Harvard wins ‘Battle 4 Atlantis’
PARADISE ISLAND, The Bahamas — Months after winning the first Ivy League title in school history, Harvard is a champion once again.
Kyle Casey had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead the unbeaten Crimson to a 59-49 victory over Central Florida in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship on Saturday.
Tournament MVP Keith Wright added 12 points and seven boards for Harvard (6-0), which upset No. 22 Florida State 46-41 on Friday and is off to its best start since 1984-85 season.
“We’ve been building towards something like this,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. “It’s nice to see it happen for us. We’ve talked about and worked toward it, but we certainly needed to see it happen, and it certainly happened for us here.”
Harvard opened the game with an 8-1 run and put together a 10-2 spurt to carry a 33-18 lead into the break. Casey finished the closing surge with a tip-in of his own missed layup.
The Knights (4-2) missed their final six shots of the half and were held to 33 percent shooting for the game.
“Our defense has been our calling card all season,” Amaker said. “I’m very proud and pleased with the way our kids have bought into that end of the floor. Our belief, our system, and our identity start with our defense.”
Keith Clanton had 12 points for Central Florida, which beat No. 4 Connecticut 68-63 in the semifinals. Marcus Jordan had 10 points.
“We just didn’t do a good job finishing shots,” coach Donnie Jones said. “We had some easy opportunities early on, and we got frustrated with ourselves because we weren’t scoring.”
Central Florida went 8 for 23 from the free throw line.
Isaiah Sykes’ layup cut the Knights’ deficit to 58-47 with 38 seconds left, but Casey hit two free throws and Central Florida missed a pair of late 3-pointers.