Women’s Basketball Cruises by Columbia, 85-67

Jeannie Boehm had 17 points and 7 rebounds in Friday's win (Jon Chase).
Jeannie Boehm had 17 points and 7 rebounds in Friday's win (Jon Chase).
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.  The Harvard women's basketball team (12-6, 4-1 Ivy) never trailed Friday night, running away with an 85-67 victory over the visiting Columbia Lions (7-13, 1-4 Ivy) at Lavietes Pavilion. The win helped the Crimson move into the top spot in the Ivy League standings at 4-1 in conference play.

Sophomore Katie Benzan led Harvard in scoring, posting 20 points for the sixth time this season on 8-of-11 shooting. Fellow sophomore Jeannie Boehm racked up 17 points, helping the Crimson dominant the paint. Harvard tallied 57 points in the paint, and in turn held Columbia to just 14. 

Benzan and Boehm scored the game's first two buckets and the Crimson never looked back. Harvard capped the opening frame with two more layups from Boehm and an additional shot from close range by junior Sydney Skinner, making it 27-18 for the home team.

Late in the second quarter, Madeline Raster snared one of her three steals in the game and fed Taylor Rooks for the fast break lay-in to extend Harvard's lead to 16.

Columbia showed some fight in the third quarter, closing the gap to as few as four points, but Harvard responded forcefully with a 13-0 run that featured 3-pointers from junior Nani Redford, Benzan and senior Taylor Rooks. Harvard's stout defense continued to keep the Lions from gaining any momentum in the final quarter to give the Crimson its fifth-straight victory.

Harvard Highlights:
- Harvard scored 57 points in the paint Friday. It's highest previous total this season was 44.
- Katie Benzan scored 20 points for the sixth ­time this season.
- Tonight's game was the first all season that H­arvard did not trail at any point.
- Harvard had 10 steals against Columbia. It was the fifth time in the last six games Harvard has reached 10 steals. It had nine in the outlier game.

Game Notes:
- Harvard now boasts a 62-3 all-time record against Columbia and has won six straight in the series.

What's next?
The Crimson close out the weekend Saturday evening with a visit from Cornell at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Ivy League Network and ESPN3.