Men’s Basketball Beats Yale, 75-67, as Aiken Posts Career Night

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Behind a career high 29 points from freshman Bryce Aiken, the Harvard men's basketball team completed the road sweep with a 75-67 win over Yale Saturday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

The 27 points marked the most for a Crimson player since Agunwa Okolie against Dartmouth on Jan. 9, 2016. It marked the most for a freshman since Kyle Casey at Brown on Feb. 13, 2010.

Harvard (14-7, 6-2 Ivy) also got 16 points and six assists from senior co-captain Siyani Chambers. Sophomore Corey Johnson added 12 points for Harvard, who stands in a tie for second place in the Ancient Eight.

The Crimson halted a Yale 22-game home win streak with the victory.

Yale (14-7, 6-2) was led by Alex Copeland, who tallied 20 points. Sam Downey added 15 points and Miye Oni chipped in 11 points.

Yale took a 36-31 lead into the locker room after leading by as many as eight in the stanza. Knotted at 17-17 after a dunk by Chris Lewis, the Bulldogs rattled off seven of the next 10 points to move ahead by four, 24-20. Robert Baker drove the baseline to make the score 32-28 in favor of Yale, but a 4-0 spurt gave the Bulldogs its largest margin of the half, 36-28, with 2:23 to play. A triple at the top of the key by Aiken ended the scoring for the half.

The Bulldogs outpaced the Crimson 22-8 in the paint over the first 20 minutes, outrebounding Harvard by a 20-15 margin.

The Crimson came out firing in the second half, outpacing the Bulldogs 10-4 over the first five minutes to regain the lead, 41-40. Johnson began the rally with a triple from the wing and Aiken capped it with a tough drive to the hoop. Harvard pushed its lead to four, 46-42, two minutes later. 

Yale did not relent, posting a 9-1 run before Harvard immediately answered with a 10-2 run of its own. Aiken scored the final six points of the spurt, connecting on a four-point play and getting in the lane for two, pushing Harvard ahead, 57-53, with 8:22 to play.

Yale scored five of the next seven points to pull within one, 59-58, and stayed within two, 63-61, at the 4:55 mark. It was all Harvard from there, as Johnson connected on a 3-pointer from the wing and Chambers echoed with another triple from the top of the key, pushing the Harvard lead to eight, 69-61. Chambers drove in the paint for two, ballooning the lead to 10 with 2:24 to play. Six unanswered by Yale threatened the Crimson, but Harvard made its free throws down the stretch to secure the road sweep. 

For the full, archived game on the Ivy League Digital Network, click here.

The Crimson is at home for the next four games, welcoming Columbia and Cornell next weekend. Both games are slated for 7 p.m.

Game Notes: Bryce Aiken posted a new career high, registering 20-plus for the sixth time this season and double-figures for the 13th game. He paced Harvard in scoring for the 10th time. Corey Johnson added double-figures for the 11th time this year and 25th of his career. Chambers posted 10-plus for the 11th time this year and 69th overall. The Crimson haled a 22-game Yale home win streak.