No. 6 Harvard registered the first win for an Ivy League team in the NIT in 17 years courtesy of a balanced scoring effort, turning in a 71-68 win at Georgetown.
Despite trailing 54-49 with 11:52 to play, the Crimson (19-11) fought back, overcoming a 5-for-24 (20.8 percent) shooting effort from deep at McDonough Arena for their postseason win since 2014, when the Crimson upset Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament.
A jumper by junior guard Bryce Aiken gave Harvard a 67-65 edge with 90 seconds left that it wouldn’t relinquish, and Aiken subsequently hit four free throws to ensure the win, clinched when a Jesse Govan would-be game-tying three missed the mark with seven seconds left and the Crimson couldn’t muster another good look afterward.
Aiken led Harvard with 18 points on 4-for-9 shooting from the field and an 8-for-8 showing from the foul line. Junior center Robert Baker’s eight second-half points (he had 11 for the game) were key.
Govan led Georgetown (19-14) with 25 points in 24 minutes of play.
Four players – Aiken, Baker, Noah Kirkwood and Chris Lewis – scored in double figures for the Crimson, who also got a boost from senior Weisner Perez, who started and posted five points and four rebounds in the game’s first 3:15 to power Harvard to a 11-4 lead at that point.
No. 6 Harvard will travel to No. 2 NC State for a NIT second-round matchup on Sun., Mar. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.