Harvard Basketball Runs This Town? You Decide

Brogan Berry (left)  and Emma Markley (right) have averaged 17.8 and 19.3 points per game against Bay Stat Schools. Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.

Harvard Basketball Runs This Town (Men's Edition)

Much had been made of the Harvard men’s basketball program of late – especially successive wins at neighboring Boston College and a 4-0 mark against Massachusetts schools this calendar year. ESPN proclaimed that ‘Harvard Runs This Town.’ But what about Harvard’s women hoopsters? They might be the definition of running this town.

The Harvard women, under longtime head coach Kathy Delany-Smith, have swept their Boston-area foes with wins over Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern while adding a fourth win against Massachusetts rival Holy Cross. Harvard is 5-0 at home this season and has combined with the men for a 9-0 record at Lavietes Pavilion. Combined with the men, Harvard teams have won their last nine games against teams from the Bay State.

Things started early for the Crimson with a season-opening 82-81 win over Boston College – its second-straight win over the Eagles. Emma Markley went 10-for-18 from the field for 23 points, a team-high five rebounds and two blocks, while freshman Victoria Lippert added 14 in her collegiate debut. Junior Jackie Alemany came off the bench to score 13, while classmate and co-captain Claire Wheeler posted 12 points. Sophomore Brogan Berry set up the offense with a career-high nine assists. Harvard shot 52.8 percent from the field and a robust 50 percent from beyond the arc. Alemany, Wheeler and co-captain Christine Matera each drained three treys in the winning effort.

Six game later, Harvard played the first of three-straight against its close neighbors with Markley responding to the tune of three-straight double-double performances. The Crimson ran out to a 19-0 lead in holding the Crusaders scoreless for the first six minutes of the game en route to a 74-57 victory. Markley logged her first double-double of the season with 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Berry went 5-for-7 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line for 16 points and handed out seven assists. Lippert added 13 and Christine Matera had 12, all from beyond the arc.

Next up came BU and Markley had 16 points and 10 rebounds in Harvard’s 85-68 win over the visiting Terriers. Berry led the team in scoring with 19 and added seven assists while Matera and Wheeler joined Berry and Markley in double figures with 16 and 14, respectively.

The victories had come in a flurry of scoring as Harvard averaged better than 78 points per game at home. That would just be a precursor however, as the Crimson poured home 90 points in a 90-85 win over Northeastern to cap its unofficial Beanpot title. Berry led the way with 31 points and eight assists while Markley had 20 points and 15 rebounds. Lippert posted her first collegiate double-double putting up 21 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. She went 4-for-4 in the two extra frames, including nailing a shot in regulation to send it to overtime and hitting the same jumper with three second left in the first overtime.

Harvard has one more game against a state rival this season with a Jan. 6 date at Massachusetts. One more game for this perennial Ivy League champion to prove itself as the top team in Massachusetts. But for right now, Harvard runs this town.