BOSTON (AP) — Justin Burrell scored 16 points, including a pair of free throws to give Holy Cross the lead with 2 minutes left on Sunday as the Crusaders beat No. 25 Harvard 58-57.
Wesley Saunders scored 24 with 12 rebounds for the Crimson (1-1), who were in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the first time in school history. But he missed a jumper in the lane as time expired that would have given Harvard the win.
Harvard point guard Siyani Chambers scored just one point and had six assists with nine of Harvard’s 24 turnovers, many of them against the Crusaders’ (1-0) full-court press.
Holy Cross scored the first eight points and led much of the game. But Harvard took the lead midway through the second half and held it until the final minutes.
Holy Cross led 40-33 with 15 minutes left, but Harvard scored 10 of the next 11 points, taking the lead when Corbin Miller hit a 3-pointer with just over 11 minutes to make it 43-41. Chambers found Andre Chatfield on the wing on a fast break for another 3, giving Harvard a five-point lead.
Harvard led 55-51 when Burrell scored from the lane. Malachi Alexander made one of two free throws, then Chambers turned the ball over and Burrell went to the line to sink two and give Holy Cross a 56-55 lead. Malcolm Miller, who scored 12 points, sank a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game.
Chambers found Steve Moundou-Missi on a dunk to cut the deficit to one, then Green missed a jumper after dribbling out most of the clock. Saunders brought the ball up and worked his way into the lane for a contested jumper that bounced to the floor as time expired.
Harvard: Saunders had 15 points and eight rebounds in the first half, the main reason Harvard was able to keep it close. The Crimson had 14 turnovers at the break, leading to 14 Holy Cross points. The starting forwards, Moundou-Missi and Jonah Travis, each had three fouls in the first half.
Holy Cross: The Crusaders had lost four of their last five openers. They played an exhibition game against Assumption on Nov. 7, and won 81-53.
Harvard: Florida Atlantic on Thursday.
Holy Cross: Brown on Wednesday.
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