Forbes Strong Play Leads Men’s Basketball Past Princeton, 61-60

Mason Forbes guards
Mason Forbes gave the Crimson the sparked it needed, coming off the bench to score 11 points and a career-high-tying four blocks. (Photo/Gil Talbot)
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's basketball picked up a hard-fought 61-60 victory over Princeton at Lavietes Pavilion on Friday night in front of a sold-out crowd. Mason Forbes supplied clutch plays down the stretch to help the Crimson (17-7, 6-3 Ivy) win its third straight contest.

Forbes, a sophomore from Folsom, California, came off the bench to score 11 points and tally a team- and career-high-tying four blocks to lead Harvard. One of those blocks proved to be the game-sealer as Forbes knocked a Princeton (11-11, 6-3 Ivy) shot out of the air with 12 ticks left to hold the score at 61-60. The one-point lead would be enough as Harvard survived to pick up a key Ivy League win.

The Crimson and the Tigers battled from the jump, trading small leads for the first 10 minutes of action. Sophomore Noah Kirkwood led the offensive charge early on, scoring seven of the team's first 19 points. Senior Chris Lewis took care of business on the defensive end in the first frame, picking up a pair of blocks and a steal to go along with his three rebounds.

Baskets from Robert Baker, Idan Tretout and Forbes sliced what was an eight-point Tiger lead and the Crimson went into halftime trailing, 34-30.

Senior guard Justin Bassey sparked the Harvard offense out of the locker room, as he scored five quick points to cut the Princeton lead to two. The Crimson finally retook the lead with help from senior Christian Juzang, who scored all of his team-high tying 11 points in the second period. His layup with 3:27 left gave Harvard a lead it would not surrender at 61-57.

The Harvard defensive unit came up big in the final minutes of the contest, holding Princeton to only three free throws and an 0-for-4 shooting clip in the final three minutes of action.

The win puts Harvard in a three-way tie for second place in the Ivy League, and keeps Harvard's perfect home record intact.

Harvard Notes 
• Harvard moves to 17-7 on the season, its best record through 24 games since the 2016-17 campaign and is two games better at this point than last year's squad.
• The Crimson keeps its perfect home record intact, improving to 9-0 in 2019-20, and extending its home winning streak to 11 games, a streak that dates to last season.
• Harvard snaps a three-game losing streak to the Tigers.
• The Crimson shot at a 56 percent clip in the second half
Chris Lewis, Harvard's all-time leading shot blocker, 13th multiple shot block game of the season.
Mason Forbes blocked career-high-tying four shots and has seven in his last two games. The sophomore also grabbed a career-high seven rebounds.

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