It was a gritty effort right until the end on Friday night.
In a game that saw neither team lead by more than three possessions, Harvard ultimately came out on top against a visiting Brown squad at Lavietes Pavilion. Though the Crimson would lead for nearly the entire contest, neither club could seem to find its way offensively, as the Bears shot 38 percent on the night while Harvard would hardly best that mark, shooting 40 percent from the field.
Behind a career-high 21 points from sophomore guard Christian Juzang, though, the Crimson edged out Brown, 65-58. The 58 points were a season-low scoring total for the Bears.
“Coach says do whatever it takes to win, whether it means scoring zero points or, tonight, 21 points,” Juzang said. “It doesn’t really matter to me, it’s just picking your spots and making the right play and doing whatever it takes to win, tonight it just happened to be a lot of points.”
Though the Crimson would struggle at the line for much of the night, a pair of made free throws from Juzang and another set from sophomore forward Seth towns would ice the game late as Harvard earned its eighth win in conference.
DEFENSE WINS IT
Despite Brown coming off of a 91-point effort against Columbia the week before, Harvard’s defense slowed down Brown’s league-leading offense early and often.
Through the first frame, the hosts held the Bears’ high-scoring offense to just 25 points on 34 percent shooting from the field.
Despite slowing down Brown’s offense, the Crimson also struggled to find the bottom of the net, shooting 30 percent through the first frame. Behind a strong effort on the offensive glass and timely threes from Juzang and Towns, however, Harvard held onto an early lead.
“Both teams I thought struggled to get any kind of rhythm.” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. “I thought it was pretty obvious that neither team could get into a nice flow and rhythm, we had a few moments where we had a two-possession cushion and then could never really push it much further”
Tasked with defending Brown freshman guard Desmond Cambridge—the second-leading scorer in the conference—sophomore guard Justin Bassey came through for the Crimson on the defensive end.
After dropping a game-high 23 points in his team’s win against the Lions last week, Cambridge was held to just 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting from the field—the freshman’s lowest scoring total in nearly a month. With Bassey defending him for much of the contest, the Nashville native also struggled from beyond the arc, going just one-of-eight on the night.
“Justin’s a tough kid and he gets that assignment every game, the top offensive player on the perimeter,” Amaker said. “Just a tremendous effort from him with all the guys we have to go against and every time that he’s effective like he is against these kind of really good scorers, our chances increase dramatically to have a chance to win.”
The Crimson defense has held opponents to a league-best 66.5 points per game, a mark good for 44th best in the nation.
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Men's Basketball Drops Road Contest to Manhattan
Notebook: Men's Basketball Has Historic Night from Three But Falls at ColumbiaDespite a career-high 31 points from sophomore forward Seth Towns, Harvard fell 83-76 against Columbia at Levien Gymnasium on Friday night. After jumping out to a 15-point lead behind a flood of early three-pointers, the Crimson defense gave up a 48-point second half to the Lions.
Notebook: Free Throws, Team Play Power Basketball Past CornellIn a season that’s seen plenty of notable individual performances from players such as Towns, Lewis, and a now injured Bryce Aiken, Saturday’s win for Harvard came from an all-around balanced effort.