FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) Jock Landale scored 26 points and No. 21 Saint Mary’s withstood getting outscored in the second half to beat Harvard 89-71 on Thursday in the opening game of the Wooden Legacy.
Emmett Naar just missed a triple double, finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Gaels (5-0).
Bryce Aiken led the Crimson (2-3) with 22 points, including 20 in the second half when Harvard outscored Saint Mary’s 51-43. Chris Lewis added 18 points.
After trailing by 26 points at halftime, Harvard got within 14 points thanks to a blistering start in the second half. The Gaels answered with a 17-8 run to extend their lead to 26 points.
Aiken took over for Harvard, scoring 14 of its next 20 points to close the Crimson to 69-60.
But the Gaels’ experience prevailed as they made 10 of 10 free throws in the closing minutes.
With four of five starters back from last season’s 29-win team, Saint Mary’s is favored to win the West Coast Conference over No. 17 Gonzaga. The Gaels kept a trio of streaks intact dating to last season. They improved to 30-1 when leading at halftime; 33-0 when shooting better from 3-point range than an opponent; and 29-0 when outrebounding an opponent.
Harvard has done well in neutral-site tournaments in recent years, making the title game at the 2015 Diamond Head Classic, and winning the 2013 Great Alaska Shootout and 2011 Battle 4 Atlantis.
Saint Mary’s moves on to the championship bracket.
Harvard plays next in the consolation bracket.
More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25