National Basketball Association
Harvard 71, Georgetown 68
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Where: McDonough Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
# Tom Deneen, # Greg Evans, # Jeff Clark
Bryce Aiken scored 18 points as sixth-seeded Harvard posted a 71-68 victory over third-seeded Georgetown on Wednesday in the first round of the NIT in Washington.
Aiken helped seal the victory by going 8-for-8 from the free-throw line for the Crimson (19-11), who advance to face second-seeded North Carolina State on Sunday. The Wolfpack recorded an 84-78 victory over seventh-seeded Hofstra on Tuesday.
Robert Baker and Noah Kirkwood each chipped in with 11 points for Harvard, which tied Yale for the Ivy League regular-season championship before falling to the Bulldogs in the tournament title game.
Jesse Govan scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and Big East Freshman of the Year James Akinjo added 15 for the Hoyas (19-14), who were playing in their first postseason game since 2015.
Aiken drilled a step-back jumper to give Harvard a 67-65 lead with 1:34 remaining and his quick dribbling ability drew a foul on Akinjo and resulted in a pair of free throws.
Govan answered with a quick 3-pointer to trim the deficit to one, but Aiken drew yet another foul on Akinjo and made two more from the free-throw line to build a 71-68 lead for Harvard with 14.8 seconds remaining.
Govan, who made four 3-point field goals in the game, couldn't connect on a last-gasp effort with 0.8 seconds left on the clock.
The teams found their stroke from 3-point range to begin the second half after going 1-for-18 in the first 20 minutes. Harvard's Justin Bassey connected from beyond the arc on its first possession to give the Crimson a 38-36 lead, but Bovan made three straight 3-point attempts to forge a tie at 45.
Mac McClung's layup, Akinjo's jumper and LeBlanc's tip-in allowed Georgetown to gain a bit of breathing room and claim a 54-49 advantage with eight minutes expired in the second half.
Baker drained a pair of 3-pointers and Bassey added a pair of layups to highlight a 12-2 run as the Crimson claimed a 61-56 lead, only to see the Hoyas overcome a pronounced field-goal drought to regain the advantage on LeBlanc's runner in the lane with 3:46 remaining in the second half.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Bryce Aiken 18
Jessie Govan 25
Noah Kirkwood 7
James Akinjo 4
Justin Bassey 6
Josh LeBlanc 7
Bryce Aiken 8
||Free Throws Made
Jessie Govan 7
Bryce Aiken 2
James Akinjo 4
Robert Baker 1
Jamorko Pickett 1
Team Stats Summary