Harvard Tops Boston College, 67-46, for Fourth Straight Season
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.—It was about as bad a start for the No. 23/24 Harvard men’s basketball team as Boston College could have hoped for.
Less than six minutes in, the Crimson trailed by 11, 14-3. The Eagles, led by seven-footer Dennis Clifford, were having their way in the post, and Harvard junior Kyle Casey was sipping water on the bench after picking up two early fouls.
But the Crimson started making it rain from beyond the arc, shooting 5-of-6 from deep over a nine-minute stretch beginning midway through the first half to reverse the fortune of the game.
And riding its hot shooting stroke, the Crimson (11-1) came out on top, defeating the Eagles (5-8) at Conte Forum Thursday night for the fourth straight season, 67-46.
“We didn’t start off well, but we’re really happy that we played well defensively and ended up hitting some shots,” said co-captain Oliver McNally, whose squad finished the contest shooting 10-of-20 from deep, its second best percentage of the season.
Meanwhile, the Eagles finished the game with just three made three-pointers—their fewest on the season—connecting on just 3 of 11 attempts.
“I think Harvard does a very good job of chasing you off the line,” Donahue said. “They’re so aggressive on ball screens that when you get the ball moving, you’d think that they would give up an open three. But what they do is they chase you off that line. They fly at you.”
Sophomore Laurent Rivard led the way for the Crimson, scoring 18 points—matching his second highest output of the season—on 7-of-12 shooting. Rivard, who scored 15 points in the first half, was especially deadly from deep, knocking down four of his eight attempts.
“He’s a terrific shooter,” said Harvard coach Tommy Amaker of Rivard. “We’ve always tried to tease him a little bit about how we think he’s the second best shooter in this town and the first one happens to be Ray Allen.”
But Rivard wasn’t the only one with a hot hand for the Crimson. Freshman Corbin Miller chipped in with 12 points, going 4-of-5 from deep in the second half. Junior point guard Brandyn Curry added 11 points, five assists, and five steals.
Boston College was led by a pair of rookies—Clifford and Patrick Heckman—who notched 14 and 13 points, respectively.
“Clifford is a terrific player,” Amaker said. “We know how tough [BC is] going to be as those young guys grow and develop and get better.”
Clifford fueled the Eagles’ opening run, scoring five of Boston College’s first 14 points off a free throw and a pair of right-handed hook shots.
After Harvard started the game 0-of-8 from the field, junior point guard Brandyn Curry notched the Crimson’s first field goal of the game with 13:58 to play, attacking the basket off a screen and notching a short jumper.
The point guard followed by getting to the free-throw line on the Crimson’s next two possessions and then found co-captain Keith Wright (eight points, 11 rebounds) for an easy two on Harvard’s next trip down the floor, pulling the Crimson within five, 16-11.