Saunders carries Harvard past BC 73-58
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP)
It was the sixth-straight season the Crimson (12-1) have beaten their rivals - located about four miles away. Boston College still owns a 32-15 series edge.
Jonah Travis also scored 11 points for Harvard, which led by 20 points in the opening half.
Ryan Anderson led the Eagles (4-10) with 17 points and nine rebounds, Olivier Hanlan scored 13 points and Eddie Odio 11. Boston College has lost six of its last seven.
Harvard coach Tommy Amaker collected his 300th win with the Crimson.
Following a miserable shooting first half, Boston College made six of its initial nine shots from the field to start the second, slicing a 14-point deficit to 43-37 on Odio's driving basket.
Harvard's lead then ranged from six to 11 points before the Eagles cut it to 56-51 on Anderson's basket with 7-1/2 minutes left. But the Crimson took control by scoring the next seven points, with Siyani Chambers' 3-pointer capping the spree with just over 5 minutes left.
BC never threatened the rest of the way.
The Crimson led 39-25 at halftime.
Harvard, which scored eight of the game's initial nine points, opened a 20-point lead (33-13) late in the first half, taking advantage of some easy transition baskets and poor shooting by BC, which connected on just 26.9 percent (7 of 26) of its attempts in the opening 20 minutes.
The Crimson pushed their lead to double digits for the first time midway in the half, 17-6, on Casey's fast-break layup. After Garland Owens had a put-back jam for the Eagles, Harvard went on a 14-2 run over the ensuing 4 minutes, pulling to its 33-13 advantage. Steve Moundou-Missi scored eight points in the spree, including a pair of conventional 3-point plays.
The Eagles missed 13 of their first 15 shots from the floor and scored just 13 points in the opening 14 minutes of the half before making a brief flurry.
During a number of possessions - mainly the opening 15 minutes - in the opening half Harvard used a tough man defense against the Eagles, forcing them to run the shot clock in single digits before taking a large number of low percentage shots.
The Crimson next plat at Rice on Saturday. BC hosts Clemson on Saturday.