It started out as a game co-captain Christian Webster would rather not remember.
Through the first 38 minutes of Saturdays’ contest between the Harvard men’s basketball team and Dartmouth, the senior was shooting one of six from beyond the arc.
That’s when things turned around—in a big way.
Webster nailed three three-pointers in the final 93 seconds of regulation, leading the Crimson back from a late 10-point deficit to force overtime. Webster tacked on an assist, block, and rebound in the extra period, and Harvard pulled out an 82-77 victory.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Webster said after the game.
With the Crimson trailing by 10, 57-47, and 1:42 remaining, Harvard coach Tommy Amaker drew up a play for Webster coming out of a timeout.
After sophomore Steve Moundou-Missi set a screen for freshman point guard Siyani Chambers at the top of the key, Webster’s defender left him to defend Moundou-Missi as he rolled to the basket. Chambers found Webster open on the wing, and the senior drilled the triple.
Amaker called Webster’s number again with the Crimson trailing by six with 47 ticks left. This time, Webster received an off-ball screen from junior co-captain Laurent Rivard as he cut to the top of the key and received a pass from sophomore Wesley Saunders. With a hand in his face, Webster drilled the three to pull the Crimson within three.
On its next possession, Harvard ran the same play, and Webster again came through.
“We executed brilliantly,” Amaker said. “I thought Siyani and Wesley did a great job of executing the passes and the plays to get Christian the ball. And Laurent made an incredible screen to get Christian open. And obviously all those things have to happen and then Christian’s got to make a shot and he did.”
Saturday’s contest was not the first time that Webster came up in the clutch for the Crimson.
As a rookie, Webster drilled an and-one three-pointer with 12 seconds remaining to pull the Crimson within one of Princeton. (Harvard ended up falling by three after then-senior Jeremy Lin ’10 missed a contested three-pointer at the end of regulation).
As a sophomore, Webster played a critical role in the Crimson’s 24-point comeback against Brown at Lavietes Pavilion. After opening the game 0 for 8 from the field, Webster scored 18 points in the final 15:50, shooting four of four from beyond the arc. Webster’s final triple gave the Crimson a 68-66 advantage with 7:40 remaining, and Harvard led the rest of the way.
Harvard’s offensive numbers at halftime were atrocious.
NOTEBOOK: Long-Range Effort Sparks OffenseWhile the Harvard men’s basketball team has excelled this season at reaching the free throw line and converting opportunities there—its accuracy of 77.1 percent at the charity stripe is good for third in the nation—the Crimson still has a ways to go when shooting from long range.
Crimson Emerges Victorious from Ivy DogfightAll 40 minutes were required to determine a winner in the Harvard men’s basketball team’s Friday night matchup against Yale ...
Crimson Boasts Balanced LineupSo often coach speak rings hollow. Teams talk about each person knowing his role or doing what it takes to win, while at the same time players are checking box scores and chasing personal accolades. But with the Harvard men’s basketball team, I’m beginning to believe the clichés.
Crimson Crossovers: Christian Webster and Caron Butler
Students Elected to College Democrats of Massachusetts Exec BoardTwo Harvard undergraduates will serve on the executive board of the College Democrats of Massachusetts, the college branch of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
Taking the Lead