Men’s Basketball Outlasts Columbia in Double OT

Noah Kirkwood action photo
Photo Courtesy: Erica Denhoff.
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's basketball outlasted Columbia in double overtime on Saturday, 77-73, inside Lavietes Pavilion to sweep its two-game weekend homestand. The win moved the Crimson to 16-7 and 5-3 in the Ivy League, while the Lions dropped to 6-18 (1-7 Ivy).

A season after playing a triple-overtime home game against Columbia, the teams got together for just two extra sessions this time around.

Harvard appeared to be on its way to victory when Rio Haskett flew through the paint to slam home a Christian Juzang missed three-point attempt, putting the Crimson ahead, 53-47, with 3:15 to go in the second half. Columbia, however, finished the frame on a 6-0 run despite a Juzang three-point look with six seconds left, leaving the score deadlocked at 53.

The Crimson opened the first overtime on a 7-2 run to take a 60-55 advantage, this time with 2:13 left only to have the Lions make another run. The visitors moved ahead, 62-60, on a Mike Smith triple, but Justin Bassey leveled the score at 62 with 10 seconds left after getting an offensive rebound off a missed three-pointer. Smith missed a trey with six seconds left, pushing the game to 2OT.

Once the action resumed, Columbia twice took a three-point lead in the first 2:49, but Chris Lewis took a feed from Juzang, made the bucket, got fouled and converted the three-point play, tying the score at 69. Harvard got a defensive stop on the other end and Noah Kirkwood hit a go-ahead step-back three with 1:11 left, giving the Crimson a lead it would not relinquish despite a pair of Smith layups in the final eight seconds.

Kirkwood led Harvard with a career-high 22 points and a personal-best 10 rebounds, and Lewis added 16 points, a game-high 11 rebounds, three blocked shots and a career-high four steals. Juzang chipped in with 10 points and five assists.

Harvard Notes
• Harvard moves to 16-7 on the season, its best record through 23 games since the 2016-17 campaign.
• The Crimson keeps its perfect home record intact, improving to 8-0 in 2019-20, and extending its home winning streak to 10 games, a streak that dates to last season.
• Harvard has won four straight games against Columbia.
Chris Lewis recorded his 16th double-figure scoring game of the season and posted his first double-double of the campaign (6th career).
Noah Kirkwood extended his season-best double-digit scoring streak to seven games (16 this season) and logged his first double-double of the year (2nd career). 

Up Next
Harvard returns to action on Friday when it plays host to Princeton. Game time is set for 7 p.m., with the contest airing on ESPN+.