Senior forward Destiny Nunley recorded her fourth double-double of the season (17 points, 12 rebounds) to lead Harvard past Brown. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior forward Destiny Nunley notched 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks to lead four players in double-figures, as the Harvard women's basketball team (17-3, 5-2 Ivy League) earned a 69-59 win over Brown (13-7, 4-3 Ivy League) in front of 1,721 fans at Lavietes Pavilion.
"We tried to get Destiny back on track, and I felt she was back on track tonight," said head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. "We were way better overall in our execution tonight."
Freshman guard Katie Benzan added 19 points, six assists and five rebounds, freshman forward Jeannie Boehm recorded 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks, and sophomore guard Madeline Raster added 10 points and five rebounds for Harvard, which improved to 9-0 at Lavietes Pavilion.
The Crimson opened the contest with an 8-4 spurt, using four points each from Nunley and Boehm to take the early lead. After Brown responded with a 6-0 run of its own, Nunley drained another bucket to make it 10-10. The senior forward started the contest 3-of-3 from the floor.
Freshman Katie Benzan took over the Crimson offense for the remainder of the quarter, knocking down two triples as the two teams were knotted at 16-16 after the opening ten minutes.
Benzan continued to be the catalyst for the Harvard attack, finishing the half with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-4 from deep, to go along with a pair of assists as Harvard led 36-33 at the break. Junior Kirby Porter tallied five points and junior Taylor Rooks added four points during the second quarter for Harvard.
Harvard took a nine-point lead over the Bears, 36-27, after a layup from Benzan with 1:52 to go in the half, but consecutive threes from Brown narrowed the Crimson advantage to three before the break.
Both teams continued to trade baskets throughout the third quarter, and a 6-0 spurt from Brown made it a one-point Crimson lead (45-44) with 5:43 to play in the third quarter.
Raster extended the Harvard lead back to three, capping off a run of seven straight points for the sophomore guard. After Brown took a brief lead at 48-47, the Crimson responded with a 6-0 run to end the quarter on top, 53-48. Nunley scored four of her 17 points during the Crimson run.
Brown once again made it a one possession game in the fourth quarter before a three from sophomore Nani Redford pushed the lead back to four, 60-56. Nunley then added another jumper to put Harvard up 62-56 with 6:39 to play.
Harvard will host Yale tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The game will air on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network.
To watch the full archived Harvard-Brown game, visit the Ivy League Digital Network: LINK
NOTES: Harvard matched its best 20-game start in program history at 17-3 (1976-77, 1987-88, 1997-98, 2016-17)...Harvard honored its women's basketball alumnae in attendance during a halftime ceremony...Harvard outscored Brown 36-20 in the paint and added 17 second chance points.