Harvard Men’s Basketball Pulls Away From Dartmouth, 75-65, to Begin Ivy Play 1-0

Steve Moundou-Missi scored a season-high 15 points (Gil Talbot).

HANOVER, N.H. – The Harvard men's basketball team shot 27-of-43 from the field (.628), helping the Crimson open Ivy League play with a 75-65 victory at Dartmouth Saturday afternoon. Harvard held the Big Green to only two points in the final 9:25 of action, as the Crimson closed the game with a 17-2 run.

Siyani Chambers established a new career-high with 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, while Wesley Saunders added 19 points, sinking 8-of-9 field goal attempts. Chambers and Saunders also each handed out six assists, a new career-high for Saunders.

Steve Moundou-Missi came off the bench and finished with 15 points, going 7-of-9 from the field, and Laurent Rivard went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, adding 12 points.

With the win, Harvard improves to 9-5 overall (1-0 Ivy), while the Big Green slips to 3-11 (0-1). Connor Boehm (11 points) and Alex Mitola (11 points) paced Dartmouth in scoring.

Rivard knocked down a 3-pointer, and Wesley Saunders made two free throws, tying the game, 5-5, early on. Rivard drained another triple, as the Crimson led, 8-5, and then Moundou-Missi made a reverse layup, 10-5. Siyani Chambers connected on a trey, making it 13-8, and then Moundou-Missi added another bucket, as the Crimson led by seven, 15-8. With 13:17 left in the first, Moundou-Missi scored on a two-handed dunk, as the Crimson began to pull away, 17-8.

Moundou-Missi continued his torrid start, as he hit a layup and drew contact. Moundou-Missi made the foul shot, as the Crimson went up by seven, 20-13. Moments later, Rivard drained another trey, as Harvard took a 10-point advantage, 23-13. With Harvard leading, 27-18, Saunders grabbed an offensive board and put it back up for a bucket and an and-one. On the next possession, Saunders scored again after being fouled, 31-20.

Chambers added a 3-pointer, before Jonah Travis threw down a two-handed dunk, giving the Crimson a 14-point edge, 36-22. Dartmouth responded with a 14-3 run to cut Harvard's lead to just three, 39-36, with 2:12 remaining in the opening stanza. The Big Green added another bucket to get within one, 39-38, and then went up by two, 41-39. Rivard ended the 19-3 run by Dartmouth with his fourth 3-pointer of the half, as the Crimson regained the lead, 42-41.

The Big Green finished the half with a 21-6 run and led Harvard, 43-42, at the break. Rivard led all players with 12 points, going 4-of-4 from beyond the arc, while Moundou-Missi had 11 points in the first 20 minutes. Harvard shot 65.3 percent as a team in the first half (15-of-23) and went 6-of-7 from beyond the arc (.857).

Saunders opened the second with a basket in the paint, as the Crimson went back up by one, 44-43. Saunders then went to the line and hit the second of two, tying the game, 45-45. After Dartmouth grabbed a 50-45 advantage, Chambers nailed a 3-pointer, and Saunders added a layup on the break, knotting things up, 50-50. On the next trip down the floor, Chambers drew contact attempting a jump shot and headed to the line for two. Chambers connected on both, as the Crimson went up two, 52-50, with 15:45 to go.

Moundou-Missi drove the lane and finished with a strong, two-handed dunk, as the Crimson led, 54-52. With Harvard trailing by two, Saunders fought off two defenders and scored in the lane, tying the contest, 56-56. With 10:24 to play, Chambers went to the line as Harvard went to the bonus, and he made both, cutting the Crimson deficit to two, 60-58.

After Dartmouth led by five, Saunders stepped up and connected on a 15-point jumper from the wing, getting the Crimson back within three, 63-60. With 7:33 to go, Chambers drove to the left side and finished with a layup after being fouled. Chambers went to the charity stripe and made it, knotting the game, 63-63. Saunders scored a bucket on the next Harvard possession, giving the Crimson a 65-63 advantage.

With the Crimson holding a four-point edge, Saunders added a big bucket to give Harvard a six-point cushion, 69-63, extending his team's run to 11-0. With 2:30 left, Chambers went to the foul line again and made both, 71-65. On the next trip down the floor, Chambers sent a quick pass underneath the basket to Moundou-Missi who finished with another dunk, as Harvard led by eight, 73-65.

The Crimson heads south to face Memphis on the road Saturday, Jan. 19 at 12:30 p.m. EST. The game will be shown live nationally on FSN.