Strong Fourth Quarter Pushes Women’s Basketball By Stony Brook, 60-53

Sydney Skinner finished with a season-high 15 points in the win over Stony Brook (Gil Talbot).
Sydney Skinner finished with a season-high 15 points in the win over Stony Brook (Gil Talbot).
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.  Senior Taylor Rooks racked up 18 points and junior Sydney Skinner tallied 15, as the Harvard women's basketball team (7-5) captured a 60-53 victory Sunday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion.

Scoring came at a premium in the opening quarter as Stony Brook escaped the first 10 minutes of action with a 12-9 lead. Harvard's offense came alive in the second quarter spurred by an 8-0 early on. Rooks drilled a pair of 3-pointers, sandwiched around two made free throws from Skinner.

Stony Brook halted the run with a layup from Jerell Matthews, but Skinner went back to work. With 6:30 left before half, the junior knocked down a triple and converted from inside the paint just past the midway point. The long-range success continued at the 3:28 mark with sophomore Katie Benzan hitting from the wing off a feed from junior Kelsey Bogdan. The second quarter surge gave Harvard a 27-23 lead at the half.

The back-and-forth nature of the game continued into the second half, as Stony Brook outscored Harvard 19-13 in the third quarter to take a 42-40 lead into the final period.

Swinging the game back into its favor in the fourth quarter, Harvard used a 14-0 run over a 5:48 span to take a 54-47 lead with 2:30 left to play. Jeannie Boehm and Taylor Rooks started the run with consecutive layups with Skinner and Madeline Raster finding the bottom of the net from beyond the arc.

Shania Johnson and Matthews closed the gap to one point for Stony Brook with matching 3-pointers, but another lay-in from Boehm, as well as successful free throws by Rooks and Benzan in the final minutes sealed the 60-53 victory for the Crimson.

Harvard Highlights:
- Taylor Rooks finished with 18 points, marking the third-straight game she reached double figures and most points since a career-best 22 against Boston University in November.
- Sydney Skinner tallied 15, her highest total this season.

Game Notes:
- Harvard is now 3-1 all-time against Stony Brook.
- The Crimson finish 2017 4-0 at Lavietes Pavilion.

What's next?
Harvard begins its Ivy League slate Saturday, Jan. 6, traveling to Hanover, New Hampshire for a 5 p.m. matchup at Dartmouth. The game will be shown live on the Ivy League Network.