Brown went on an 11-0 run early in the first half, holding the Crimson without a field goal for nearly eight minutes as it turned an 8-7 deficit into an 18-8 advantage.
Harvard sophomore forward Zach Martin ended the run with a pair of free throws, but the Crimson never got any closer the rest of the way as the Bears steadily pulled away—extending their lead to as many as 26 after a Mike Martin three-pointer made the score 83-57 with 4:24 remaining.
The loss dropped the Crimson to 2-18 overall (1-6 Ivy) and improved Brown’s record to 9-11 (5-2).
As it had in a 104-69 loss to Penn Feb. 6, Harvard proved unable to defend the three. Many of Brown’s 13 trifectas came after star point guard Jason Forte penetrated before kicking the ball out to the perimeter, where the Bears whipped it around to the open man as the Crimson scrambled futilely to chase it.
“The extra pass was very much available and we were just kind of moving our heads and just trying to catch up to the game,” Harvard coach Frank Sullivan said.
“We have to slow down the ball,” sophomore point guard Michael Beal said. “That was our fatal flaw against Penn. That was our fatal flaw against Brown.”
Forte finished with 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting, converting all six of his free throws and adding five assists. He did most of his damage in the second half, when he scored 16 points—including eight in a row in one 54-second stretch—on 6-for-7 shooting and had all five of his assists.
“We were hoping to get the second and third defenders to Forte,” Sullivan said, “and make it difficult for him to throw the extra pass, but I really think he had his way tonight.”
“I gave him way too much respect coming in,” said Beal, who drew the primary defensive responsibility on Forte. “I played off him too much.”
Three of Forte’s assists came on buckets by forward Jaime Kilburn, who capitalized on Forte drawing his defenders to score 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting.
“He’s one of the quicker low-post players in the league,” Sullivan said. “Certainly when all other guys are as active as they were, it created a lot of space.”
“Because of the motion offense, they do a great job lifting help away from him,” Sullivan added.
Every Brown starter scored in double figures, with all but Kilburn hitting at least a pair of threes.
The victory was the school-record 58th for the Bears’ class of 2004—Kilburn, Mike Martin and forward Patrick Powers—breaking the four-year mark set by the class of 2003.
“You saw a very experienced, senior-driven offensive team have great poise and great determination,” Sullivan said. “We had no answers for them on defense at all.”