In the Crimson’s fourth game against a fellow Boston team, Harvard pushed its record to 5-1 overall and 5-0 at home with a scrappy (and interesting) win against Northeastern. After leading 16-4 just seven minutes into the game, Harvard allowed Northeastern to claw its way back. Second-chance opportunities burned the Crimson, accounting for 10 of Northeastern’s 22 first-half points. In the last 13 minutes of the first half, Harvard scored a mere 11 points. Given that Harvard was favored to win by eight points, its five-point lead going into the break should have felt encouraging, but considering Northeastern’s weak play, it was actually a disappointment.
The talent gap between the two teams was obvious (with Harvard holding the upper hand), yet the score did not come close to reflecting the large size of that gap. One possible reason: Harvard’s Wesley Saunders, one of the nation’s premier scorers, netted zero first-half points.
In the second half, the Crimson offense still seemed out of sync – as did Northeastern’s – but Saunders began to take control in spurts. As the second half progressed, Harvard slowly built its lead over a Northeastern team whose offense was cold and sloppy. When the buzzer sounded, Harvard walked off the court with a 60-46 victory. It wasn’t a thing of beauty, and no one gave a memorable performance, but a win is a win. Top performers included Wesley Saunders (10 points, five rebounds, three assists and a career-high five steals), Steve Moundou-Missi (eight points, seven rebounds), and Siyani Chambers (11 points, seven assists).
Next, the Crimson face a tough Vermont squad on the road on Saturday night. In that game, Harvard looks to keep pace (record-wise) with its Ivy League foes Yale (7-2) and Columbia (4-2) and to stay relevant in the national picture. UVM may present their toughest test of the season to date, but if the Crimson play up to their abilities, they will secure a hard-fought victory.