No. 25 Harvard 76, Boston U. 52
Harvard made the best case it could to extend its first-ever
appearance in The Associated Press Top 25, running away from Boston
Kyle Casey had 20 points and nine rebounds to lead No. 25
Harvard past BU 76-52 on Saturday. The Crimson scored 16 straight
points near the end of the first half to bounce back after a loss
to ninth-ranked Connecticut.
”It’s nice to be in the rankings. It’s kind of a testament to
how hard we work,” Casey said. ”But if we drop out, if we stay in
it, it’s not going to change what we do in practice every
Reserve Laurent Rivard scored 18 points for the Crimson, making
6 of 7 from 3-point range – two of them during the 16-0 run that
turned a two-point game into a blowout. Two days after losing by 14
points to UConn, Harvard (9-1) led by as many as 29 points in the
”We went through that spell where we didn’t score. And we got
way too far down to be able to come back,” BU coach Joe Jones
said. ”Harvard’s going to take you out of your offense; that’s
what they do. And we were just not able to make individual
Darryl Partin, who entered the game averaging 23.9 points,
scored 12 for BU (4-6). Patrick Hazel had 10 points and eight
rebounds for the Terriers, who had won four of five.
The game was close for the first 12 minutes, with BU leading
18-17 with 7:45 to play in the first half.
But Harvard scored 16 in a row before Hazel made a
buzzer-beating putback at the end of the half, drawing a foul.
After the referees reviewed the play, the basket was ruled good and
he was given one free throw with no time on the clock and none of
the other players on either team remaining on the floor.
He missed, giving Harvard a 37-21 lead at the break.
Harvard made the first two baskets of the second half, and BU
never got closer than 17 points after that.
”They were chasing us around,” Rivard said. ”At some point
their defense broke down, and we were able to get open shots.”
Harvard returned its entire starting lineup from the team that
tied Princeton last year for the school’s first-ever Ivy League
title. (Princeton won a one-game tiebreaker for the right to the
conference’s NCAA tournament berth.)
After opening the season 8-0, Harvard cracked into the AP top 25
for its first time. But in their first game as a ranked team, the
Crimson lost 67-53 to UConn.
”It’s been a neat thing. We’re proud and pleased we’re thought
of that way,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. ”If it happens for
us to remain, that’s great. If not, we’ll try to stay true to our
identity and live up to our standards.”
Jones coached in the Ivies at Columbia from 2003-10, and saw
Amaker’s work with a program that had never won a conference title
”To see what he’s done with this program is amazing,” Jones
said. ”He has brought some guys in that are committed, very
skilled and tough, and they play a great brand of basketball.
That’s what I saw on film, and it rang true tonight.”
Harvard is off for the next 11 days for exams.
BU has not beaten a ranked team since 1959 and had not even
hosted a ranked team since 2003.