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Amaker Wins 400th Game, Men’s Basketball Completes Weekend Sweep At Penn, 75-68 (OT)

Photos by Tim Cowie and Gil Talbot

PHILADELPHIA – Completing a weekend sweep, Harvard men's basketball earned a 75-68 victory over Penn in overtime on Saturday night at the Palestra. The win was Tommy Amaker's 400th-career victory as a Division I head coach, which helped Harvard improve to 13-8 on the season and 6-2 in Ivy League play. Penn falls to 15-9 with a 3-5 Ancient Eight mark.

Junior Justin Bassey notched his second double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds, including a career-high six makes from 3-point range, while classmate Bryce Aiken led the Crimson with 25 points, including the game-tying triple at the end of regulation. First-year Noah Kirkwood and junior Chris Lewis were also in double figures with 14 and 12, respectively.

The Quakers led by six early, but baskets from Aiken and Kirkwood helped tie the score at 12-12 midway through the frame. Bassey caught fire from 3-point range in the period, going 4-for-4 from down town to help the Crimson to a two-point halftime lead, 28-26.

Resilient as the Crimson faced a seven-point second half deficit, Harvard got clutch baskets from Lewis and Kirkwood to pull within one possession in the final minutes. After a pair of Penn free throws, Aiken sunk a triple from the top of the key to pull Harvard within three, and he buried the game-tying 3-pointer with five seconds to go in regulation to send the contest to overtime.

Harvard blitzed the Quakers with a 10-2 run to start overtime, including a one-foot 3-pointer from Bassey that gave Harvard a 71-63 advantage. Penn was forced to foul late, and Harvard was composed in finishing the 75-68 triumph.

Harvard Highlights

  • The win was The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball Tommy Amaker's 400th-career victory as a Division I head coach. He is the 135th coach to reach the milestone.
  • Aiken led the Crimson in scoring with 25 points, doing so on 8-for-16 shooting and a 5-for-9 mark from 3-point range.
  • Bassey tallied his second double-double of the season with 19 and 11, and his fourth-career double-double.

Game Notes

  • The Crimson swept Penn and Princeton on the road for the first time since 2014-15.
  • Harvard improves to 43-133 all-time against the Quakers.
  • Harvard has won 18 of its last 19 overtime games, and is 2-0 in overtime this season.

What's Next?
The Crimson caps its four-game road trip at Brown and Yale Feb. 22-23. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

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