Captain guard Jim Goffredo, shown in earlier action, broke out of a scoring slump with a 32-point outburst in his penultimate collegiate game to propel Harvard to a 85-79 comeback win over Cornell.
ITHACA, N.Y.—After struggling all season to find consistency with his jumpshot, Harvard captain Jim Goffredo put on an offensive display Friday night against Cornell, erupting for 32 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 7-of-10 from behind the arc, in the team’s 85-79 win.
Goffredo’s seven three pointers were a season high and just one shy of his career high of eight set last year against Dartmouth.
“I think we gained some confidence from the fact that Jimmy was making shots,” Harvard coach Frank Sullivan said. “It’s been an up-and-down finish for him, so it was good to see. And I think that gave the team confidence. We saw ourselves making plays, making shots.”
Goffredo was much more aggressive than he has been in recent weeks, drawing two shooting fouls on dribble penetrations in the first few minutes of the game. He connected on his first three-pointer with 13:03 left in the frame and followed it with a tough pull-up jumper in traffic.
Goffredo then hit three-pointers on successive possessions, the latter tying the score at 29-29 with 7:39 remaining in the first half.
“I was a little upset with myself the past couple of weeks, not being as aggressive, just kind of waiting around looking for shots as opposed to making some of my own,” Goffredo said. “So I think I came out with that mindset, got it going early and was able to keep it going.”
Overall, Goffredo carried the Crimson in the first half. With second option Drew Housman struggling to open the game—he shot 1-of-4 in the first half—Goffredo shouldered the offensive load, scoring 17 of Harvard’s 37 first-half points on 5-of-9 shooting with three three-pointers.
In the second half, despite increased pressure from the Big Red defense, Goffredo continued to thrive, posting 15 points. Several of his second-half three-pointers were from well behind the arc, silencing a rowdy student section that watched its team blow a 14-point lead.
“When you’re shot’s going good, you take shots you might not usually take,” Goffredo said. “If you’re feeling it, you step back a little more.”
Housman, when asked about his season-high seven assists, said: “It helps when Jimmy’s shooting like that. It’ll really inflate the assist totals.”
Whatever Drew Housman’s halftime ritual is, it’s definitely working.
After sleepwalking through Friday’s first half (one assist, two points on 1-of-4 shooting), the sophomore point guard paced the Crimson offense in the final twenty minutes, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with a season-high seven assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Three of his six field goals were three-pointers.
“He was terrific,” Sullivan said. “To be honest, we kind of got on him a little bit there at halftime.
“He had a rough first half, especially on the defensive end, but the important thing is that he responded. A lot of guys, you get on them at halftime, and then they keep playing the same way. Drew responded tonight.”
With Harvard trailing by one with less than two minutes remaining, Housman shook his defender with a fake step right and drove weak-side, finishing with an acrobatic layup in traffic while drawing a foul.
The three-point play gave the Crimson a 77-75 edge at the 1:40 mark and the squad never trailed again.
Housman isn’t new to second-half surges. On Feb. 9 at Princeton, Housman scored 16 points in the second half and ten of the team’s 12 points in overtime in a back-and-forth 74-68 double-overtime loss.
And in last week’s 50-43 win over the Tigers, Housman scored 17 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, including 11 straight during a decisive 15-0 Harvard run.