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Notebook: Freshmen, Defense Lead Men's Basketball to Win Over Howard

Two Handed Jam
Senior center Zena Edosomwan, pictured here against Fordham, led a strong defensive effort to help the Crimson down Howard on Friday night.

Led by its squad of touted freshmen, Harvard took down a visiting Howard squad on Friday night at Lavietes Pavilion, 67-46. Guided by freshman Bryce Aiken, who scored a season-high 23 points, the Crimson would never trail after a layup from senior Zena Edosomwan midway through the first half put Harvard up for good.

In a matchup in which 17 of the Crimson’s players saw the floor, Harvard would largely dominate the visiting Bison en route to its fifth straight win.

AIKEN & CO. CARRY THE CRIMSON

Harvard’s freshman would combine for 48 of the Crimson’s 67 points and the Crimson’s offense got it going late in the first half after Howard rallied to erase an early deficit.

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After a three from freshman Seth Towns gave Harvard a three-point advantage late in the first half, Aiken would either score or assist on the Crimson’s last 14 points in the first period to give Harvard an 11-point advantage at the half.

“I’ve just been taking what the defense gives me,” Aiken said. “I think my teammates put in terrific situations for me to be successful and I’ve been fortunate enough to knock down shots.”

Coming into last week’s matchup against Houston, Aiken was shooting 24 percent from beyond the arc. Over the last two games, however, he’s combined to go 10-of-16 from deep. On Friday, he went six-of-nine from three while adding two assists. On the season, he’s now shooting 36 percent from deep and is the Crimson’s leading scorer at 14.6 points per game.

Classmate Chris Lewis was the only other Harvard player in double digits with 10 points on four-of-six shooting from the field. He also pulled down seven rebounds. To add to the effort by the freshmen, Towns would add seven and classmate Henry Welsh would add six to cap off the standout night for the rookies.

“I think we really caught our flow in the second half. Bryce really helped us with his shooting and Zena really helped us with his rebounding,” Lewis said. “I think that’s what really helped us get into our groove and pace and extend our lead.”

DEFENSE WINS IT

After averaging 36 rebounds a game on the season, Harvard hit the glass on Friday night. The Crimson pulled down 46 rebounds to the Bison’s 35.

Leading the effort was Edosomwan, who pulled down a season-high 16 boards, six of which came on the offensive end. He also added eight points and two blocks on the night.

“I thought the post players really did a tremendous job for us tonight with rebounding and really just having a presence around the rim. I thought they set the tone really early,” head coach Tommy Amaker said. “I thought that was really key for us.”

Beyond the effort in the paint, Harvard was able to slow down a fast-paced Howard offense. The Bison was held to 22 points in the first half on 33-percent shooting.

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