Harvard University used defense and perfect late free throw shooting for a 46-41 victory against No. 22 Florida State University today in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.
Harvard (5-0) got five points and a game-high eight rebounds from last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, Keith Wright, and nine points from guard Oliver McNally. It was the Crimson’s second victory over a ranked opponent, and first since Jan. 7, 2009, an 82-70 victory against Boston College, at the time No. 17 in the AP poll.
The Crimson held Florida State (5-1) to 17 of 47 shooting and a season-low 41 points. Harvard hit all six of its free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, but it was a gritty, grimy game,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said in a televised interview. “I’m very proud and pleased with the effort here tonight.”
Harvard, a preseason favorite to win the Ivy League this year, lost to Princeton University in a one-game playoff for the conference title last season. The Crimson have not played in the year-end National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament since 1946.
Harvard will face the University of Central Florida tomorrow in the tournament finale. The unranked Knights beat No. 4 Connecticut earlier today 68-63.
-- Editor: Rob Gloster