Women's Basketball Has Four-Game Win Streak Halted at BU in Overtime, 68-61
The Crimson was outscored 11-4 in overtime Monday night at BU (Gil Talbot).
BOSTON, Mass. – Temi Fagbenle and Miriam Rutzen combined for 26 points and 21 rebounds as the Harvard women's basketball team had its four-game winning streak halted Monday evening at Boston University in overtime, 68-61.
Fagbenle recorded her second double-double of the season with 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds while Rutzen chipped in 12 points and seven boards. Victoria Lippert and Christine Clark added eight points apiece with Clark also leading the way with four assists.
Harvard (7-3) shot just 37.5 percent for the game and was 12-of-37 from the floor after the break. The Crimson owned the post with a 47-36 rebounding advantage and a 34-12 edge in points in the paint, but BU (8-3) hit 10 three-pointers and went 14-of-17 from the line to steal the victory. Chantell Alford led all scorers with 23 points as Danielle Callahan notched 16.
The offense was on display early as Harvard shot 6-of-10 to begin the game. Fagbenle scored the Crimson's first four points with a pair of baseline drives and a Rutzen layup off a feed from Fagbenle moved Harvard in front, 8-7. Rutzen regained the lead for Harvard with a putback off a Clark miss and scored on in transition on Harvard's next possession for a 12-9 advantage.
Fagbenle moved the score to 16-15 with a jumper in the paint before an 8-0 BU run opened the largest lead of the half for the Terriers, 23-16. Emma Golen erased the deficit with a pair of three-pointers to make it a 23-22 game, and after Melissa Mullins corralled a pair of offensive rebounds to earn the Crimson two extra possessions she hit a floater coming down the lane to keep Harvard within one, 25-24.
Mullins tied the score at 27 with a three on Harvard's next possession and a Fagbenle free throw put the Crimson back on top, 28-27. Jasmine Evans made it a seven-point run to close the half as she hit a contested three-pointer, sending Harvard into the intermission with a 31-27 lead.
Fagbenle led all scorers at the break with nine points and six rebounds while Golen and Rutzen each added six. Harvard shot 44.4 percent (12-27) in the frame and dominated the game down low, holding a 19-15 edge on the glass and a 16-4 advantage in points in the paint. BU, meanwhile, shot just 35.5 percent (11-31) but hit five three-pointers to stay close.
Harvard scored its first two baskets of the second half off the offensive glass with Lippert completing a three-point play for a 36-30 lead. The senior hit a three-pointer on the team's next trip down the court to extend the margin to nine, 39-30, but an 11-2 run pulled the Terriers even at 41. Fagbenle ended the Crimson's drought as Rutzen found her cutting to the basket and a jumper by Clark gave Harvard back a four-point edge, 45-41, with under 10:00 on the clock.
BU continued to remain within reach of the lead but each Terrier basket was answered at the other end by the Crimson. BU evened the score twice before finally getting over the hump off a Chantell Alford three-point play for a 57-56 margin with just 0:45 to play, but a free throw by Fagbenle with 0:22 remaining knotted the game back up at 57-57 and sent the Crimson into overtime for the second time in three games.
Harvard took a 61-57 lead to open the extra session off buckets from Fagbenle and Rutzen, but the Crimson was held scoreless for the final 3:45 of play as the Terriers took the 68-61 victory.
Harvard will take a two-week break from play before returning to action Dec. 28-29 at the San Diego Surf 'N Slam.
Game Notes: Harvard's 7-3 record through 10 games is the second best in program history behind 8-2 starts in 1976-77, 1987-88 and 1997-98 … Sophomore Temi Fagbenle recorded her second career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds … Harvard collected a season-high 47 rebounds and scored 14 points of 16 offensive boards … Harvard is 1-1 in overtime games this season after defeating Hofstra on the road, 70-67.