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Harvard Men’s Basketball Holds Off LMU, 77-67

Related URL : /sports/mbkb/2011-12/videos/20111119-b5nh1ssx

Keith Wright shot 7-of-9 from the floor and finished with 15 points (Scott Cunningham).

LOS ANGELES – The Crimson men's basketball team went on a 25-5 run from late in the first half to early on in the second and downed Loyola Marymount, 77-67, Saturday evening at Gersten Pavilion.

Harvard, which trailed by as much as 13 in the first half (25-12), improves to 3-0 on the season. Laurent Rivard paced the Crimson offense with 20 points, shooting 7-of-12 from the field, including 5-of-8 from long distance, while Keith Wright added 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting and six boards. Oliver McNally contributed 16 points, and Kyle Casey netted 12 and came down with six rebounds. Harvard shot 27-of-53 (.509) for the game, including 8-of-21 (.381) from long range. The Crimson also outrebounded LMU, 41-23.

Anthony Ireland led the Lions with 24 points, while Jarred DuBois added 14 points.

Casey buried a trey from the right side to put Harvard up, 3-2, early on. Wright added a layup just before the first media timeout, but the Crimson trailed, 10-5, after the first five minutes. With 12 minutes to go in the first half, Rivard hit an acrobatic 3-pointer with the shot clock running down to get Harvard back within four, 14-10.

The Lions went on an 8-0 run lead, 22-10, before Rivard hit an open jumper to make it a 10-point game. Oliver McNally drained another 3-pointer for Harvard, making it 25-15, as the Crimson began to shoot better midway through the half. McNally hit his second straight trey with just under seven minutes remaining, getting Harvard within seven, 25-18. After Wright made a layup, Christian Webster connected on a jumper as Harvard cut the deficit to five, 29-24. On the Crimson's next possession, Jonah Travis made it an 8-1 run, with basket from inside the lane, getting Harvard to within just three, 29-26.

With 2:48 left in the opening stanza, Rivard converted a 3-point play after being fouled, tying the game, 29-29, and extending Harvard's run to 11-1. Next time down the floor, McNally sent a pass to the right corner, and Rivard drilled a trey, giving the Crimson a 32-29 advantage. Prior to the intermission, Wright had his own conventional 3-point play, and McNally hit a layup on the break, as Harvard headed to the locker room up, 37-33.

The Crimson scored the first six points of the second, as Harvard opened up a nine-point edge, 43-33, and extended its run to 25-5 since 6:39 in the first half. Wright made buckets on consecutive possessions to make it 47-37 in favor of the Crimson with 16 minutes remaining in regulation.

With 11 minutes left, Rivard buried a 3 from the left side, as Harvard opened up a 14-point lead, 56-42. Rivard made another jumper as the Crimson made it 62-44. After LMU crawled back to make it 66-55, McNally connected on two from the line to push Harvard's lead back to 13, 68-55. With 1:21 left, McNally stepped up and made two more from the foul line, giving Harvard a nine-point lead, 70-61.

The Crimson will ready for the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, which will be played in the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. Harvard will face Utah Thanksgiving night for a first-round game at 9:30 p.m. EST. The game will be televised nationally on HDNet.