Harvard Men’s Basketball Falls Just Short at Princeton, 58-53

Wesley Saunders and the Crimson will visit Penn Saturday night on the NBC Sports Network (Beverly Schaefer).

PRINCETON, N.J. – Steve Moundou-Missi scored 15 points, going 7-of-7 from the foul line, and added eight rebounds, while Wesley Saunders tallied 11 points, but the Harvard men's basketball team fell on the road at Princeton, 58-53, Friday evening.

The loss drops the Crimson to 17-8 overall and 9-2 in the Ivy League, while Princeton stands 15-9 and 8-2 in conference play.

Harvard visits Penn tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. for another nationally televised contest. The game between the Crimson and Quakers will be shown on NBC Sports Network.

With his 11-point performance, Saunders extends his streak of reaching double figures in scoring to 25 games. Siyani had all five of Harvard's assists and added 10 points. The Crimson made 21-of-25 free throws (.840), but was 0-of-8 from long range and was outrebounded, 37-24, including 13-2 on the offensive glass. Ian Hummer paced the Tigers with 23 points and 14 boards.

With Princeton leading, 3-0, Saunders hit a jump shot, but the Tigers answered with a 5-0 run to go up, 8-2, at the first media timeout. Saunders added two foul shots, 8-4, but Princeton padded to its lead, 12-4, with 13 minutes to play. Jonah Travis hit a layup, 12-6, and then Chambers made a steal and finished with a bucket on the other end, 14-8.

At the 10:31 mark of the first, Laurent Rivard was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and went to the line for three free throws. Rivard connected on all three, 16-11. Moundou-Missi headed to the foul line and drained two, 16-13, and then Rivard drew contact again attempting a 3-pointer. Rivard headed to the charity stripe and made two of three shots, 18-15. Moundou-Missi hit a layup, bringing Harvard within one, 18-17, but the Tigers responded with a 6-0 run to make it 24-17.

With three minutes to go, Rivard added two more foul shots, 24-19, and then Saunders hit another jumper, 26-21. In the final seconds of the half, Chambers dribbled the length of the floor and hit a layup before the horn sounded, as the Tigers headed to the locker room with a 30-24 advantage. Rivard and Saunders led Harvard with seven points apiece in the opening stanza. The Crimson only shot 6-of-21 from the field (.286), but was 12-of-15(.800) from the line in the first half.

Kenyatta Smith made a jump hook, as the Crimson kept it within six, 32-26, and then he drained two free throws, 34-28. Smith added a dunk, as he scored the first six Harvard points of the second half, 37-30. Saunders drove the lane for a basket, making it a five-point contest, 37-32, and then he added another bucket, 41-34.

With just under 12 minutes remaining, Smith connected on a hook shot, 43-36, but Princeton took its largest lead to that point, 46-36, with 10 minutes to go. Chambers answered with two foul shots, 46-38, and then Moundou-Missi added two more free throws, making it a six-point game.

Chambers made a nifty move for a left-handed layup, 46-42, and then Moundou-Missi snuck past a defender for a bucket in the paint, 46-44. Moundou-Missi tied the game, 46-46, as the Crimson held the Tigers scoreless for more than five minutes. After Princeton went back up, 48-46, Moundou-Missi went to the line and hit both, knotting the score.

With 2:47 to play, Moundou-Missi gave Harvard its first lead, 51-48, when he converted an and-one and the ensuing foul shot. Princeton scored the game's next four points to go up, 52-51, but Chambers responded with a drive through the lane and a bucket, 53-52. The Tigers went up, 54-53, with one minute to go, and then added four more foul shots in the final seconds to hold on.