Men’s Basketball Falls to USC, Finishes Fourth at Orlando Invitational

Justin Bassey holds the ball against USC
Photo by Mary Holt
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ORLANDO, Fla. – Wrapping up competition at the 2019 Orlando Invitational, Harvard men's basketball dropped a contest to USC, 77-62, on Sunday night at ESPN's Wide World of Sports. The Trojans improve to 7-2, while Harvard moves to 5-4 on the season.

Sophomore Noah Kirkwood led three in double figures with 12 points, while senior Bryce Aiken and first-year Chris Ledlum pitched in 10 apiece. Sophomore Mason Forbes added eight points, and a perfect 3-for-3 mark from the field, while first-year Luka Sakota scored six points, including a 2-for-2 mark form 3-point range.

Harvard got out to a slow start, but quickly got back in the game, cutting a nine-point deficit to two, 18-16, after a triple from Aiken. Continuing a high-scoring opening half, Harvard took the lead, 39-38, after back-to-back 3-pointers from Ledlum, but the Trojans responded to take a 52-43 lead into the half.

The Crimson shooting went cold in the second half, as USC opened up a double-digit advantage. Forbes had all eight of his points in the second frame, helping spark Harvard to an 11-2 run to close the 40 minutes.

Harvard Highlights

  • 15 Harvard players saw the floor, with Kirkwood's 12 points leading the scoring. 11 different players tallied a point.
  • Aiken and classmates Justin Bassey and Robert Baker each recorded two steals, while Baker and senior Henry Welsh each blocked a pair of shots.
  • Forbes was a point shy of his career-high (9), while Sakota tied his career-best with six points.

Game Notes

  • Harvard moves to 0-2 all-time against USC, with the meeting the programs' first since 1990.
  • Aiken moves into 26th on the all-time Harvard scoring list with 1,078 points.

What's Next?
Harvard returns to Lavietes Pavilion for an in-state matchup with Massachusetts on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. The contest will be broadcast on NESN and ESPN+.