NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Led by its defense to open the 2019 Ivy League Tournament, presented by TIAA, Harvard men's basketball advanced to the championship round with a 66-58 triumph over Penn. The Crimson is 3-0 this season against the Quakers, and improves to 18-10 this season with the result.
Junior Bryce Aiken led a balanced scoring output with 19 points to go with four assists, while first-year Noah Kirkwood was also in double figures with 12 points. Sophomore Danilo Djuricic added nine points off the bench, while junior Christian Juzang and first-year Kale Catchings added eight apiece.
Penn jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but the Crimson fought back to take its first lead of the afternoon, 31-28, after a triple from Kirkwood. In total, Harvard scored 13 of the last 19 points in the frame, and carried a two-point lead into the intermission, 36-34.
The Harvard defense allowed just 24 points in the second half, holding Penn to 34.8 percent shooting. The game was tied four different times over the first 12 minutes of the half, with the top seed jumping out to a six-point advantage with just under six minutes to go after two baskets from Aiken and one from Justin Bassey. The Quakers could not get its deficit to a single possession, and Harvard showed composure from the foul line to close out the game.
- Aiken led the scoring with 19 points, to go along with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
- Seven different Harvard players scored, and six connected from the free throw line.
- The Crimson held Penn under 60 points for the second-straight meeting, and sweeps the season series, 3-0.
- Harvard advances to the Ivy League Tournament championship game for the second-straight year.
- The Crimson improves to 2-2 all-time at the Ivy League Tournament.
- Harvard has won both of its meetings this season at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.
Harvard will face the winner of Yale and Princeton in the Ivy League Tournament championship game on Sunday, March 17 at noon. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.