Harvard Men’s Basketball Falls in Final Minutes at UMass, 70-66

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's basketball team (1-3) lost a back-and-forth battle at Massachusetts (4-1) Saturday afternoon at the Mullins Center. The Crimson was led by a personal-best from freshman Seth Towns, who posted 17 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Freshman Henry Welsh also broke his career high with 12 points, adding eight rebounds and two helpers. Senior Zena Edosomwan paced the Crimson on the boards with 10.

UMass' Donte Clark led all scorers with 29 points, shooting 6-of-15 from the field and 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. Zach Lewis chipped in 10 points.

Harvard did not allow a UMass field goal until the 15:23 mark, jumping out to an 8-2 lead. Welsh paced the Crimson, scoring the first and last bucket in the run. UMass hit six of its next 10 shots to hold a 15-11 advantage at the halfway mark, before the Crimson rookies scored 10 of the next 12 points to pull ahead, 21-17, two minutes later.

Back-to-back baskets by the Minutemen knotted the score at 21-21 at the 6:01 mark and the two teams stayed within a possession of each other for the remainder of the half. The score was knotted after 20 minutes, 32-32. Welsh paced the Crimson with eight points over the first 20 minutes, while Edosomwan pulled down seven boards. 

The two squads battled back and forth, with neither gaining more than a three-point advantage over the first 14 minutes of the second stanza. Trailing 46-44, Towns and Welsh connected on two-straight baskets, before Chambers knocked down back-to-back threes from each wing to push Harvard ahead, 54-50. 

A 15-3 run by the Minutemen started with eight-unanswered points by Clark, giving UMass its largest lead of the game, 65-57, with under 90 seconds remaining. Harvard immediately responded, as four Towns' free throws sandwiched a Corey Johnson three to pull Harvard within one. After fouling UMass with 14 seconds to play, Clark got his own rebound to secure two more free throws and the Minuteman win. 

Harvard will be back in action at Lavietes Pavilion Tuesday, Nov. 29 against George Washington. The game will be broadcast live on Facebook and the Ivy League Digital Network. 

Game Notes: With 1,047, Siyani Chambers moved up to No. 28 all-time in the Harvard record books, passing Brian Cusworth '07 … Seth Towns finished the contest with a personal-best 17 points, his third-straight double-figure game, adding a carrer high six rebounds and three steals … For the second time this season, Henry Welsh posted double-figures with 11 points, a career high … Against teams from Massachusetts, Harvard moves to 30-14 under Amaker … Chambers scored in double-digits for the second time this year and 60th overall for his career.