Men's Basketball Off to Program’s Best Ivy Start, Downs Cornell, 73-60
Brandyn Curry scored a season-high 18 points against Cornell (Stephen Slade).
ITHACA, N.Y. – Christian Webster tallied a game-high 20 points and was 9-of-9 from the free-throw line, and Brandyn Curry added 18 points and five assists, as the Harvard men's basketball team topped Cornell, 73-60, Friday evening. The win moves the Crimson to 8-1 in the Ivy League, as the team is off to its best start in conference play in program history.
The victory improves Harvard' s overall record to 19-4, tying the mark for the second most wins in program history (19-3 in 1945-46). The Crimson also earns the season sweep of Cornell and stretches its win streak to four games. Cornell drops to 6-17 overall and 2-7 in the Ancient Eight.
Curry was 6-of-6 from the line, as the Crimson finished 29-of-35 from the charity stripe (.829) as a team. Keith Wright recorded his 10th double-double, scoring 10 points and coming down with 11 rebounds, while Kyle Casey (11) and Laurent Rivard also reached double figures.
A trey from the left wing out of the hands of Webster gave Harvard an early 3-0 lead, and then Wright added a layup from the right of the basket to make it 5-0 in favor of the Crimson. With Harvard leading 6-2, Webster was fouled trying another triple from the right corner. Webster buried all three chances, increasing the advantage to 9-2 at the 15:56 mark. A floater in the paint by Brandyn Curry helped Harvard open up to a 10-point lead, 12-2. Moments later, Curry buried a 3-pointer from the right corner, upping Harvard's lead to 15-4.
The Big Red netted nine of the next 11 points to get within four, 17-13. With the shot clock winding down on Harvard' next possession, Kyle Casey connected on a 15-foot jumper to put the Crimson back up by six, 19-13. Wright added a layup on the next trip down the floor, giving Harvard a 21-13 lead prior to the third media timeout. Laurent Rivard got a shooter's roll on a trey from the right side with just over five minutes to go in the frame, making it 28-17 in favor of the Crimson. Webster drew a second foul while attempting a 3-pointer with 2:40 remaining in the half and hit all three of them once again, giving Harvard a 12-point edge, 31-19.
The Crimson used a 16-2 advantage in points from the charity stripe in the first half to carry a 37-24 lead into the break. Curry led Harvard with 11 points and four assists at halftime, while Webster added nine points.
Wright gave Harvard its biggest lead to that point, 39-24, with an offensive rebound and layup to open the second half. The Big Red, though, answered with a six-point run to get within nine, 39-30, with 17:00 left to play. Curry put an end to the Cornell run by stepping into a 3-pointer from the top of the key, putting the Crimson back up by double digits, 42-30. With 14:53 remaining, Webster drew contact for the third occasion while attempting a trey and this time he drained the triple. Webster connected on the ensuing free throw, making it 48-34 in favor of Harvard.
With just under 12 minutes remaining, Wright found a wide-open Webster for a 3-pointers, as Harvard went up by 17, 53-36. Casey made a trey of his own with 10:12 left, as Harvard continued to pull away, 55-36. Moments later, a mid-range jump shot by Rivard gave Harvard a 21-point cushion, 57-36.
After Cornell got back within 12, 58-46, Oliver McNally drew a foul while driving the lane and hit both free throws. Casey connected on two more free throws, as Harvard utilized the foul line, making it in a row, to go back up by 20, 66-46.
With 1:38 remaining, Curry missed a jumper by Casey was there for a strong dunk with his right hand, making it 73-56 and putting an exclamation point on the evening.
Cornell outrebounded Harvard, 32-29, and had an edge in assists, 14-11. The Crimson shot 46.3 percent from the floor for the game and was 6-of-16 from long range (.375).
The Crimson will now travel down to New York for a game at Columbia Saturday evening at 7 p.m.