Morning Coffee: Harvard Tops in Boston, Toledo and Drexel Still Playing

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Harvard has started its trek through the Boston market and made a big statement Wednesday night. Toledo is still undefeated, and Drexel might still be playing. Grab that morning coffee and catch up on last night.

What everyone will be talking about over their morning coffee:

Harvard Wins First Half of Boston Double Dip

Harvard has a slate of games running through Boston over the next week and it began on a winning note. Kyle Casey and Wesley Saunders each had 17 points as the Crimson took out Northeastern 72-64.

This was just continuing the strong run for Harvard after showing off in Alaska over the holiday. The Ivy favorites just seem to be getting stronger and looking as if they can turn it on at will with their deep bench and multiple options throughout the rotation.

Meanwhile, Northeastern is going to be coping without one of its best players, Quincy Ford, who will undergo back surgery at the end of the week. That leaves the Huskies very frontcourt heavy, but that could actually play to their advantage in the guard-prone CAA. Still it is a big loss for a team that is now 2-6, and facing a brutal schedule before that conference season.

Side of bacon:

Toledo Still Undefeated After Big Game from Pearson

Toledo is now 7-0 after taking out Detroit 91-75 on Wednesay. The schedule hasn't looked particularly daunting, with the best win coming against Boston College, but it has still included nice mid-major victories over Stony Brook and now twice over Detroit (these Bracket Buster payback games in a single year are fun, aren't they?)

This win belonged to Rian Pearson who helped lead a 17-0 run in the first half that basically put the game out of reach. He had 30 points, including half of those on a perfect night from behind the 3-point line. Pearson also added eight rebounds and three assists in the win.

If Pearson can show this kind of leadership and remain grounded as this season moves on, Toledo is going to be a real force inside the MAC. In the past, he has always struck me as too excitable and prone to errors as he attempts to do too much. The talent is there to be great, but it hasn't been harnessed into something useful at this level. That looks to be changing.

Pearson was paced by Detroit's Evan Bruinsma who had 25 points, 14 boards and three blocks in the loss. Detroit is now 4-5 on the season and really looks to be missing all of the upperclassmen that helped tie this team together last year.

Other bites:

  • St. Joseph's lost to Temple 77-69 in a game that came down to the final two minutes. The real shift in this one came when Halil Kanacevic picked up his fourth foul with 13 minutes remaining in the game. While he was on the sidelines, the Owls took charge inside and St. Joe's really had a hard time running its offense. Langston Galloway did his best to keep it close over that time, and really kept the Hawks in this until he couldn't with his timely 3-pointers. But the six minutes without Kanacevic turn the Hawks from the pursued into the constant pursuers, and that was all that Temple needed in order to win. This is a good Hawks team. They just need something else to help them get over the hump. Galloway finished with 24 points, including 18 from behind the arc. He was the only St. Joe's player to make a 3-pointer; the rest of the team was 0-for-14 from deep.
  • Corey Allen hit a little floater with two second remaining to help South Florida escape George Mason 68-66 and prevent the Patriots from picking up another good win early in the season. GMU looked to have this one in hand, until a 6-point possession occurred with nine minutes to play, on the combination of a technical and a 1-and-1 and an alley-oop. The combo cut the Patriots' lead to six and they had a hard time getting their mojo back. Sherrod Wright had 22 points in the loss.
  • Bucknell grabbed a surprising win as it took out Kent State on the road, with a 66-59 win. This is another win for the Bison who seem to get a good night out of the least expected players during every game. Wednesday belonged to Cameron Ayers (12 points) as usual, but Steven Kasper had seven assists and Brian Fitzpatrick scored 16 to seal the win. Bucknell was 9-for-20 from the 3-point line, while Kent State shot 37 percent and saw just two players reach double figures, led by Darren Goodson with 18 points. This was the Flashes last game for the next 17 days.
  • Davidson outscored Charlotte 13-4 in overtime to race to an 87-78 win Wednesday. Even more important for the Wildcats was that they did this without De'Mon Brooks who hasn't played since leaving the loss to Clemson early on Nov. 22. Tom Droney had 21 points and Chris Czerapowicz added 19 including four 3-pointers in the win. Terrence Williams had 17 to lead Charlotte which could take a hit in our Mid-Major Madness Power 15 after this loss. A special note that the 49ers shot just 69 percent from the foul line, leaving 11 points on the table.
  • Sean Armand hit six of Iona's 17 made 3-pointers,and finished with 26 points to help lead the Gaels to an 83-74 win over Marist to open MAAC play. This one belonged to the starters for Iona, who all scored in double figures and accounted for all of the Gaels' scoring. A.J. English had 11 points and 13 assists in the win.
  • Drexel played just seven players, and yet was able to survive three overtimes for the second game in a row to defeat Cleveland State 85-82. Tavon Allen had 23 points and Frantz Massenat played 55 minutes while scoring 21 points and dishing nine assists. This is to take nothing away from another win for the Dragons, but this is where the loss of Damion Lee is really going to start taking its toll on the team. You need that extra body in there to take some of the brunt of playing 110 minutes over the past two games. That doesn't normally happen, and it could wear down this team if they fail to close out games early. The Dragons next two are against Tennessee State, and Davidson, both winnable, but given the legs on these guys right now, you have to wonder what will happen.

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