Harvard shot 49.2 percent but committed 20 turnovers which led to 30 points for the Mustangs. Temi Fagbenle finished the day with 16 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
The first half saw the lead exchanged a number of times but following a 14-2 run the Mustangs found themselves with a 37-25 advantage. A putback by Fagbenle ended the run and a Harvard jumper pulled them to within seven, 37-30.
Harvard's deficit was cut to five at the free throw line, 37-32, but the Mustangs hit the final two shots of the frame to send SMU into the locker room with a 42-32 edge.
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm early in the second half but SMU was able to extend its lead to 47-34. Harvard's offense woke up to move the score to 47-39. The Crimson's defense, however, was unable to put together stops at the other end as the Mustangs scored eight straight points for a 62-46 advantage.
Harvard made a late 12-4 run but it was not enough as SMU held on down the stretch for the 88-73 victory.
Harvard will open the new year's action today as it hosts UMass.