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Harvard Edges Yale 72-66

Javier Duren. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Javier Duren. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Duren, Townsend Score 15 Points Each To Pace Bulldogs

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Harvard's Christian Webster made only three field goals in Saturday's game with Yale. Each one, though, sure was significant. The result was a hard-fought 72-66 victory for the Crimson before a very enthusiastic crowd of the 2,139 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Webster's first trey came midway through the second half and pulled Harvard within two when it looked like the Bulldogs might be on the verge of pulling away.

Once Harvard regained the lead, Webster made sure the Crimson stayed in front. Twice he hit three-pointers in the final 5 minutes, 17 seconds to put Harvard ahead by five and break Yale's back.

Webster finished with 10 points and was one of five Crimson players to score in double figures. Steve Moundou-Missi led the way with 17 points, while Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers each scored 14. Laurent Rivard contributed 13 points.

Yale (11-16, 5-5 Ivy) put forth a valiant effort against the first-place Crimson. The Bulldogs shot 52.2 percent from the field and were 7-of-15 from three-point range.

"Our guys put their heart and soul on the line and came up just short," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball at Yale.

Javier Duren and Matt Townsend each scored 15 points to lead Yale. Justin Sears added 12 points off the bench.

"I'm proud of how we played," said Duren, who was 6-of-11 from the field and three assists and two steals in 25 minutes. "We just made some key mistakes down the stretch."

The atmosphere in the Amphitheater was electric from the start. Austin Morgan got the crowd energized when he hit a three-pointer five minutes in that gave the Bulldogs a 9-5 lead.

The Crimson, though, answered with a 13-4 run and built a 34-28 lead at halftime.

Saunders was dominant in the opening 20 minutes, going 5-of-5 from the field and scoring 12 of his 14 points.

Yale, though, rallied early in the second half. Duren's three-pointer with 12 minutes left gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the half, 49-46. Yale stretched the advantage to five on a Sears layup, but Webster then answered with his first three-pointer.

The final tie of the game was 56-56 with 7:44 left. The Crimson ran off the next five points, including Webster's second three, and never trailed the rest of the way.

Harvard (17-7 overall) improved to 9-1 in Ivy play with the victory.

NOTES: Morgan, who entered the weekend third in the nation in free throw percentage, missed his first foul shot of the night, snapping his streak of 33 consecutive makes. He finished 1-of-2… Yale outrebounded the Crimson 29-25… Harvard shot 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) from the field in both halves… The game was televised on the CBS Sports Network. Legendary broadcaster Don Criqui handled the play-by-play… It was Alumni Day in the Amphitheater and a number of former Yale players were in attendance and took part in the Alumni game earlier in the day… The Bulldogs are back on the road next weekend, traveling to Columbia on Friday and Cornell on Saturday. Both are 7 p.m. tip offs.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity