Defense Helps Men's Basketball to Third Straight Win, 76-44
Moundou-Missi registered 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks as Harvard improved to 3-0 (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's basketball team rolled to a third straight victory Friday night with a 76-44 win over Howard University at Lavietes Pavilion.
Kyle Casey scored a season-high 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go with a 12-point, seven-rebound effort from Wesley Saunders. Steve Moundou-Missi added 10 points, seven boards and two blocks as 11 different members of the Crimson got on the scoreboard. Harvard shot just 42.6 percent (23-54) from the field but went 28-of-38 at the line.
Harvard's defense was on display again as the team picked up a second straight win when allowing fewer than 50 points for the first time since January of 2012. The win was also Harvard's 13th straight at home and improves the Crimson to 3-0 for the third time under head coach Tommy Amaker. Siyani Chambers turned in three steals to help lead the defensive charge as Howard (2-2) was forced into 19 turnovers which led to 28 Harvard points.
Harvard stormed out to a 9-2 lead, forcing a Bison timeout just over three minutes in. Steve Moundou-Missi began a 7-0 stretch for the Crimson with an and-one, and was followed by a Siyani Chambers layup and Kyle Casey putback before the stoppage. Casey added another basket in the paint to make it nine straight points and give Harvard an 11-3 advantage with 16:20 to play.
The Crimson scored just two points over the next four-plus minutes as Howard fought back to within four, 13-9. A pair of Jonah Travis freebies ended the drought, however, as Saunders followed up on the next possession with a tough layup in the paint. Moments later Saunders found Casey for a dunk to give the Crimson a double-digit lead at 24-13.
Harvard closed the frame on an 11-0 stretch that included a Moundou-Missi tap in at the buzzer for a 37-19 advantage. Casey and Saunders led the way with eight points apiece as Chambers and Travis each added six. The Crimson shot 14-of-18 at the line through the first 20 minutes and scored 15 points off 10 Bison turnovers.
The pace quickened early in the second half with Casey scoring seven of Harvard's first nine points to push the margin to 45-23. The Crimson's lead never dipped below 19 points from that point on, with a Laurent Rivard three from the corner making it a 51-27 game. Alex Nesbitt moved the score to 63-37 with a layup in traffic, before Dee Giger extended the lead to 70-39 with a pair of breakaway layups.
Evan Cummins capped off the scoring with a layup and dunk in transition as Harvard held on for the 76-44 win.
Game Notes: Harvard improves to 3-0 with the win, marking the third time under head coach Tommy Amaker that the Crimson has begun a season 3-0 … The Crimson has won 13 straight games at Lavietes Pavilion and 14 of its last 18 dating back to last season … Paired with Tuesday's win versus MIT, tonight's victory marked the first time under head coach Tommy Amaker that the Crimson has beaten opponents by 30-plus points in back-to-back games … The Crimson has held each of its last two opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time since January of 2012 … Harvard made 28-of-38 free throws, marking the most free throws made by the team since sinking 29-of-39 versus Fordham Dec. 1, 2012.