On senior night, it was Brown’s senior sharpshooter Zach Hunsaker who stole the show at Lavietes Pavilion, snapping the Crimson's six game winning streak and sending Harvard to its first home defeat of the season.
Harvard held serve at home, edging Princeton and then Penn in tight games to avenge losses at the stadiums of the southernmost Ancient Eight schools and improve to 7-3 in league play, two games ahead of the fifth-best Quakers. Here are some takeaways from a crucial home sweep.
Five teams in the Ivy League are 5-3 or better. All five have reasonable hopes of challenging not only for a spot in the tournament but for at least a share of an Ancient Eight championship. Drama should abound these last three weeks, starting in Cambridge this weekend, where Harvard will welcome Penn and Princeton.
Harvard again entered a home matchup against one-win Columbia as a substantial favorite. But as was the case in both meetings last year, this was the furthest thing from a walk in the park for Harvard, which edged past the Lions 77-73 in double overtime.
The free throw seemed like a formality, the next blow in what felt destined to become a crushing Harvard loss. But the Crimson’s streak of heartbreaking defeats would not reach three, as Azar Swain’s would-be game-tying free throw clanged off the front rim and out, allowing Harvard to escape Payne Whitney Gymnasium with a 78-77 victory on Friday evening.
Chris Lewis blocked the first attempt. The second did not even reach the rim. But just when it seemed like Harvard might have improbably salvaged a weekend split, Princeton center Richmond Aririguzoh had other ideas.
Anyone who has watched the Harvard men’s basketball team play over the last three years has probably quickly noticed Rio Haskett. While Haskett’s numbers rarely jump off the page, the 6’3” junior has been a key part of Coach Tommy Amaker’s rotation since the day he stepped on campus thanks to his knack for hounding opposing ball-handlers and providing a spark and some flair off the bench.
Harvard men’s basketball closed an up-and-down first month of its season in style, cruising past Massachusetts 89-55 at Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday in its last game for two weeks. Sophomore Noah Kirkwood and senior Robert Baker led the way with an efficient 19 points apiece.
Harvard men’s basketball crushed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 84-27 in its season opener Tuesday night, a margin of victory that tied a program record set in 1946 against Northeastern.
In some ways, the seniors have fulfilled all of the expectations that were placed on the group, which 247 Sports’ Composite Team Rankings regarded as the 25th-best recruiting class in the nation. They have won at least a share of the Ivy League title in consecutive years and last season advanced to the second round of the NIT for the first time in program history. But one achievement is missing: an NCAA Tournament appearance.