Hot Start Leads Women’s Basketball Past Brown, 87-79

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior captains Kit Metoyer and AnnMarie Healy poured in 23 and 22 points, respectively, as Harvard women's basketball (9-11, 4-3) outlasted Brown, 87-79, Friday evening at Pizzitola Sports Center.

Metoyer grabbed eight rebounds for the Crimson. It marked the first time since March 20, 2014 (Iona) that two Crimson players posted double-figures. Freshman Madeline Raster added a personal-best 17 points, six boards and five assists. Senior Shilpa Tummala paced the Crimson on the glass, nearing a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. Harvard doubled Brown (13-8, 1-6) on the boards, 45-23, and shot 50.8 percent from the field.

The Bears were paced by Jordin Alexander and Shayna Mehta with 20 points each. Alexander dished out five helpers.

Harvard came out firing, hitting seven of its first 11 shots to march out to a 15-0 lead. Metoyer scored seven points over the spurt, capping it with a second-chance shot. The Bears scored the next six points, but the Crimson answered immediately with four of its own and held a 24-9 advantage after 10 minutes of play.

The Crimson continued to build on its lead, pushing out to plus-22 at the 5:12 mark after a triple dropped for Healy. Brown posted six-straight points, but the Crimson owned an 18-point lead, 44-26, at the break. Harvard shot a scorching 48.6 percent (18-of-37) from the field, including 50 percent (6-of-12) from three. The Crimson outrebounded the Bears by a 29-8 margin, including a 12-1 tally on the offensive glass.

The Crimson kept a 20-plus point margin for the first half of the third quarter until Brown made a run at the five-minute mark. A 11-0 spurt by the Bears started with a Erika Steeves fast break and was halted by Healy with a jumper from the short corner with 1:50 to play, pushing the Crimson lead back to 13, 60-47. Metoyer knocked in a triple from the wing and Harvard was ahead 65-47 at the end of the third stanza.

The Bears applied the pressure in the fourth quarter, rattling 12 of the first 14 points to cut the Crimson lead to eight, 59-67, with six minutes to play. Metoyer kit a dagger three in front of her bench to push the Harvard lead to 11, 81-70, with 2:26 remaining. Brown would not relinquish, as a Mehta triple narrowed the Harvard advantage to six, 83-77, with 90 seconds left. Harvard made 4-of-6 from the stripe to secure the win.

Harvard continues south to take on Yale Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Game Notes: AnnMarie Healy posted double-figures for the 20th time this season and the 43rd of her career with 22 points. It marked the fourth time this year she has reached the 20-point plateau. For the 11th time this season, Kit Metoyer posted double-figures with 23 points. It marked her second 20-plus game and it was the sixth time she has paced Harvard in scoring. Madeline Raster posted double-digits for the fifth time this season with a career-high 17 points. Harvard went with the starting lineup of Healy, Redford, Tummala, Metoyer and Raster for the 17th-straight game. The Crimson moves to 8-9 with that starting five. For the first time since March 20, 2014, two Crimson players posted 20-plus points.