Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Harvard women’s basketball team held its first official practice last Friday at the Lavietes Pavilion. The Friday evening session marked the beginning of head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith’s 29th season at the helm of the program.
The Crimson returns all 11 letterwinners from last season and welcomes five talented and hard working first-year players. The Crimson has finished either first or second in the league in each of the last four years, winning two Ancient Eight titles during that time.
The Crimson, who went 20-9 overall and 11-3 in the Ivy League, posted its first 20 win season since 2004-05 and made its eighth postseason appearance under Delaney-Smith. Harvard went to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament for the second year in a row, marking the third time in four years the Crimson played in the postseason.
Harvard made history by defeating all five Division I opponents in the state of Massachusetts. The Crimson started the trek in its season opener against Boston College, handing the Eagles an 82-81 defeat. Harvard followed its victory with wins over Holy Cross, Boston University and Northeastern at home in December. The Crimson started the new year off with a win at UMass to give Harvard a perfect 5-0 mark against its Bay State foes. Harvard also posted non-conference wins over Maine, Navy, New Orleans and NJIT.
The Crimson boasted three of the top-nine scorers in the league and two of the top-eight rebounders. Brogan Berry led the Crimson in assists and free throw percentage, while Matera made the most three-point field goals in the league.
Emma Markley, Berry and Victoria Lippert earned All-Ivy League honors as well.