The game was played in front of a sell-out crowd, Harvard's fifth sell out of the season (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard's men's basketball battled early, but Yale pulled away late in the opening half en route to a 67-55 victory Saturday night at a sold-out Lavietes Pavilion.
Zena Edosomwan recorded his ninth double-double of the season, tallying 18 points and 10 rebounds. Corey Johnson also reached double-digits with 14 points, connecting on 4-of-8 from deep, while Patrick Steeves chipped in nine points and six rebounds off the bench.
Justin Sears scored a game-high 21 points to pace Yale (17-5, 8-0 Ivy League), which won its 12th-straight game to remain unbeaten atop the Ivy League standings. Makai Mason and Anthony Dallier contributed 15 and 10 points, respectively, with Nick Victor grabbing 12 rebounds to go with seven points and six assists.
The Crimson will resume Ivy League play next weekend as it travels to Columbia and Cornell. The Crimson and Lions will take to the court first on Friday, Feb. 19 live on the American Sports Network and Ivy League Digital Network. Harvard returns to action the following day at Cornell in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the ILDN. Both games are slated for 6 p.m. tip offs.
Harvard (10-14, 2-6 Ivy League) held Yale to 1-of-7 shooting to begin the game but was unable to capitalize at the other end, taking a slight 11-8 edge after Steeves powered his way to the basket. Yale took its first lead two possessions later, 12-11, beginning a series of back-and-forth action that saw the lead exchange hands four times. The Bulldogs took the lead for good on the strength of an 8-0 run capped off by four straight points from Sears, 24-17.
Yale answered each Harvard basket over the final 4:40 of the half to take a 37-26 lead into the break on Mason's 3-pointer. Despite their cold start, the Bulldogs finished the frame shooting 53.6 percent (15-28) from the floor and 6-of-7 at the line, while the Crimson by comparison shot 41.4 percent (12-29) and did not attempt a free throw.
Yale's lead grew to 48-34 after a pair of Sears free throws and went to 52-37 when Sam Downey got behind the defense and converted down low. Johnson buried his fourth 3-pointer as Harvard looked to build momentum, but Victor answered right away with his own triple to quiet the crowd.
Trailing 62-44 with 5:07 to play, Edosomwan rose up in the paint to spark an 8-0 run that cut the deficit to 62-52 with 1:49 remaining. Harvard was unable to get it to single-digits, however, as the Bulldogs closed out the win with Mason at the line, 67-55.
Game Notes: The game was played in front of a sold-out Lavietes Pavilion crowd, Harvard's fifth sell out of the year and 34th since 2010-11 … Zena Edosomwan finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the year … Zena Edosomwan has led Harvard in scoring nine times this season and in rebounding 15 times … Corey Johnson scored 14 points, his 10th game in double-figures and third straight … Tommy McCarthy has led Harvard in assists 13 times … Yale's win was its 12th straight and kept the Bulldogs alone atop the Ivy League standings at 8-0.