By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
Harvard’s Seth Towns netted a game-high 20 points, while Chris Lewis recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Crimson defeated MIT, 73-64, in their season-opener on Friday evening at Lavietes Pavilion.
MIT, which was led by Bradley Jomard (17 points, six rebounds), trailed Harvard, 39-32, at the break, but used an 11-2 run minutes into the second half to pull within two-points (49-47) of the hosts with 11:02 remaining.
Harvard (1-0) counted with a six-point spurt, highlighted by a Rio Haskett jumper with 8:52 remaining to secure a 55-49 lead, but MIT clawed back, thanks to a pair of free throws from Nacho Nwana and a layup from Jomard to bring the visitors within four-points (57-53).
The Crimson would respond again with a pair of dunks, including one down the middle by Lewis, which provided the hosts with enough momentum to secure their initial win of the season.
MIT did close the gap late in the session with a pair of freebies from Ian Hinkley with 1:33 remaining, but Harvard dashed the Engineers’ comeback hopes with two free throws from Towns, along with a trifecta from Bryce Aiken.
Harvard concluded the game 21 of 51 from the floor, including 5 of 18 from beyond the arc. The Crimson also connected on 26 of 36 free-throws, too. MIT was 22 of 54 from the floor, but converted just 13 of 21 free-throw attempts.
Hinkley and Hamilton Forsythe each concluded the contest with 13 points apiece, while Nwana added eight points, seven rebounds, three swipes and one assist off the bench.
The Crimson return to action Sunday, November 12 when they host UMass at 2 p.m., while the Engineers will officially begin their 2017-18 campaign next Wednesday, November 15 when they host Bridgewater State for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Westfield State capped its 2017 football season with a convincing 17-0 win over Western Connecticut at Alumni Field.
Travon Holder, who led all rushers with 187 yards on 38 carries, rushed for a pair of touchdowns, while Jake Cassidy rushed for another score, along with 53 yards on 14 carries.
On defense, Tyler Robbins highlighted the Owls’ effort with four total tackles, two interceptions, one pass break-up and one fumble recovery.
Western Connecticut quarterback Quinn Fleeting finished the game 11 of 21 for 107 yards.
Cassidy scored the game’s initial touchdown with 3:46 remaining in the first quarter before Holder located the end zone twice in the second quarter.
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