STORRS, Conn. – Jeremy Lamb had 18 points and Andre Drummond added 12 on 6-for-7 shooting and No. 9 Connecticut beat No. 25 Harvard 67-53 on Thursday night, spoiling the Crimson's first game ever as a ranked team.
The Huskies (8-1) appeared ready to pull away twice, once in the first half when they went up nine points and again in the second when they went up by 16 points. But Harvard, the first team from the Ivy League to be in the Top 25 since Princeton in 1998, got back in the game by using its crisp passing attack and some solid work underneath.
Kyle Casey had 12 points to lead the Crimson (8-1), who were trying to start a season with nine straight wins for the time since the 1904-05 team opened 10-0. The last Ivy League team to start 9-0 was Columbia in 1969-70.
The Huskies used a 9-0 run to go up 28-19 with 6:44 left in the first half, but Harvard closed the half on a 9-2 run to get within 30-28. The Huskies didn't score over the final 5:18 of the half, missing five shots and committing two turnovers.
Connecticut turned it around quickly, opening the second half on a 9-2 run to re-establish the nine-point lead.
The run extended to 17-3 as the Huskies made seven of their first eight shots in the second half and a jumper in the lane by Lamb made it 47-31 with 12:18 to play.
Harvard, which missed 10 of its first 11 shots in the second half, went on an 8-0 run to get back in the game, but Drummond's fifth dunk of the game and a 3 by Lamb made it 52-39 with 8:44 to go. The Huskies managed to keep the lead to at least seven points the rest of the way.
Harvard made its first appearance in the rankings after winning the title at the Battle 4 Atlantis where they beat then-No. 24 Florida State. The Crimson couldn't make it two straight over a ranked team. They have two wins over ranked teams in their history.
Connecticut improved to 116-4 against New England nonconference opponents at home under coach Jim Calhoun. It was the Huskies' ninth straight win over a ranked team, seven of which came in their 11-game streak to close last season with the school's third national championship.
Connecticut is 15-2 all-time against Harvard. The Huskies won last season's meeting 81-52.