Two weeks after scoring a career-high 33 points in the Harvard men’s basketball team’s 74-68 double-overtime loss at Princeton, with 26 of those points coming after halftime, Housman did it again on Saturday, with one key difference: the Crimson won.
At Lavietes, the point guard had a game-high 20 points, 17 of which came after halftime. Those 17 points were five more than the entire Harvard team scored in a dismal first half, which saw it enter the break down 21-12.
But the second half would bring out a different Crimson team on the offensive end, a transformation that was personified by Housman’s play.
Harvard was down 23-12 following Tigers’ center Zach Finley’s jump hook when Housman got the Crimson’s first field goal in over 18 minutes with a floater in the lane at the 18:24 mark. This basket would ignite a 15-0 run by the home team, with the last nine points of the spurt scored by the point guard.
After his driving layup brought the home team to within three at 23-20, he stole the ball and broke away for another layup, getting fouled by forward Kyle Koncz in the process. He completed the three-point play to even the score at 23.
Housman then stole the ball again on Princeton’s next possession and took an outlet pass from junior guard James Lambert in for a layup.
He finished the run by scoring the way he put up most of his 33 points at Jadwin Gym: beating his man off the dribble and taking it to the hoop for a layup, which made it 27-23 Harvard.
“With their defense switching in and out—kind of like a zone, kind of a man matchup look—Drew was able to get a lot of good isolation,” captain Jim Goffredo said. “He was just able to get to the hole, and that is his game. When he can take over, he does, and he did a great job with that stretch right there.”
Even when the Tigers finally broke that run with a basket by guard Lincoln Gunn, Housman was not finished. He once again beat his man off the dribble and laid the ball off the glass for another bucket.
“I felt in the beginning of the game that I would be able to get to the basket,” Housman said. “I was frustrated at halftime because I kept pulling up for jump shots that weren’t falling. The second half, I think we all came out determined to attack the basket harder, so I finally started hitting some shots.”
Housman finished the second half having shot 6-of-7 from the floor after missing all four of his field goal attempts in the opening frame.
The performance was good enough for his second-highest scoring output of the Ivy League season.
“Drew was extremely effective in both [Princeton] games,” Harvard coach Frank Sullivan said. “I haven’t seen a point guard average 25 points against Princeton in a season in a long period of time.”
Housman also made both ends of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity with 1:02 left to give the Crimson a 46-36 advantage.
He then iced the victory by ensuring the Crimson avoided a repeat of last year’s 60-59 loss at home to the Tigers, in which the visitors erased a six-point deficit with under a minute left, aided by two Harvard turnovers. With Housman handling the ball and passing it up the court, the Crimson did not turn it over at all down the stretch.
“Just a great effort by Drew,” Sullivan said.
Housman has two more years and four more matches with Princeton to add to his exploits as a Tigers killer.
—Staff writer Ted Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.