Harvard beats Columbia 57-52 for best start ever

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Laurent Rivard scored 20 points and Harvard continued to reach new heights, defeating Columbia 57-52 Saturday night to remain unbeaten in Ivy League play.

The Crimson (20-2, 6-0) are off to their best start ever, surpassing the 1945-46 team's 19-3. Their Ivy League start has surpassed the 1980-81 team's 5-0, and the victory was their 25th straight at home.

The Lions (13-9, 2-4) made Harvard work for it, cutting the Crimson's 45-37 lead with 6:51 remaining to 48-46 after Alex Rosenberg's three-point play with 2:39 left.

Keith Wright answered with a layup for Harvard, and two free throws by Oliver McNally increased the lead to 52-46 at the 1:11 mark.

Wright finished with 15 points for the Crimson, and Brandyn Curry added 12.

Brian Barbour had 15 for Columbia. He was 7 of 7 on free throws, but the rest of the Lions collectively got only one free throw attempt.