BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Laurent Rivard scored 19 points, and Wesley Saunders added 18, leading Harvard to a 67-62 victory Saturday night over California.
Harvard (7-4) won its third straight game and beat Cal (8-4) for the first time after dropping the first two meetings in the series
Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12’s leading scorer, scored a game-high 27 points for the Bears, while Justin Cobbs had 15 points and David Kravish 12. Richard Solomon had a career-high five blocked shots.
Harvard went 10-for-27 from long range, while the Bears missed all six of their shots from beyond the arc. The taller Bears outrebounded Harvard, but by a margin of just 34-33.
After Harvard built a 33-26 halftime lead, Cal opened the second half on a 10-5 run, cutting the lead to 38-36. But the Crimson answered with an 8-1 surge, increasing their lead to 46-37 with just over 12 minutes left.
Then it was Cal’s turn. It scored nine straight points and tied the game 46-46 on Crabbe’s 3-point play with 9:49 remaining.
A pair of Crabbe free throws made it 58-58 with 4:33 left, but Rivard drilled a 3-point shot from the right corner, giving Harvard a 61-58 lead with 2:43 to play. Crabbe countered with a pair of free throws, and Kravish made a reverse lay-in, putting Cal ahead 62-61 with 1:45 remaining.
Harvard moved back ahead 63-62 when Saunders drained a pair of free throws with just over a minute left. After Cobbs was called for an offensive foul with 56 seconds left, Harvard’s Siyani Chambers made two free throws with 16.9 seconds left, putting the Crimson ahead 65-62.
Then, after Cobbs turned the ball over, Rivard sank two free throws with 9.4 seconds left.
Harvard, as usual, opened the game with a four-guard lineup, with no starter taller than 6-6 forward Jonah Travis. That presented a matchup problem for the taller Bears, who started three guards, along with the 6-10 Solomon and the 6-9 Kravish.
The Bears had little depth in their backcourt because of injuries that sidelined reserve guards Ricky Kreklow (ankle) and Brandon Smith (concussion). Robert Thurman, a 6-10 forward, and 6-7 forward Jeff Powers—both walk-ons—were the first Bears off the bench. Cal backup forward Christian Behrens (knee) was also out with an injury.
Harvard built a 33-26 halftime lead, as Webster scored eight points, Rivard six and Chambers and Saunders five apiece.
The Crimson shot 35.3 percent from long range in the opening half, going 6-for-17, while Cal took only two 3-point shots and missed both.
Crabbe led Cal in the first half with 10 points, while Cobbs had eight and Kravish six.
Cal tied the game 24-24 with just over three minutes left in the half on Crabbe’s fast-break lay-in, but Harvard ended the half on a 9-2 run.
Kenyatta Smith popped a jump shot, and Webster made a pair of free throws, giving Harvard a 28-24 lead. After Crabbe made a spinning bank shot from the key, Chambers answered with a 3-point shot. Saunders capped the run with an acrobatic lay-in at the buzzer, dribbling end to end after a Cal turnover.