Providence, Rhode Island – 23rd-ranked Harvard had all it could handle against an energized Brown team before pulling away for a 68-59 Ivy League win over the Bears before a sellout crowd of 2,005 at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
The win gives the nationally ranked Crimson an 18-2 record overall, 4-0 in Ivy play, while Brown falls to 7-14, 1-3 in the Ivy League.
Brown had balanced scoring with all five starters scoring in double figures. Junior guard Stephen Albrecht and junior forward Andrew McCarthy led the way with 13 points each, with Albrecht scoring all of his points in the first half, and McCarthy grabbing six rebounds to go with his 13 points.
Junior guard Matt Sullivan had 12 points, sophomore guard Sean McGonagill added 11 points and seven rebounds, and sophomore forward Dockery Walker chipped in with 10 points and 7 rebounds for the Bears.
Harvard forward Kyle Casey led all scorers with 20 points, on 9 of 15 shooting from the field, while pulling down 8 rebounds. Crimson guard Brandyn Curry added 15 points, mostly from the free throw line, where he connected on 8 of 9 attempts. Forward Keith Wright just missed a double-double for Harvard with 9 points and a game high 11 rebounds.
The Crimson came out strong and built an early 15-5 lead following a lay-up by Jonah Travis with 14:24 left in the half.
A trey by Albrecht and a lay-up by Sullivan settled the Bears down and brought Brown to within five points, 15-10, at the 13:00 mark.
Albrecht connected on his third trey of the game and pulled the Bears to within 17-15 of the Crimson. Harvard went back up by seven points with 2:56 left in the half on a Curry free throw.
Brown rallied once again and trailed by two points, 29-27, after a lay-up by junior Andrew McCarthy with 1:14 left in the half. Two free throws by Curry gave the Crimson a 31-27 lead at the half.
Harvard took control of the game in the opening minutes of the second half, outscoring the Bears 11-0 to open up a 42-27 lead on a trey by Laurent Rivard at the 15:50 mark.
The Bears clawed back and trailed by eight, 47-39, on a Dockery Walker lay-up with nine minutes left in the game. But that was as close as the Bears would get for the remainder of the game.
Brown returns to action again next Friday and Saturday, February 3rd and 4th, against Penn and Princeton, at the Pizzitola Sports Center.