Harvard and Vanderbilt played a scrappy first half with 21 made field goals and 13 turnovers. The Commodores had an advantage behind the three-point line and at the free throw line. Vandy made 5-9 from behind the arc compared to 3-10 for the Crimson. The Commodores were 6-9 at the charity stripe while Harvard was just 0-1. Harvard went cold from the field with 5:30 to play and an 16-3 run by Vandy allowed the Commodores to take a 33-23 lead into the halftime break.
Keith Wright led Harvard with four points as the Crimson's scoring was extremely balanced in the first frame. John Jenkins led Vanderbilt in scoring with 11 points in the first half. Brad Tinsley chipped in eight points for the Commodores.