PROVIDENCE, R.I.—It felt like Groundhog Day at the Pizzitola Sports complex on Friday.
The Crimson, which had trailed by as much as 15 in the opening frame, went into the locker room down, 41-30.
The double-digit deficit hearkened back to the 22-point halftime margin that Harvard eventually overcame in its first matchup against the Bears.
But the Crimson did not have the same feeling at the break as it did on Feb. 12.
“It wasn’t the same for me,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said.
Unlike the first meeting, when Brown’s hot first-half shooting came against tough pressure, the Crimson’s defense was soft for much of the opening period.
“We were pretty disappointed in ourselves,” junior co-captain Oliver McNally said. “Brown shot the ball so well, but part of that was due to our inability to stay in front of the basketball.”
Against Harvard’s sagging defense, the Bears shot 16-of-28 from the field and 7-of-14 from deep.
The Crimson, by comparison, was just 12-of-31 from the floor and 4-of-13 from three.
“It’s scary when we’re not playing as well as we feel like we should...to have a team get out on us like that, especially on the road,” Amaker said.
Still, the situation was not as dire for Harvard as when the two teams first met.
The Crimson recovered from its poor start and erased the deficit in the first eight minutes of the second half.
“Eleven is a lot better than 24 [sic] or whatever it was [last time],” McNally said.
Harvard outclassed Brown in the second half, outscoring the Bears 44-27 in the period, but the hosts remained competitive throughout the contest thanks in large part to the play of forward Tucker Halpern.