Okolie posted a season-high 16 points to pace the Crimson attack (Jay Metzger).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's basketball team made several comeback attempts but was unable to get over the hump as it fell to Vermont, 65-62, to open the New Year at Lavietes Pavilion.
Harvard (6-8) shot 45.7 percent (21-46) from the field but turned the ball over 17 times. Vermont (8-7) capitalized on those mistakes, scoring 23 points off turnovers while shooting 42.4 percent (25-59) on the day.
Agunwa Okolie finished with a season-high 16 points as Corbin Miller added 15 points, connecting on 5-of-6 from beyond-the-arc. Corey Johnson chipped in 14 points and Zena Edosomwan added 10 rebounds and eight points.
The Crimson will open up Ivy League play next Saturday, Jan. 9 against Dartmouth at Lavietes Pavilion at 2 p.m. The game can be seen live on NESN in the New England region and the Ivy League Digital Network outside the region.
Harvard scored on its opening two possessions to take a 4-0 lead, but its offense went cold as Vermont went on an 8-0 run. Both teams hit their stride midway through the half with Johnson's 3-pointer regaining a 23-21 lead for the Crimson with just over three minutes remaining before the break. The Catamounts responded with an 11-4 run to close out the half, however, and held a 32-27 lead at the intermission.
Harvard opened the second half with a 7-2 run as Edosomwan converted on an and-1 to tie the score at 34-34 two minutes in. Vermont responded with a 10-3 run and extended its lead to 51-41 with 12 minutes to go in regulation.
Facing a double-digit deficit, the Crimson battled back and made it a three-point game with just under two minutes remaining on Miller's fifth 3 of the afternoon, 65-62. Corey Johnson fired a last-second 3-pointer to beat the buzzer, but it missed wide as Vermont escaped with the 65-62 victory.
Game Notes: Harvard has made at least five 3-pointers in all 14 games this season and in 17-straight games dating back to last year, the longest streak under Tommy Amaker … Corbin Miller matched his career-high with five 3-pointers and has made at least one 3-pointer in 17-straight games dating back to last season … Corey Johnson has made at least one 3-pointer in all 14 games to begin his career … Agunwa Okolie scored a season-high 16 points … Harvard recorded a season-high 11 blocks, the second-most under Tommy Amaker … Zena Edosomwan recorded a career-high four blocks … Evan Cummins dished out a career-high five assists.