March Madness: No. 12 Harvard Tops No. 5 Cincinnati, 61-57 (Game Summary)

By Matt Noonan 

The Harvard University men’s basketball team extended its season to Saturday as the Crimson defeated the fifth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats, 61-57.

Wesley Saunders stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points (team-high), four assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Siyani Chambers and Laurent Rivard each netted 11 points.

Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick led all scores with 18 points, while Justin Jackson finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.

The Crimson, who entered the tournament as a 12th seed, converted 19 of 44 shots from the field, including 6 of 17 attempts from beyond the arc. As a team, they went 17 of 28 from the stripe.

The Bearcats finished 21 of 57 from the field. They out rebounded the Crimson, 34-33. However, Harvard won the battle on the defensive end, pulling down 24 defensive caroms.

Harvard led Cincinnati at the break, 36-29, but the Bearcats outscored their opponent in the second session, 28-25.

Titus Rubles brought the Bearcats within two points at 13:52 in the second half with a layup, but Harvard answered with back-to-back layups by Saunders and Evan Cummins that stretched the Crimson’s lead to seven points.

Both teams traded free throws down the stretch. Chambers and Saunders each recorded a pair at the charity stripe, which sealed the win and punched Harvard’s ticket to the third round.

Harvard (27-4) will play the winner of Michigan State-Delaware on Saturday. No time has been announced for the third round contest. Cincinnati concludes its season a 27-7 mark.

Mass. College Hoops: Harvard-Cornell Highlights (VIDEO)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Harvard’s men’s basketball team defeated Cornell University on Saturday, 65-56 and claimed the Ivy League title following a Princeton University loss.The win provides the Crimson with its third straight conference crown and a trip to the March Madness tournament.

Laurent Rivard led all scorers with 17 points, while Siyani Chambers finished with 16 points, five assists and two boards.

Below is a highlight package from Harvard’s final regular season game courtesy of the sports information department’s YouTube page.

Mass. College Hoops: Harvard Tops Yale, Improves To 3-0 In Ivy League (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan

The Harvard University men’s basketball team earned its third win in the Ivy League on Friday evening, as the Crimson defeated the visiting Yale Bulldogs, 67-64. Wesley Saunders recorded his first collegiate double-double in the win with 15 points and a career-high 11 assists, while Laurent Rivard netted 15 points.

Harvard led Yale at the break, 40-27, but the Bulldogs outscored the Crimson during the second session, 37-27. Armani Cotton paced the Bulldogs with a team-high 14 points, while Austin Morgan tallied nine points.

The Crimson finished the game 23 of 42 from the field, 8 of 13 from beyond the arc, 13 of 22 at the stripe and 24 rebounds. Below is a highlight package from the Harvard’s YouTube channel.

March Madness Rapid Reaction: Vanderbilt 79, Harvard 70

The 2011-12 Harvard University basketball season came to an end on Thursday, as the Crimson lost their opening-round matchup against Vanderbilt University, 79-70. (Photo Credit: WBUR.org)

By Matt Noonan 

Harvard University’s men’s basketball team will have to wait another year to attain NCAA glory, as Vanderbilt University defeated the Crimson on Thursday in the first-round of the 2012 March Madness tournament, 79-70.

The Commodores earned a 33-22 advantage at the break, and then netted an additional 46 points in the second frame to secure the win, as well as a second round matchup against Wisconsin.

The Crimson kept things close following the opening tap, but senior Jeffery Taylor‘s layup at 4:06 in the first half provided the necessary spark for the Commodores to finish the opening session on an 11-3 run. Vanderbilt then extended its lead to 15 midway through the second frame, which provided them a lead they never relinquished for the remainder of the game.

Harvard was led by sophomore Laurent Rivard, who registered 20 points, while junior John Jenkins paced Vanderbilt with a game-high 27 points.

Mass College Hoops Recap: No. 23 Harvard 71, Cornell 60

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – In case you didn’t know, the Harvard University men’s basketball team has now won 19 games this season, and is 5-0 in the Ivy League. They’re also ranked 23rd in the nation, but against Cornell University, they appeared beatable and vulnerable.

The Big Red forced the Crimson to play careless-free basketball for a majority of Friday’s contest at Lavietes Pavilion, as Harvard finished the game with 16 turnovers, eight offensive rebounds, and 26 missed shots.

Yet, those particular mistakes didn’t faze Tommy Amaker’s squad, who maneuvered a way past Cornell, 71-60.

“I just felt like we were better than what we were showing,” said a frustrated Amaker. “I was perplexed and disappointed in how we came out of the half, and that’s how we played. And again, I’m not taking anything away from Cornell, they’re doing outstanding things, but I just thought that we were better than that and I was disappointed in how we came out and handled the ball.”

Following the opening tip, both squads played back and fourth basketball for roughly six minutes until Harvard freshman Jonah Travis sank his second free throw to give the Crimson a 10-9 advantage.

“We were able to get some stops at times during the game, but we didn’t take advantage of those opportunities offensively,” said Cornell head coach Bill Courtney, when asked to discuss the lackluster play of both squads in the first half.

The Crimson never relinquished their lead, as it ballooned to 30-18, thanks to junior Kyle Casey, (13 points, six rebounds) and sophomore Laurent Rivard, (16 points) who finished the first half with two trifectas and three free throws.

Cornell’s offense attempted to chip away at the deficit before halftime, but only mustered six points before entering their locker room trailing Harvard, 38-24.

Once the second half began, the Big Red appeared rejuvenated and focused, as senior Drew Ferry sank a three-pointer on their first offensive possession before junior Jonathan Gray stripped the ball from Casey, and raced down court for a layup, which cut the lead to 38-29.

“I thought they did some things harder and better in the second half, but certainly our defense is better than what we displayed in the last 20 minutes,” said Amaker.

Harvard answered literally 40 seconds later when Wright recorded a powerful dunk that electrified his offense to go on a 19-11 run.

Junior Christian Webster put the game out of reach when he knocked down a three-pointer with 5:57 remaining in the second half, which preserved Harvard’s perfect record at home.

“We knew you’re not going to hold a team like [Harvard] that’s good, [and] you’re not going to continuing to keep stopping [them]. We had our chance, and we kind of didn’t take advantage of it,” said Courtney.

Despite the loss, Cornell’s freshman Shonn Miller recorded his 100th defensive rebound, while senior Chris Wroblewski earned his 101st assist of the season.

Harvard will return to the court on Saturday when they host Columbia, while Cornell will head to Dartmouth; both games are slated for a 7:00pm tip-off.

“We have to get better. I’m not quite sure what that could be right now for us with a home game, and kind of where we are, and [I’m] hopeful that we can get ready to go for tomorrow,” said Amaker.