Harvard 78, Boston College 69: Eagles' Ivy League Woes Continue

Harvard's Laurent Rivard scored a game-high 23 points as the Crimson defeated in-town rival Boston College, 78-69, for the third consecutive time on Wednesday night at Conte Forum. Harvard made 23-of-24 free throws while the Eagles only managed to sink 4-of-8 free throws in the loss. Read more at BC Interruption.

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Harvard 78, Boston College 69: Eagles' Ivy-League Woes Continue

CHESTNUT HILL - Something about Ivy League opponents always seems to bring out the worst in Boston College.

After losing an early-season contest to Yale, the Eagles struggled against Ivy League foe and in-town rival Harvard throughout the final 10 minutes of the first half and much of the second half.

BC was able to hang around for most of the game, but in crunch time, the Eagles just couldn't get the job done.

Harvard's Laurent Rivard scored a game-high 23 points as the Crimson defeated in-town rival Boston College, 78-69, for the third consecutive time on Wednesday night at Conte Forum.

"I though Harvard played a terrific basketball game," said Boston College head coach Steve Donahue. "I thought they persevered through possessions, grinded it out when they had to. They're just a real good, experienced basketball team."

After shooting 37.5% from the floor in the first half, Harvard made 50% of its shots (16-of-32) in the second half. The Crimson were nearly perfect from the free-throw line, sinking 23-of-24 shots from the charity stride.

"We have familiarity with winning here, and that certainly that doesn't hurt us," said Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker. "We've been playing well, practicing well. I think our kids are confident."

Rivard, who entered the game ranked second in the country in free-throw shooting at 96.7% (29-of-30), made all six of his free-throw attempts and shot 46.6% from the field.

The Crimson had five players score in double-digits. Keith Wright added 15 points, Christian Webster added 13 points, Oliver McNally scored 12 points and Brandon Curry totaled 10 points and eight assists for Harvard.

Joe Trapani led the Eagles with 21 points and five assists. Reggie Jackson totaled 18 points, five assists and seven rebounds and Corey Raji added 12 points and six rebounds for BC.

"I feel like we just came out almost like we were just trying to beat Harvard on our own," Trapani said. "That obviously hasn't worked in the past and we kind of got away from what has made us successful."

Boston College (11-4) opened the game on a 12-4 run and led 22-15 with nearly ten minutes left in the opening half. Yet Harvard (10-3) remained persistent, closing out the half on an 18-7 run to take a 33-29 lead into halftime.

"We weren't able to match their mental toughness, and obviously we didn't play our game in the first half," said Trapani.

The Crimson didn't let up in the opening minutes of the second half, building their lead to 41-36 with 16:48 remaining in the half. BC trimmed the lead to 45-44 on Trapani's layup with 12:26 to go.

But once again, Harvard had an answer for the Eagles' run, as Wright's dunked over Trapani with 12:14 left started a 9-0 run for the Crimson, giving them a 54-44 advantage at the ten minute mark. 

Boston College made the game interesting in the end, trimming the deficit to 70-65 with 2:11 left. Trailing 70-59 with 3:51 left, BC used a 6-0 run to bring the game within five with 2:11 left. Yet again, Harvard held off the Eagles surge for the final time, using an 8-4 run to close the door on BC. 

"We didn't play a great game, and they obviously had something to do with it," Donahue said. "They're a good basketball team. They were definitely the better team tonight, and we've got to learn from it and move forward."

The Eagles finished the game 29-for-57 from the field (50.9%) and 7-for-18 from three-point range (38.9%). Harvard made 25-of-56 field goals (44.6%) and 5-of-15 threes (33.3%) in the win.

BC amassed 29 rebounds, 18 assists, seven steals and had 14 turnovers while Harvard totaled 31 rebounds, 14 assists, three steals and 10 turnovers.

Boston College resumes ACC play on Saturday when it hosts Georgia Tech at 4 p.m. EST. Harvard travels to face Dartmouth in a matinée match-up on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST.

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Harvard Vs. Boston College: Crimson Lead Eagles 33-29 At Halftime

CHESTNUT HILL - Laurent Rivard scored a game-high 11 points in the first half as Harvard took a 33-29 lead over Boston College into the break on Wednesday night at Conte Forum.

Keith Wright scored eight points and Kyle Casey added five points for the Crimson. Reggie Jackson led Boston College with 10 points. Corey Raji scored seven points and Joe Trapani added five points for the Eagles.

Boston College opened the game on a 12-4 run and held a 22-15 advantage with 10:29 left in the first half. The Crimson responded with an 11-4 run to tie the game at 26 on a free throw with 4:37 remaining before taking a four point lead into the intermission.

Boston College made 11-of-21 shots and 4-of-6 three pointers while Harvard connected on 9-of-24 field goals and 2-of-8 threes.

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Harvard Vs. Boston College: Greetings From Conte Forum

CHESTNUT HILL - It's good to be back at Conte Forum, and I know the Eagles men's basketball team feels the same way. Boston College has an impressive 6-1 at home this season heading into tonight's match-up against in-town foe Harvard.

Unfortunately, their lone loss at home came against an Ivy League team (Yale).

Harvard has won the past two meetings against the Eagles at Conte Forum, both of which came under head coach Tommy Amaker, who is one of the best coaches in the Ivy League.

Luckily for Boston College, it has an ace in the hole against Ivy League foes: head coach Steve Donahue. Donahue faced the Crimson a total of 20 times as a head coach in the Ivy League and has a 12-8 record.

After the Eagles' unexpected loss to Yale, Donahue and company won't let their guard down against this Ivy League squad. For that reason alone, expect the Eagles to cruise past the Crimson.

PREDICTION: Boston College 79, Harvard 65 - The Eagles have certainly been playing solid basketball as of late, and they should continue to do so on Wednesday night. Expect for Reggie Jackson, Joe Trapani and Biko Paris to find their shooting stride early. If all three can get in a groove at once, Harvard has no chance of winning.

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Harvard Vs. Boston College: Eagles Host Crimson At Conte Forum

Boston College and Harvard aren't exactly storied rivals, but the Crimson have matched up very well with the Eagles in their past few seasons.

The Eagles look to avenge their 74-67 loss to Harvard last season when they host the Crimson at Conte Forum Wednesday night at 7 p.m. EST (WEEI).

The first meeting between the two in-town foes was in the 1905-06 campaign, and the Eagles lead the all-time series, 32-11. Harvard currently holds a two-game winning streak against the Eagles, as they also defeated Boston College 82-70 in 2008.

The last time the Eagles defeated the Crimson was Dec. 22, 2006, when BC, which was then ranked No. 14 in the country, posted an 89-55 victory. Jared Dudley had 16 points and eight rebounds in the win.

Boston College (11-3) is coming off an impressive 85-70 win over SEC opponent South Carolina on New Year's Day. Joe Trapani scored a game-high 23 points and also had 10 rebounds and Biko Paris added 18 points for the Eagles.

With the win, the Eagles have won eight of their last nine games and ten of their last twelve. Boston College had its seven game winning streak snapped by Rhode Island in Kingston following the Running Rams surprising 67-65 win.

Reggie Jackson, who scored 14 points in the win over South Carolina, continues to pace the Eagles, averaging 18.5 points, 4.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Trapani is BC's second-leading scorer, averaging 14 points, and also averages 6.3 rebounds per game.

Corey Raji is third in scoring, averaging 11.8 points, and leads the team in rebounding with 6.8 boards per contest. Biko Paris is the only other Eagles player to average double-digit scoring, averaging 11.4 points.

Harvard (9-3) is riding a two-game winning streak and has won four of its last six games. The Crimson defeated in-town rival MIT 84-58 on December 31st behind Laurent Rivard's 17-point performance. Keith Wright had his fifth double-double of the season in the Harvard victory, amassing 15 points and 13 rebounds.

The Crimson lost their first game of the season 66-53 against George Mason but responded with five straight wins against Holy Cross, Mercer, Bryant, Colorado and Fordham, respectively. Harvard's winning streak was snapped by a 65-62 loss to Michigan, but the Crimson then rattled off back-to-back wins against Worcester Tech and Boston University.

In their next game against No. 4 Connecticut, the Crimson were dismantled 81-52. Keith Wright had a team-high 18 points and seven rebounds in the loss for Harvard, which shot an embarrassing 30% from the field.

Nevertheless, Harvard regained its composure and defeated Monmouth on December 29th and MIT two days later.

Wright leads the team in scoring (14.9 points per game) and rebounds (8.8  boards per game). Christian Webster is right behind Wright in the scoring department, averaging 14.5 points per contest. Rivard is the only other player to average double-digit scoring for the Crimson, scoring 11.8 points per game.

Eagles head coach Steve Donahue is very familiar with Harvard, which is a member of the Ivy League. Donahue faced Harvard twenty times as the head coach of Cornell's men's basketball team from 2000-2010 before joining Boston College.

Here's a complete look at Donahue's record as a head coach at Cornell against  the Harvard Crimson.

  • Harvard 65, Cornell 67 - Friday, February 2, 2001
  • Harvard 93, Cornell 84  - Saturday, March 3, 2001
  • Cornell 63, Harvard 62 - Saturday, February 9, 2002
  • Harvard 55, Cornell 46 - Friday, February 22, 2002
  • Cornell 82, Harvard 69 - Saturday, February 15, 2003
  • Cornell 68, Harvard 63 - Friday, February 23, 2003
  • Cornell 91, Harvard 79 - Friday, January 30, 2004
  • Harvard 81, Cornell 78 - Saturday, February 21, 2004
  • Harvard 74, Cornell 65 - Saturday, January 29, 2005
  • Cornell 67, Harvard 63 - Saturday, February 19, 2005
  • Cornell 79, Harvard 77 - Saturday, February 4, 2006
  • Cornell 71, Harvard 44 - Friday, March 3, 2006
  • Harvard 65, Cornell 64 - Saturday, February 3, 2007
  • Harvard 85, Cornell 79 - Friday, March 2, 2007
  • Cornell 72, Harvard 71 - Friday, February 15, 2008
  • Cornell 86, Harvard 52 - Saturday, March 1, 2008
  • Cornell 96, Harvard 75 - Friday, February 13, 2009
  • Harvard 71, Cornell 70 - Saturday, February 28, 2009
  • Cornell 86, Harvard 50 - Saturday, January 30, 2010
  • Cornell 79, Harvard 70 - Friday, February 19, 2010
Steve Donahue's Record Against Harvard - 12 wins, 8 losses.

 

Following Wednesday night's game, Boston College will face 15 ACC opponents in its final 15 games. The Eagles, who are 1-0 in conference play, will pick up their ACC schedule on Saturday, January 8th when they host Georgia Tech.
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