Women’s Basketball Edged at Virginia, 50-48

Katie Benzan led the Crimson with 11 points and seven rebounds (Brian McWalters).
Katie Benzan led the Crimson with 11 points and seven rebounds (Brian McWalters).
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.  Sophomore Katie Benzan and junior Madeline Raster each tallied 11 points, but Virginia (3-3) edged the Harvard women's basketball team (3-3), 50-48, Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena in the first game of the Cavalier Classic.

The opening 20 minutes of action was an exhibition in stringent defense. The score was even at 7-7 at the conclusion of the first quarter and stood at 23-20 in favor of Virginia at the half.

The Crimson defense hounded the Cavaliers in the opening frame, limiting the home team to just 13 percent shooting (2-of-15). The pressure continued into the second period, as Virginia was just successful on just 7 of its 35 total attempts in the first half and made just 1-of-11 3-point field goal attempts. Conversely, Benzan hit a pair of triples for the Crimson, including one in the final minute of the second quarter.

Harvard's offense came alive late in the third quarter. Using a 13-0 run over the final 3:52 of the period, the Crimson swung the scoreboard in its favor, 37-30. Junior Madeline Raster paced the charge with seven points in the quarter and Harvard made Virginia pay for putting them on the line, making all six of its attempts.

Momentum shifted to the Cavaliers in the final quarter. Using a 9-0 run over the last 3:44 of the contest, Virginia was able to come away with a 50-48 victory.

Harvard Highlights:
- The 50 points allowed was the lowest total for the Crimson since holding Boston University to 52 last November.
- Harvard limited Virginia from the field, allowing them to convert at just a 25.8 percent clip. It was an opponent's lowest shooting percentage since NJIT shot 25.5 percent Dec. 4, 2016.
- Madeline Raster and Katie Benzan led the team with 11 points each.

Game Notes:
- Harvard is 0-2 all-time against Virginia.
- The loss snaps a three-game win streak for the Crimson. Harvard is 3-3 on the year.

What's next?
Harvard returns to John Paul Jones Arena Sunday at 1 p.m., facing North Carolina A&T in its final matchup of the Cavalier Classic.