A Webster travel on the Crimson’s ensuing possession returned the ball to the Huskies, who put the ball in the hands of freshman Shabazz Napier. The 6’0” guard attacked the hoop and finished the basket despite being fouled.
With the ensuing free throw, UConn took the 9-0 lead with 14:24 left to play.
Coming off the bench, freshman Laurent Rivard attempted to jumpstart Harvard’s dormant offense, but his first three-point attempt was off its mark. Freshman Ugo Okam pulled down the offensive rebound, but the seven-footer was unable to convert the put-back layup.
The Huskies sank a jumper on their next possession, forcing Amaker to burn a 30-second timeout with the Crimson down 11-0 six minutes into the contest.
Rivard ended the scoring drought with two free throws out of the break, but the squad’s offensive woes continued.
“I thought we came out just not ready,” sophomore Oliver McNally said. “I think we were a little scared. I don’t think we were ready.”
Coming off the bench, sophomore Kyle Casey gave Harvard some much-needed energy, coming up with a steal at midcourt and throwing down a thunderous dunk to bring the Crimson back within nine, 15-6. But Harvard experienced another offensive drought following Casey’s slam, and the Huskies went on a 15-2 run, led by five points from Walker to establish a 30-8 lead with 5:49 left in the half.
“Offensively, we were an absolute mess,” McNally said.
After going into the break down by 27, the Crimson managed to cut the lead to 19 midway through the second period, thanks to buckets from Wright and Rivard, but UConn built its lead back up to 25 within minutes.
“I thought our kids were really frustrated with not being able to make some shots,” Amaker said. “Sometimes that happens where [missing shots] zaps your energy on defense, and I thought that Connecticut took advantage of every mishap we had and did a tremendous job [yesterday] evening.”