BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Chris Lewis had 19 points and a career-high four blocked shots, and Harvard beat California 71-63 on Sunday.
Christian Juzang added 14 points including five free throws in the final four minutes to help the Crimson (9-4) to their fourth consecutive win and second straight over California.
Lewis made all seven of his shots and had an emphatic two-handed dunk late in the second half while anchoring Harvard’s offense, but it was the Crimson’s defense that made the difference for coach Tommy Amaker’s team. Harvard set a season-high with 11 blocks and held California to 35 % shooting.
Matt Bradley scored 15 points on 4-of-14 shooting for the Golden Bears. California (6-7) has lost three straight and five of six.
Harvard played without leading scorer Bryce Aiken for a second consecutive game. Aiken, who was limited to 18 games last season because of injuries, has been bothered by knee and calf issues throughout the year.
Lewis had six points in the first seven minutes to get Harvard out to an early lead. Robert Baker and Justin Bassey added 3-pointers, and Mason Forbes added a pair of free throws to put the Crimson ahead 31-18.
Harvard: The Crimson have spent much of the season on the road and have won their last three away from home. It wasn’t always pretty offensively as the team struggled to get much going when Lewis wasn’t scoring. But Harvard repeatedly got to loose balls, tipped passes and prevented California from getting much going.
California: The Bears ended their nonconference schedule with another loss. Instead of heading into Pac-12 play with some momentum, California goes in with plenty of questions left unanswered. The Bears desperately need to find another scorer to help Bradley, who tends to rush his shots when Cal is trailing.
Harvard: The Crimson stay in Nothern California and play at San Francisco on Monday. The Crimson are winless in three previous games against the Dons.
California: The Golden Bears begin their Pac-12 schedule at Stanford on Thursday. The Bears have won their last two games at Maples Pavilion.
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