CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Climbing to the top of the Ivy League table amidst a weekend sweep, Harvard men's basketball earned a victory over Princeton, 66-58, on Saturday night at Lavietes Pavilion. Both teams are 16-9 on the season, which Harvard leading Princeton by one game in the Ivy standings at 9-3.
Junior Bryce Aiken led the Harvard offense with 22 points, while first-year Kale Catchings and junior Chris Lewis were also in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively. The Crimson held its second-straight opponent under 60 points, with Catchings, classmate Noah Kirkwood and senior Weisner Perez each collecting a pair of steals.
Five Harvard seniors – Perez, Corey Johnson, Balsa Dragovic, Tommy McCarthy and Robbie Feinberg – started the contest, and built an early 6-3 lead after two baskets from Johnson and one from Perez. The Tigers responded to take a four-point lead, 15-11, but Kirkwood and Lewis closed the frame with two points each to give Harvard a 23-22 lead at the half.
Aiken and Catchings pushed Harvard to an eight-point lead to start the second half, 32-24, giving Harvard a 13-2 run that spanned both halves. Aiken scored 16 of his 22 points in the latter frame, and Catchings helped seal the victory with a pair of triples from the left wing and a lay-up inside.
- Aiken led the scoring with 22 points, his sixth game with at least 20 points in the last eight outings.
- Catchings tied a career-high with five field goals en route to 12 points to go with five rebounds.
- Celebrating senior day, the class of 2019 has helped Harvard to an impressive 37-17 Ivy record over their four seasons, with two games to go.
- Harvard swept the season series with Princeton, and has won each of the last four meetings with the Tigers.
- The Crimson got 60 points from its bench, which is the highest for a Harvard team in the Tommy Amaker era.
- Coupled with a Yale loss to Columbia, Harvard's win tied it for first place in the Ivy League standings with two games left in the regular season.
The Crimson puts a cap on the 2018-19 regular season with a trip to Cornell and Columbia March 8-9. Both games will begin at 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN+.