Don't look now, but the Northeastern Huskies have the potential to make some noise in the Colonial Athletic Association this upcoming winter.
Having already knocked off the likes of the 21st-ranked Miami Hurricanes, Northeastern improved their standing to 6-1 on the season on Wednesday night, dropping their rivals from across the Charles River, the Harvard Crimson, 80-71 in front of their home crowd at Matthews Arena in Boston.
Guard Quincy Ford piloted the Huskies efforts, recording 22 points on six-of-13 shooting, including four three-pointers, from the field to accompany his impressive 10 rebounds on the night.
Guard David Walker contributed 14 points and five rebounds to pace the starting squad, while forward Jeremy Miller (12 points on five-of-eight shooting, four rebounds) and guard Devon Begley (10 points on four-of-eight shooting) lead a productive cast of Northeastern reserves.
Despite fielding the defeat, the 2-5 Crimson shot an astounding 55% from the field, hitting on 31 of their 56 field goal attempts. Center Zena Edosomwan lead the charge with 18 points on nine-of-12 shooting in addition to his seven rebounds and four assists, while guard Patrick Steeves connected on six of his 10 attempts for 13 points and five boards.
Harvard forward Weisner Perez also enjoyed a successful shooting performance, knocking down five of his six shots for 13 points, while guard Tommy McCarthy lead the team in three-point makes with two en route to an eight-point showing.
Despite the excellent outing from the field, the Crimson struggled to rebound and maintain possession of the ball, signaling their downfall. Harvard coughed up the rock on 15 occasions compared to just 10 turnovers for the Huskies while being outrebounded on the glass by a margin of 38-30.
The Crimson struggled to rebound on both sides of the floor, garnering only five offensive boards while allowing 14 offensive rebounds to the Huskies, who shot 43% on the night.
The free-throw stripe also proved costly for Harvard, who connected on just three of their eight attempts compared to Northeastern's 14-for-17 performance from the line, as the Huskies were more proficient in drawing fouls and capitalizing on their free-throw chances once they stepped to the line.
The contest was wildly competitive throughout the first half, with a three-pointer by Huskies guard Caleb Donnelly knotting up the score at 24 apiece with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Three-pointers by Perez and Steeves lead Harvard to a subsequent 10-1 surge, giving them a 36-27 advantage with 6:47 left in the first half, however, Northeastern responded immediately, ending the first period with a 16-4 run to garner a 46-42 lead entering halftime.
This trend continued as the second half tipped off, with the Huskies racing out to a 13-6 run instantly, grabbing hold of a 59-48 lead with 15:33 remaining in the contest. The Crimson were able to cut the deficit to seven with 12 minutes left, however, a 14-4 Northeastern run over the ensuing six minutes concluded any possibility of a Harvard comeback.