CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Taking its final road trip before the start of Ivy League play, Harvard men's basketball fell to No. 15/15 North Carolina, 77-57, on Wednesday night at the Dean Smith Center. Nationally televised on ESPN2, Harvard falls to 6-6 on the season while the Tar Heels improve to 10-3.
Junior Robert Baker led the Crimson with 10 points, while classmates Christian Juzang and Chris Lewis pitched in nine apiece. Lewis tied a career-high with four blocks, to go with seven rebounds, while junior Justin Bassey collected a season-high 11 boards. Despite the end result, Harvard held North Carolina to its third-lowest scoring output of the season.
Back-and-forth action kicked off the first half, with Harvard taking an early 20-19 lead after 12 minutes when Bassey scored from the paint. The Tar Heels went on a run to push the advantage to double digits, but consecutive triples from first-year Noah Kirkwood and Juzang brought Harvard back within six, 37-31, with under two minutes to go in the period.
Harvard trailed by 10 at the intermission, but pulled within five, 44-39, to start the second half after layups from Lewis and first-year Mason Forbes. The offense went cold over the next nine minutes as the Tar Heels regained a double-digit advantage. Harvard went on a 15-5 run to make a late push, but UNC responded to lock down the result.
- Baker led the scoring with 10 points, while 10 different players had at least two points.
- Bassey finished one shy of his career-high with 11 rebounds, while Lewis matched a career-best with four blocked shots.
- The Crimson's eight blocks are a season high.
- Harvard falls to 2-4 in the all-time series with North Carolina.
- The Crimson moves to 8-5 against ACC teams under head coach Tommy Amaker.
The Crimson opens Ivy League play at Dartmouth on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on NESN+ and ESPN+.