LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Opening the 2018 Warner Center Marriott Thanksgiving Basketball Classic at CSUN tonight, the Harvard women's basketball team (3-3, 0-0 Ivy) edged Jacksonville St. (2-2, 0-0 OVC), 69-62, in its first game of the weekend tournament.
Led by sophomore Jadyn Bush with 17 points, Rachel Levy and Katie Benzan joined in double figures with 15 and 11, respectively. Levy paced the Crimson's offense with 5-for-8 shooting from the field, while Bush followed closely behind at 60 percent off 6-for-10. Bush led the defensive unit as well, grabbing a team-high eight rebounds, while Benzan and Maria Guramare each tallied seven apiece.
The Crimson began the game with an early 6-2 spread before the Gamecocks used a 5-0 run to grab a 14-6 advantage. Led by Bush with 10 points in the first quarter, Harvard battled back to cut its deficit to three as it capped the opening frame at 20-17. After a triple from Benzan gave Harvard the lead back to start quarter two, the Crimson never looked back, extending its lead to as much as eight and going into halftime up 35-28.
Harvard continued to find its shot in second half, extending its lead to 10 at 43-33 midway through quarter three after four points from Boehm. Strong play by Levy under the basket coupled with a triple from Tess Sussman took the Crimson into the final frame with a 53-44 lead. Harvard's defense sustained the Gamecock's offensive pressure in quarter four, as it held Jacksonville State to 6-for-18 shooting. A balanced attack assisted the Crimson's offense throughout the fourth quarter as Harvard clinched the win at 69-62.
- Bush posted 10 points in the first quarter en route to her team-leading 17 points.
- Two or more players recorded double digit points for third consecutive game.
- The Crimson scored 38 of its points in the paint tonight as well as 14 fast breaks.
- After meeting for the first time in program history, Harvard now holds a 1-0 lead in its all-time series with Jacksonville State.
- The Crimson will meet the winner of CSUN