Harvard Headed to the Dance Again, Wins Men's Basketball Title Outright - Mar 13, 2013
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Harvard men's basketball team defeated Cornell, 65-56, as the Crimson won the program's third-straight Ivy League title and earned a return trip to the NCAA Tournament before a sold out Lavietes Pavilion Saturday afternoon.
However, it was not until about 45 minutes after the buzzer sounded in Cambridge that Harvard booked its return to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, as Brown defeated Princeton to give Harvard sole possession of the Ivy League crown.
Harvard will await the NCAA Selection Show on CBS Sunday March 17 at 6 p.m. The Crimson will learn its opponent and destination during the hour-long show.
Laurent Rivard (6'5''-G-91) led the Crimson in scoring with 17 points, while Siyani Chambers (6'0''-PG) added 16 points and five assists. Wesley Saunders (6'5''-G) scored in double figures for the 28th straight game with 14 points, as Harvard completes the regular season 19-9 overall and 11-3 in the Ivy League. Rivard tied the program's single-season 3-pointer record, draining his 74th of the season, knotting Kevin Rogus '05 (2003-04).
Miles Asafo-Adjei (6'2''-PG) paced Cornell (13-18, 5-9 Ivy) with 15 points, sinking 6-of-8 baskets. Harvard made 9-of-15 (.600) treys in the game and made 18-of-27 (.667) free throws.
Rivard opened the scoring with a triple from the corner, plus a foul, 3-0, and then Smith added a bucket, as the Crimson went up, 5-0. Smith hit a layup as Harvard led, 10-7, but Cornell knotted it up, 11-11, with just over 12 minutes remaining in the frame. Christian Webster nailed a 3-pointer to make it 14-11, and then Saunders connected on a jumper to the left of the paint, 16-11.
Rivard drained another triple, 19-13, but again the Big Red tied the score, 19-19. After Siyani Chambers made a long jump shot, 21-19, Saunders connected on a bucket to give Harvard a four-point edge. Cornell came back to tie the game again, 23-23, but Steve Moundou-Missi headed to the line and hit both, 25-23, with just under four minutes left in the first. Saunders found Moundou-Missi for a reverse layup under the hoop, 27-23, and then Rivard made his third trey, 30-23.
In the final seconds of the half, Chambers hit an acrobatic layup to make it a 32-24 contest at the break. Rivard paced Harvard with nine points in the first, as Harvard went 4-of-8 (.500) from beyond the arc.
In the second, Chambers connected on a trey, as Harvard went up by 10, 36-26, and then Saunders went to the charity stripe and made both, 38-26. With 14:30 to go, Chambers drained another triple, 41-28, and then Webster made another shot from beyond the arc, 44-32.
Moments later, Chambers sent a bounce pass to Moundou-Missi, who finished with a nice move under the basket, 46-32. Chambers continued to shoot well, making another one, 49-34, with just over 10 minutes remaining. Less than a minute later, Rivard tied the Harvard single-season 3-pointer record with his 74th of the season, making it 52-38.
With 7:38 to go, Saunders drew contact going up for a shot and hit both, as Harvard maintained a 14-point advantage, 56-42. After Cornell cut the Crimson lead to seven, 57-50, but Rivard headed to the line and made two free throws after being fouled shooting a jumper. With Harvard leading, 59-54, Saunders went to the charity stripe again and connected on both, making it a seven-point game.
Rivard and Chambers would combine to hit 6-of-8 free throws at the line in the final 46 seconds to ice the game away and give the Crimson its third-straight conference title.
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