Rapid Reaction: Harvard 61, Columbia 42

February, 19, 2011
2/19/11
8:43
PM ET
NEW YORK -- A quick take on Columbia's 61-42 loss to Harvard on Saturday night at Levien Gymnasium in Morningside Heights:

WHAT IT MEANS: Columbia falls to 14-10 overall, and 5-5 in Ivy League play. Harvard improves to 20-4 overall, and 9-1 in Ivy League play. Coupled with Princeton's 75-65 loss at Brown earlier on Saturday, Harvard and Princeton are now even at one loss apiece in the conference.

Harvard now controls its own destiny. If the Crimson win their last four games, finishing up with a March 5 home date versus Princeton, Harvard will go to the Big Dance for the first time since 1946.

THE SKINNY: Harvard jumped out to a 9-0 lead in this one, as Columbia struggled offensively -- the Lions had just one field goal in the game's first nine minutes. The Crimson led by as many as 13, 29-16, but Columbia cut it to 29-20 at halftime.

Columbia never got back into it in the second half. Harvard cruised to victory, leading by as many as 22 after intermission.

GOT BALANCE: Harvard is a very balanced team offensively -- four players average double-figures in scoring, and six players average at least nine points per game. And the Crimson were very balanced on Saturday night -- four players finished in double figures, led by 6-foot-8 junior forward Keith Wright, who finished with 16 points.

Columbia did not have a single player in double figures. Brian Barbour and Max Craig had eight apiece, and leading scorer Noruwa Agho had seven.

BIG NUMBERS: Columbia was No. 39 in the country in rebounding margin, outboarding opponents by an average of 4.7 per game. But Harvard killed Columbia on the glass Saturday night, 36-18 -- helped in large part by the fact that the Lions shot the ball so poorly (16-for-47, 34 percent)

Also, Harvard is ranked No. 2 in the country in free throw percentage (79.7 percent), and the Crimson were perfect from the foul line against Columbia, 18-for-18.

WHAT'S NEXT: Columbia will play at Penn on Friday. Harvard will play at Brown on Friday.
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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