Cambridge, MA – The 55th matchup between the Harvard Crimson and the Northeastern University Huskies at Lavietes Pavillion promised a lot – and it delivered. Northeastern came away with an important road win, 81-71, their first victory of the season. Junior Jordan Roland, came off the bench to lead the Huskies with 35 points, including seven triples on 70 percent shooting, and 10-of-11 made free throws. Senior Vasa Pusica, who scored 31 points in the season opener against Boston University, settled for 10 points in this contest but knocked down five free throws down the stretch to close out the Crimson. Junior Donnel Gresham Jr., added 13 points and five assists. Harvard’s junior forward, Chris Lewis, had 17 points and four rebounds. Sophomore guard Rio Haskett added 15 points for the hosts.
The second half of this game was defined by hot shooting for both teams early, with neither team getting too far ahead of the other. Anthony Green opened the scoring in the second half with an easy slam to give the Huskies the lead. Justin Bassey got the Crimson started with a three, before Gresham answered him with a triple from the left corner. Tomas Murphy with a nice drop-step in the post, extended the Huskies lead to four. Christian Juzang responded with a three to bring the Crimson within one.
From this point on, Huskies’ guard Roland put on a shooting display. The junior added four threes to his already solid game in the second half to help put this game out of reach. He came off screens, hit a pull-up three, and hit a spot up three off a broken play. He had a couple of nice drives to the basket to help put his team comfortably in front. Amid Roland’s display, Harvard’s Lewis did everything in his ability to keep his team within striking distance. He connected on a pair of hook shots over Green, had a steal and slam, and made a free throw to complete a three-point play. Those three plays completed a 7-0 run that brought Harvard within one, 58-57, with 5:46 left.
Roland responded with five straight points for the Huskies, including his seventh three of the night. With the Huskies up three, inside the final three minutes, Roland found an open Green for an easy slam with 2:08 left. Following a defensive stop, Gresham stepped up for visitors and buried a game-sealing triple from the wing at the end of the shot clock. Harvard could never get closer than seven points over the final minute and a half.
Both teams displayed very good shooting nights. The Huskies shot 24-of-46 from the field including 13-for-23 from beyond the arc. Harvard made 26 of their 51 shot attempts with 11 makes on 23 attempts from downtown. With the win, Northeastern improves to 1-1, while Harvard also falls to 1-1 on the season.
This article was written by Nadav Boker, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can follow us on Facebook, or on twitter. We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout apprenticeship program. For information contact us and forward your resume.