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Harvard 68, New Mexico 62

The SportsXchange

SALT LAKE CITY -- Wesley Saunders hit two clutch free throws and scored 18 points and Laurent Rivard had 17 with five 3-pointers to lead 14th-seeded Harvard to a 68-62 upset victory over third-seeded New Mexico on Thursday in the NCAA Tournament.

The Crimson started strong, going up 9-2, and maintained the lead for most of the night to make the most of their second straight NCAA appearance after a 66-year drought.

Harvard will face Arizona in the next round after pulling of Thursday's biggest upset.

New Mexico center Alex Kirk had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Cameron Bairstow added 15 points and nine boards, but it wasn't enough for the Lobos to avoid being just the 17th No. 3 seed to fall in its opening game in tournament history.

Four Harvard players scored in double figures and the Crimson shot 52.4 percent from the field to pull off the shocker.

The Lobos were flat as could be in the first half and only shot 37.5 percent from the field for the game, including 3 of 14 from 3-point range.

Harvard went 13 of 16 from the free-throw line in the second half after not getting a foul shot in the first half. Saunders clinched the win for the Crimson, hitting two free throws with 17.3 seconds to go.

After a rough first half -- when New Mexico shot 35.7 percent from the field -- the Lobos came out strong to begin the second half.

Kirk, Cameron Bairstow and Tony Snell hit consecutive baskets to give New Mexico its first lead of the night at 33-31 with 18:46 left.

The Lobos again went ahead at 53-52 on a Kirk layup with 6:30 left.

But Laurent Rivard answered with a 3-pointer nine seconds later. Wesley Saunders and Kenyatta Smith then drained jumpers during the 8-0 run as relentless Harvard worked its lead back up to six at 59-53.

Chambers gave the Crimson more breathing room with a jumper with 2:15 remaining.

New Mexico looked much more like a lower seed in the beginning, and Harvard grabbed an early lead and took a 31-27 advantage into halftime.

The Lobos missed their first six shots from the field.

Kirk got New Mexico on the board with a jumper 3:20 after tipoff.

But Harvard continued to take advantage of the Lobos, opening a 9-2 lead as New Mexico missed 11 of its first 12 shots from the field.

New Mexico fought back to tie it at 16 after a 6-0 run, but Harvard re-established its edge with an 8-2 burst that included two 3-pointers by Webster.

NOTES: Harvard's Corbin Miller played for Brighton High School in the Salt Lake City suburbs. Miller, however, left the Ivy League program after his freshman season to serve a two-year mission in Puebla, Mexico, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Harvard coach Tommy Amaker expected Miller's friends and family to attend the game. "Corbin, we miss him," Amaker said. "As fate would have it, we are here in his hometown, so to speak, to have an NCAA Tournament game and he's not able to be here with us." ... The Lobos only have two seniors, Chad Adams and Jamal Fenton, and neither started. ... New Mexico was 4-1 in the Utah Jazz's building before Thursday, including winning the WAC tournament in 1993.

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