Curry scored 17 points in the second half to lift the Crimson to victory (Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's basketball team used a 16-2 run to pull away in the second half as it opened the "14-Game Tournament" with a 61-45 win over Dartmouth Saturday at Lavietes Pavilion.
Brandyn Curry scored all of his team-high 17 points in the second half, including eight during the decisive run. The senior was 7-of-10 from the field after the intermission, and added six rebounds and six assists. Steve Moundou-Missi went for 16 points and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the line, with Evan Cummins notching eight points off the bench.
Harvard (14-2, 1-0 Ivy League) shot 44.0 percent (20-45) for the game while holding Dartmouth (7-7, 0-1 Ivy league) to a 37.8 percent (17-45) performance, including a 6-of-20 clip in the second half. In total the Crimson forced 18 turnovers on the day, scoring 24 points off the Big Green miscues.
Harvard extends its home win streak to 17 games with the victory, matching Kentucky for the sixth longest home win streak in the country.
For the second straight game Moundou-Missi opened things up with a dunk, intercepting Alex Mitola's pass and taking it the other way for the uncontested jam. Siyani Chambers followed with a three on the team's next possession, and after a sky hook from the junior from Cameroon, the Crimson was in front 7-2. A two-handed slam by Kyle Casey moved the score to 9-4, and free throws from Moundou-Missi made it an 11-4 lead.
Dartmouth pulled within 13-10 following layups by Connor Boehm and Gabas Maldunas, and made it a two-point game, 18-16, thanks to another Maldunas bucket. A block by Moundou-Missi of a John Golden layup attempt swung the momentum back in favor of the Crimson, as Moundou-Missi was fouled at the other end and hit both free throws for a 20-16 margin. A pair of freebies for Zena Edosomwan put the score at 22-16, with Cummins' and-one making it a 26-18 game.
Harvard led by as many as nine points off a Casey jumper, 29-20, but Maldunas' shot at the buzzer pulled the Big Green within 30-27 at the break. Moundou-Missi paced Harvard with 10 points through the first 20 minutes with Cummings chipping in eight on 3-of-3 shooting. Curry boasted five helpers in the half as the Crimson assisted on seven of nine made field goals.
Dartmouth evened the score at 30 coming out of the break, but Casey found Curry on a baseline cut for an easy lay-in to put Harvard back on top, 32-30. Curry came back on the next possession with another layup, and Moundou-Missi made it six straight points for the Crimson to take a 36-30 edge. Curry added four more points, giving him eight in a three-minute stretch, and free throws by Moundou-Missi put Harvard in front by 10, 42-32.
Chambers kept the run alive as he shook a defender for an open jumper, and a breakaway dunk for Agunwa Okolie made it a 16-2 stretch for a 46-32 advantage. Chambers eventually gave Harvard a 16-point edge, its largest of the day, going coast-to-coast for a layup with 4:46 to play, 57-41. Harvard remained comfortably in front down the stretch to walk away with the 61-45 victory.
Game Notes: Harvard extended its home win streak to 17 games, the sixth longest streak in the NCAA … Harvard has earned nine straight wins versus Dartmouth, matching the Crimson's longest win streak in the series … Harvard pulled away in the second half with a 16-2 run after Dartmouth tied the game at 30-30 … Brandyn Curry scored all of his team-high 17 points in the second half, including eight during the decisive run, shooting 7-of-10 from the field … The Crimson has held six opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting and is 6-0 when opponents score fewer than 60 points.