a 10-0 run. The Quakers, though, answered with a 10-2 run of its own to pull within 10, 49-39, with 11:36 to play. Wright ended Penn's run with his eighth basket of the night, making it 51-39.
After the Quakers got within eight, 54-46, Webster answered with an offensive rebound and a layup to put Harvard back up by 10. Penn began to chip away at Harvard's lead again, as a 3-pointer by Tyler Bernardini made it just a five-point lead for the Crimson, 56-51. Webster hit a big trey from the right wing to silence the crowd and up the Crimson advantage to eight, 59-51. With 2:08 remaining, the Quakers got back within four, 60-56, after Casey was whistled for goaltending. The Crimson lead was cut to one when Penn's Rosen nailed a 3-pointer with 1:34 to go.
Casey drew contact with 1:05 remaining and made both free throws to give Harvard a 3-point edge, 62-59. Penn, though, tied the game on its next possession with a trey by Bernardini with only 45 ticks left. Casey answered with a jumper from the right side with 17.7 seconds to go, putting Harvard back on top, 64-62. Penn's Rosen tied game again with two free throws with 10 seconds go play, as the game headed into overtime, as the Quakers erased an 18-point Harvard lead in the half.
In the extra session, Wright made a layup on Harvard's first possession to reclaim a Harvard lead, 66-64. After Penn knotted the game, Curry hit a wide open trey from the corner to make it 69-66 in favor of the Crimson. With 2:56 remaining in overtime, Webster buried two free throws, giving Harvard a five-point cushion, 71-66. Penn matched Harvard's basket, but Wright grabbed his own rebound off a miss and hit his second attempt to make it 74-69. With 21.3 ticks left, Wright established a new-career high with his 24th and 25th points by draining two foul shots and making it 76-72. Rosen hit another 3 for Penn, cutting Harvard's lead back to one with 11.6 seconds remaining.
Casey went to the line with 7.7 seconds left and made one, but Rosen hit another shot for Penn on the other end to send the game to double overtime tied, 77-77.
The Crimson will now return home to face archrival Yale Friday, Feb. 11. The game is slated for 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion.