Edosomwan's double-double lifted Harvard to a third-straight win (Gil Talbot).
WASHINGTON – Zena Edosomwan powered the Harvard men's basketball team to a 69-61 win at Howard's Burr Gymnasium Saturday afternoon for the team's third-straight win heading into Ivy League play.
Edosomwan went for 17 points and 15 rebounds, including 13 points and 10 rebounds in the second half for his seventh double-double of the season and fourth performance of at least 15 points and 15 boards. Patrick Steeves led all scorers with 18 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3, with Corbin Miller chipping in 15 points with five makes from beyond-the-arc.
Tommy McCarthy added three 3-pointers as Harvard (9-8, 1-0 Ivy League) finished with a season-high 12 makes from distance. Harvard shot 44.6 percent (25-56) overall while holding Howard (8-10) to a 38.3 percent (23-60) clip and outrebounding the Bison 45-28.
Saturday's contest was the final non-conference tune-up for Harvard before Ivy League play resumes for good next Saturday, Jan. 23 at Dartmouth. Tip off between the Crimson and Big Green is slated for 7 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Harvard let it fly from beyond-the-arc early with two Steeves 3-pointers giving the Crimson an initial 6-2 lead. Miller knocked down a pair to move the score to 12-4, and after the junior connected for his third triple the score stood at 15-6. Edosomwan was the first Crimson student-athlete to make a basket from inside the arc as he spun to the hoop for a 17-8 edge with 11:40 to play.
McCarthy kept Harvard hot from distance, but Howard scored six-straight points to pull within 22-21 on Marcel Boyd's slam. Dalique Mango continued the surge as he forced a turnover and took it the other way for the Bison's first lead of the afternoon, 23-22.
Evan Cummins got into the paint to end the drought, but he was matched at the other end by a Kofi Andoh putback. Trailing 27-24, Edosomwan powered to the basket to cut the deficit to 27-26 at the break.
Howard extended its advantage to 31-26 after the intermission before Harvard responded with an Edosomwan putback jam and Miller 3-ball to even the score at 33-all. Cummins found Edosomwan for a two-handed dunk to regain the lead, 35-33, as the teams went the next 3-plus minutes trading blows back-and-forth.
Leading 39-38, Edosomwan hit the first of two at the line with Cummins corralling the offensive board on the miss and finding McCarthy for his second 3-pointer of the day, giving Harvard a 43-38 margin. The Bison answered right back to pull within 45-44, however, and re-tied the game at 47-47 on a Keon Hill 3.
Harvard responded quickly out of a timeout, scoring 11-straight points to go in front for good, 58-47. Steeves got into the middle of the lane to begin the run, and McCarthy and Miller followed with back-to-back triples for a 55-47 edge. Steeves bookended the action with his third triple, giving the Crimson its first double-digit lead.
Harvard's margin went to 63-50 on Steeves' fourth 3-pointer, and the senior got behind Howard's press to maintain a 10-point edge with 1:02 to play, 65-55. Steeves iced the game at the free throw line, securing the 69-61 victory.
Game Notes: Harvard concludes non-conference play with an 8-8 record, its eighth-straight season at .500 or better in non-conference action … Zena Edosomwan registered his seventh double-double of the year with 17 points and 15 rebounds, his fourth game this season with at least 15 points and 15 boards … Patrick Steeves led Harvard in scoring for the first time in his career with 18 points … Harvard has held nine opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting ... Harvard's first five baskets of the game came from behind the 3-point line … Harvard made a season-high 12 3-pointers … Harvard has made at least five 3-pointers in 20-straight games dating back to last season … Corbin Miller sank five 3-pointers and has hit 11 3's over the last two games … Balsa Dragovic, Weisner Perez and Patrick Steeves each made their first career start.