Harvard Becomes Unofficial State Champions with 72-60 Win Over UMass

Sophomore Brogan Berry led the Crimson with 16 points (photo courtesy of Gil Talbot).

AMHERST, Mass. – The Harvard women’s basketball team defeated their fifth Massachusetts opponent of the season Tuesday night as they took down UMass, 72-60, at the Mullins Center. Harvard played all five Division I teams in the Bay State for just the third time in program history, sweeping all five for its first unofficial state title.

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Sophomore Brogan Berry led three Crimson players in double figures with 16 points on 5-for-9 shooting, including 3-for-4 from behind the arc. Juniors Christine Matera and Emma Markley were close behind with 14 points each. Markley pulled down nine rebounds while Berry dished out seven assists.

After surrendering the first basket of the game to the Minutewomen, the Crimson went on a 21-2 run over the next six minutes to bring the lead to 21-4. That run included five from behind the arc. The Crimson made their first seven shots, including five from beyond the three-point line, in the first 7:13 of the opening stanza.

A 16-5 run by the Minutewomen cut the Harvard lead to just six with eight minutes remaining in the half. The Crimson closed out the half with 13-0 streak off its own to head into the locker room with a 46-29 advantage.

After a back and forth start to the second half, the Minutewomen used a 21-4 run to cut the Crimson lead to five with just over seven minutes remaining in the game. After costly fouls by the Minutewomen, Harvard was able to bring the lead back to 11 on a 7-0 stretch that included three consecutive free throws and two shots from the floor. Harvard held onto the lead in the closing minutes of the game, not letting the Minutewomen get within six points.

Harvard shot 44.3 percent from the floor on 27-for-61 shooting while holding UMass to just over 31 percent shooting (20-for-63). The Minutewomen outrebounded the Crimson, 46-33. The Crimson broke their season record of both three pointers made and attempted on 12-for-26 shooting from behind the arc.

The Crimson travels to New Jersey Institute of Technology Tuesday, Jan. 12 for its first ever meeting with the Highlanders. Tip off is schedule for noon.