After three straight losses, the Yale men’s basketball team was desperate for a win Saturday night. But a road trip to Harvard, the second-place team in the Ivy League, was not conducive to getting back on track.
Yale (14–10, 6–5 Ivy) lost 77–64 in a game that mirrored the two teams first meeting in New Haven. The Bulldogs had an opportunity to put the game away in the first half, but took a narrow lead into the locker room. Forward Sam Downey ’17 dominated in the first half but Harvard’s (17–7, 9–2) dynamic offense and the fire-power of Crimson guard Bryce Aiken proved too much for Yale.
Harvard came out for the opening tipoff firing on all cylinders, jumping out to an early 18–10 lead. Yale clawed its way back into the game by stepping up its defense and getting several stops. A few minutes later the Bulldogs went on a 12–0 run to take a 28–22 lead.
Yale had an opportunity take all the momentum out of a packed crowd at Lavietes Pavillion, but struggled in the following few minutes. Harvard guard Bryce Aiken found his stride with 5:04 to play in the half, scoring Harvard’s next five points.
The Bulldogs took a 34–31 lead into halftime. Downey nearly had a double-double in the first half, notching 10 points and nine rebounds. Downey has been Yale’s best weapon against Harvard this year as the senior recorded a first-half double-double the first time the teams met.
Guard Alex Copeland ’19 also led the Elis with 10 points, driving to the rim as usual to provide some energy for the visitors.
Both teams went to halftime having hit 13 of their 29 field goals. Yale’s advantage came on the glass, where the Bulldogs grabbed 13 more first half rebounds than their opponents.
Harvard opened the second half on a 15–4 run and the Crimson never looked back. Although forward Chris Lewis picked up his fourth foul with over 12 minutes to play, his teammates seemed unaffected.
Aiken finished with 22 points while going 5–8 from beyond the arc. Fourteen of the freshman’s points came in the second half, as did 13 of forward Seth Towns’ 18.
Copeland was the high man for Yale with 20 in the 77–64 loss.
The Bulldogs travel to Hanover for a 7 p.m. clash tomorrow with Dartmouth.