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BOSTON - Kyle Casey led all scorers with 20 points and Laurent Rivard added 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting as the Harvard Crimson cruised past the Boston U. Terriers, 76-52, on Saturday afternoon at Agganis Arena.
Harvard improved to 9-1 overall after losing its first game of the season to UConn on Thursday night. Boston University, which had not played a game at Agganis Arena since defeating Stony Brook to win the America East title last March.
"Certainly pleased with a tremendous effort by our team knowing that we were going to face a tough ball club," said Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker. "We have a lot of respect for what coach [Joe] Jones is doing and certainly the strength of their perimeter players and how active and aggressive they can be."
Christian Webster scored 14 points - 12 of which came in the first half - for Harvard, which made 27-of-49 field goals (55.1 percent shooting) and shot a sizzling 60.0 percent from three-point range (9-for-15). The Crimson had 19 assists and eight blocks while limiting the Terriers to eight assists and forcing nine turnovers.
"I was very pleased with our defense. I thought our defense was as good or better than we've played all year. We've been playing some really, really good defensive basketball. Certainly helps when you can make a few shots, and [Casey and Rivard] obviously were tremendous with burying some shots they had inside and out."
Darryl Partin, the Terriers' leading scorer, struggled all throughout the game and finished with a team-high 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting. Patrick Hazel finished with 10 points, Malik Thomas had eight points and D.J. Irving totaled four points and five assists for BU, which shot 30.9 percent (17-for-55 in the loss).
"I think we have to keep getting better, to be honest with you," said BU head coach Joe Jones. "We're at a stage right now where, when we're playing a team of this caliber, there are definitely some moments that we can play. We have to learn to sustain it. I thought going into this game, if we were able to be mentally and physically tough for 40 minutes, we would have had a better chance to put ourselves in position to win, and we just didn't do that."
The Terriers (4-6) played the Crimson very evenly through the first 13 minutes of the game, with the score locked at 18-18 with 7:37 remaining in the first half. Harvard proceeded to put the game out of reach, going on a 19-1 run to close out the half with a 37-21 lead, during which Rivard scored nine points on three three-pointers.
"I thought we were locked in fairly well," Amaker said regarding his team's big run in the first half. "We knew coming in, especially against their perimeter players with Irving and Partin and the kids that they have on the perimeter it was going to be tough for us, but I was very pleased with our team effort - not just our appropriate players guarding their individual assignments, but the help that Kyle [Case] and Keith [Wright] and different guys were giving and making things very difficult for them."
The second half offered no relief for BU, which fell behind by as many as 29 points - 70-41 with 3:15 to play - before ultimately losing. BU returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 13 against Villanova while Harvard is off until Thursday, Dec. 22 for exams and will resume its schedule with a home game against Florida Atlantic.