No. 14 Harvard's Cinderella Run Ends Against No. 6 Arizona, 74-51
The Crimson completed the year with 20 victories (Gil Talbot).
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The No. 14 Harvard Crimson got off to a cold shooting start, as the No. 6 Arizona Wildcats used an early run to pull away from the Crimson en route to a 74-51 win Saturday afternoon at EnergySolutions Arena in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Kenyatta Smith led the team in scoring with 10 points, while Steve Moundou-Missi had nine points, all in the first half, for the Crimson. Wesley Saunders had eight points to have his streak of games with at least 10 points come to an end at 29. Senior co-captain Christian Webster finished with eight points and five rebounds to finish his career with 1,016 points.
After Arizona opened with a 5-0 lead, Smith drew a foul and connected on two free throws, but the Wildcats answered with a trey to make it 8-2. With Arizona up, 17-2, Siyani Chambers nailed a 3-pointer for Harvard's first field goal, snapping an 0-of-13 stretch to open the game for the Crimson.
With 11:00 to play in the first, Moundou-Missi drained two from the charity stripe to cut the deficit to 13. The Wildcats continued their torrid start before Christian Webster made a tip-in to make it 25-9. Smith then hit a bucket to get it back down to 19. Saunders was fouled and stepped to the line and connected on two before he added a basket in the paint on a jumper to continue to chip away at the Arizona advantage. Moundou-Missi followed with a reverse layup, 37-17.
In the final minutes of the half, Moundou-Missi went up for a dunk and was fouled and made one free throw. He then hit an acrobatic left-handed layup, making it 39-20. The sophomore continued his strong offensive play with a long jumper, but Harvard headed to the locker room trailing, 40-22. Moundou-Missi led the Crimson with nine points in the first, as Harvard struggled offensively, shooting 7-of-28 (.250) overall.
In the second, Smith opened the scoring for Harvard with a layup, and then Christian Webster nailed an open triple to cut the advantage to 42-27. Following a 3-pointer by Chambers, the Crimson got the margin down to 14, but the Wildcats answered with a 5-0 run to go up 49-30 with 15:51 to play. At the 14:34 mark, Saunders hit a foul shot, 49-31, and then he made two more free throws with 13:16 to go, making it a 16-point game.
The Wildcats rattled off a 6-0 run, but Jonah Travis made two foul shots, and Laurent Rivard added a trey from the wing, 56-39. With under 10 minutes to play, Rivard sent a quick pass inside to Travis for an easy bucket, 59-41, and then Saunders drew another foul and sank one foul shot.
With 7:59 to play, Chambers missed a layup, but Smith was there for the put back dunk to make it 61-44. Smith made a nice post move for a bucket with just under six minutes to go and then Webster sank another 3-pointer at the 5:12 mark, 67-49.
The Wildcats held the ball to run out the clock in the final minutes of the game, and the Crimson only had one more basket the rest of the way, a Michael Hall lay-up with two seconds remaining to see its Cinderella run come to an end.