Playing in his final game in a Harvard uniform against visiting Brown this past Saturday (Jan. 27), hugely productive big man Brian Cusworth ’07 fouled out with just 1:34 remaining. With Cusworth tied to the bench, the Bears wasted little time exploiting the shot-blocking tyrant’s absence, cutting an 81-75 deficit to a two-point differential with :08 on the clock.
Fittingly though, in an evening marked by a pregame ceremony and a pair of standing ovations for the outgoing Cusworth (graduating this winter with a degree in biology), the Crimson ultimately presented their teammate with one last tribute, a 92-88 victory against a feisty Ivy foe.
Not that it was easy.
Despite forging a 14-point lead on a blistering 14-of-20 shooting effort in the second half, the Crimson committed eight turnovers (to Brown’s five). That, combined with the Bear’s own hot shooting (16-of-28), allowed the visitors to narrow the gap to six on several occasions, and eventually – at :08- to 90-88. After the obligatory foul, however, Harvard’s Brad Unger ’08 coolly responded with a pair of free throws to deep-freeze the Bears for good.
Lending huge hands in the win, backcourt duo Drew Housman ’09 and Jim Goffredo ’07 poured in 10 and 20 points, respectively.
Housman, meanwhile, dished out seven helpers on the evening while Goffredo knocked down half of his eight 3-point tries. At the forward position, exciting sophomore Evan Harris nailed all eight of his tries from the charity stripe en route to an 18-point outing.
In his finale, Cusworth tallied six boards and 19 points (including 4-of-4 from the line and a 3-pointer). Meanwhile, his three blocked shots on the evening served to raise his career total to 147 – an all-time Harvard record. In the hustle department, the 7-footer also drew a handful of charging calls with Bill Laimbeer flair. Taken together with his career high 28-point performance in a losing effort against Yale on Friday (Jan. 26), the Ivy League crowned Cusworth its player of the week on Jan. 29.
With the win over Brown, Harvard evens its record to 9-9 overall (2-2 Ivy). Currently tied for fourth place in the Ancient Eight with Hanover’s Big Green, the Crimson play host to Columbia and Cornell this Friday (Feb. 2) and Saturday (Feb. 3), respectively. Opening tip-off for both contests is 7 p.m. For the latest, visit http://www.gocrimson.com.