Justin Bassey scored 16 points and Harvard ripped off an 11-0 run in the second half to earn a 62-51 win over Texas A&M on Thursday in a quarterfinal game of the Orlando Invitational at Walt Disney World.
Bryce Aiken added 15 for the Crimson (5-2), which meet Maryland in the semifinals Friday, and Chris Lewis chipped in 10 points to go along with six rebounds. Harvard hit just 32.1 percent from the field, but canned all 22 of its foul shots, including 20 in the second half.
Wendell Mitchell scored a game-high 17 points for the Aggies (3-2), but sank only 6 of 16 field goal tries. Savion Flagg contributed 12 points and six rebounds, and Josh Nebo added 10 points. Texas A&M shot 31.4 percent from the field and made just 5 of 20 from the 3-point line.
Trailing 31-27 with 14:56 left after Jay Jay Chandler scored in transition, the Crimson made their game-changing run. Bassey’s free throws tied the score and Danilo Djuricic put Harvard ahead for good by sinking a 3-pointer with 12:52 remaining.
Both teams struggled in the first half. Texas A&M missed 15 of its first 16 field-goal attempts and Harvard wasn’t much better, consistently failing to convert open looks. But the Crimson made enough to open up a 15-6 lead at the 8:56 mark on a jumper by Djuricic.
Harvard still owned a nine-point advantage with 5:01 left in the first half when Rio Haskett sank a layup, but the Aggies closed the first half strong, allowing just two points after Haskett’s hoop. When Flagg sank both ends of a one-and-one with 0.4 seconds remaining, A&M went to the locker room down just 22-18.
The shooting numbers were downright ugly. The Aggies ended the first half at only 5 of 26 from the field and 2 of 12 on 3-pointers, while the Crimson were 9 of 29 from the floor and 2 of 16 from 3.
—Field Level Media