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Career games for Ware and Mgbako lead Indiana past Harvard 89-76

IU bball
Posted at 7:34 PM, Nov 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-26 19:34:44-05

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kel’el Ware scored 28 points, Mackenzie Mgbako added 18, career highs for both, and Indiana pulled away for an 89-76 win over Harvard on Sunday.

The Hoosiers (5-1) shot 59% (19 of 32) and scored 26 of their 50 second-half points in the paint while outscoring the Crimson (5-2) by 14. They did that sharp-shooting despite playing off campus at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the 40th-straight season they have played a game there.

Ware was 12-of-13 shooting with four dunks and three layups and sinking a 3-pointer for measure. Ware, a 7-foot transfer from Oregon, and Mgbako, a 6-8 freshman, both had eight rebounds. Ware also had three assists, three steals and two blocks.

Malik Reneau scored 17 points and had five assists for Indiana.

Malik Mack scored 27 points, 19 in the second half as he tried to keep the Crimson in the game. Chisom Okpara added 13 points, Louis Lesmond had 10 and Thomas Batties II 10 with 10 rebounds.

Mack opened the second half with a 3-pointer for a four-point lead but a 14-2 run gave the Hoosiers a 63-51 lead with 18:07 to go. Mgbako’s three-point play capped the surge. He and Ware, who had a 3-pointer, both had five points in the run.

The Crimson never got closer than seven after that and Ware scored nine-straight Indiana points to keep the lead in double figures down the stretch.

Harvard made eight 3-pointers in the first half, the last a running bank shot by Mack at the buzzer for a 40-39 lead.

The Crimson went 14 of 28, going 7 of 11 inside the arc, to stay in the game in the first half as the Hossiers shot 55% (17 of 31).

Okpara’s layup midway through the first half gave Harvard a 24-18 lead, its biggest, while Ware’s dunk that capped a 7-0 run gave Indiana its biggest lead at 36-31 with almost three minutes to go.