Temi Fagbenle registered a career night as head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith earned career win No. 514.
NEW YORK – Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith earned career win No. 514 to tie Pete Carril for most wins by an Ivy League coach as Harvard women's basketball downed Columbia, 64-51, behind a career night from junior forward Temi Fagbenle.
Fagbenle registered her 10th double-double of the season with personal-best marks of 31 points and 18 rebounds. The 10 double-doubles are the most for a Crimson player since Hana Peljto '04 posted 15 in 2003-04. Fagbenle became the first Harvard athlete to reach the 30-plus plateau since Brogan Berry '12 in 2009.
Fagbenle finished 10-of-14 from the floor and connected on all 11 free throws. The 11-of-11 outing marked the third best percentage in Crimson history.
Senior captain Christine Clark chipped in 12 points and four rebounds as Harvard moves to 19-7 overall and 9-3 in Ancient Eight play.
Columbia (6-20, 3-9) was led by 14 points from Miwa Tachibana. Tori Oliver added 12 points and seven boards.
Fagbenle accomplished nearly all the scoring in the first half, accounting for 23 of the Crimson's 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting with seven rebounds. After taking an early 4-0 lead, the Crimson struggled from the field, hitting just 1-of-13 shots over the first nine-plus minutes. The Lions capitalized to jump out to a 13-4 advantage.
Harvard held firm, making a push just before the break to close to within three. Fagbenle completed an old-fashioned three-point play and connected on two free throws in the final minute and the Crimson went into the locker room trailing 29-26.
The Crimson controlled the second half, outscoring the Lions by a 38-22 margin. Columbia notched the first five points before Harvard broke out an 11-0 run to take its first lead since early in the first half. The home team knotted the score at 37-37 with a three from Carolyn Binder, but the Crimson would not be denied, posting 14 of the next 16 points to seize control of the contest and cruise to a 64-51 win.
The Crimson returns home to the friendly confines of Lavietes Pavilion for the final home weekend of the regular season. Harvard will face Yale and Brown next weekend. Yale visits Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m., while the Bears enter Lavietes on Senior Night Saturday.
Game Notes: Temi Fagbenle became the first Crimson player to reach the 30-point plateau since Brogan Berry in 2009 with a career high 31 points, adding a personal-best 18 rebounds. Fagbenle posted her 10th double-double of the season, the most since Hana Peljto registered 15 in 2003-04. The junior reached the 20-plus point plateau for the fourth time this season and first since at Dartmouth (Jan. 11). Fagbenle reached her 19th double-figure game of the season and 39th of her career. The 11-of-11 performance from the charity stripe marked the third-best performance in Harvard history. With 12 points, Christine Clark sits at fourth all-time at Harvard with 1,653 points. Clark scored in double-figures for the 94th time in her career and 20th time this season. Harvard moves to 17-6 with the starting lineup of Curtis, Clark, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell.