Men’s Basketball Outlasts Cornell, 98-88, in Double OT

Lewis led the way with a career-high 29 (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Outlasting its opponent while rising to the top of the Ivy League standings, Harvard men's basketball earned a victory over Cornell, 98-88, in double overtime on Friday night at Lavietes Pavilion.

Sophomore Chris Lewis led the way with a career-best 29 points, including an 11-for-13 mark from the field and a 7-for-9 tally at the stripe, to go with seven rebounds and three blocks. Classmate Christian Juzang recorded his first-career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore Seth Towns also scored 20 points with four rebounds. A fourth sophomore, Justin Bassey, filled the stat sheet with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Harvard led by two at the half, 35-33, despite leading by as many as 10 points midway through the period. The close first half preceded a second half that involved 10 lead changes, and Harvard hit seven late free throws in the period to take a three-point lead into the final minute. Cornell was able to tie the game with five seconds to go, sending the contest to overtime.

The Crimson jumped out to a three-point lead with two minutes to play in overtime after a triple from Towns and back-to-back free throws from Bassey, but Cornell managed to take the lead after two straight field goals, 87-86. Towns got to the line in the closing seconds, and sent the game to a second extra period.

The Big Red had no answer for Harvard in double overtime, as the Crimson outscored Cornell, 11-1. Lewis had seven points in the frame, and combined with Juzang to go 7-for-7 from the free throw line to seal the victory.

Harvard Highlights

  • Four Harvard players finished with at least 18 points, led by a career-best 29 from Lewis. Towns and Juzang totaled 20 apiece, while Bassey dropped 18.
  • Juzang became the fifth Harvard player to tally a double-double this season, scoring 20 points while grabbing 11 rebounds.
  • Harvard shot 52.5 percent from the field, while scoring its most points since March 8, 2014 (98, vs. Brown).

Game Notes

  • Harvard's win, coupled with a Penn loss to Yale, returned the Crimson to the top of the Ivy League standings at 11-2. Harvard can seal the top seed in the Ivy League Tournament with a win in its regular season finale.
  • Harvard improved to 4-0 in overtime this season, and 1-0 in double overtime.
  • The Crimson remains unbeaten at home in Ivy League play, and is 9-1 inside Lavietes Pavilion this season.

What's Next?
Harvard closes the regular season with senior day at home against Columbia on Saturday, March 3. The game will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.