With 6:32 left in the contest, junior Wesley Saunders fired a crosscourt pass to co-captain Laurent Rivard, who stood waiting, hands up, in the right corner of the court. Rivard caught the ball and put up the three. Nothing but net.
On a fast break just 20 seconds later, Saunders sliced down the court, and, still moving, shot a bullet to Rivard, who stood in the same corner, still waiting. Rivard fired the trey. Swish.
Different plays, same result. Rivard obtained that same finish—a splash of the net and three points added to the scoreboard—six times on the night, as the senior shot at a 67 percent clip from deep en route to a season-high 22 points.
Just as Rivard hit consecutive threes, the Harvard men’s basketball team (17-3, 4-0 Ivy) earned consecutive wins. The squad notched its second victory in as many nights, taking care of Penn (4-13, 1-2), 80-50, Saturday night at Lavietes Pavilion.
“[Rivard] is a marksman,” Crimson coach Tommy Amaker said. “When he gets [his shot] going, it can be dangerous.”
With his sixth and final three-pointer of the night, Rivard moved into fourth all-time for three-pointers made, tying the record of Penn alum Tim Begley ’05 with 253.
“If [the shot] feels good, if I am balanced, if it…is a good shot for our team, [I take it]," Rivard explained. “You hit the first one, it gets you going. [My teammates] did a great job of finding me in transition…. [The shots] just felt great today, as they did last night.”
At one point in the contest, the co-captain drained three shots from beyond the arc within a 56-second span, extending Harvard’s lead from 23 to 32 points. Rivard scored more points in that allotment of time than the Quakers had tallied in the final 11 minutes of the first half.
All of Rivard’s threes came off of assists from his teammates, most of which were delivered from long-range.
“It was outstanding how our guys found him,” Amaker said. “It is one thing to be open, but they put it right on him—on target, on time. In a lot of ways, the heavy lifting was done and he had do the part that for him, at times, can look very easy—which is to catch [the ball] and get it up there. He is that good of a jump shooter.”
A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS
Rivard, however, was not the only senior working on his target practice on Saturday night. Classmates Kyle Casey and co-captain Brandyn Curry also lit it up from deep, as the pair went a perfect five-of-five from beyond the arc.
The veteran trio of Casey, Curry, and Rivard combined to shoot 75.6 percent from downtown and made more three-pointers in this single game—11—than Penn has in all of conference play thus far—seven.
After the contest, Amaker labeled one of these treys as one of the more pivotal shots of the game.
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