Women’s Basketball Clinches Comeback Victory Over Rhode Island in Overtime Thriller

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Squaring off with Rhode Island in its final game of 2019, the Harvard women's basketball team (9-4, 0-0 Ivy) defeated Rhode Island (7-5, 0-0 A-10), 61-58, in overtime on Monday night at Lavietes Pavilion. The Crimson battled back from a nine-point deficit on two different occasions to earn the victory. Seniors Mackenzie Barta and Jeanie Boehm combined to lead the Crimson scoring effort, each pacing Harvard with 14 points.

The Rams opened the contest scoring a pair of field goals, but the Crimson stormed back, going on an 8-0 run to end the first period leading 12-8. Rhode Island took the lead in the second quarter, but a pair of three-point baskets from the left wing by Barta narrowed the Ram advantage to just two entering halftime.

Boehm opened the third quarter by connecting on a pair of lay-ups to give the Crimson the lead. Gabby Donaldson provided a spark in the period, entering the game late in the third quarter with the Rams having retaken the lead by nine. The first-year scored on a fastbreak near the end the of the quarter to cut the Crimson deficit to seven. 

The Crimson climbed back during the final frame, using a 10-2 run after Rhode Island extended the lead to nine on the first possession of the quarter. The Crimson kept the Rams close as the period drew to a close, lifted by a pair of three-point plays from first year Lola Mullaney and sophomore Maggie McCarthy. With the Crimson trailing by one with just over 30 seconds to go, Rhode Island missed four consecutive free throws before hitting 1-of-2 at the line to take a two-point lead. On the ensuing Crimson possession, Barta was fouled on a three-point attemt and the senior co-captain would knock two clutch free throws to tie the game. The Rams were unable to score on a defensive stand from the Crimson, sending the game to overtime.

In the overtime session, Rhode Island got on the board first, but Boehm made a lay-up and was followed by a pair of Mullaney free throws that extended the Harvard lead to three. After the Rams hit a game-tying triple, sophomore Tess Sussman buried a difficult turn-around jumper from the baseline to put the Crimson up 58-56. Mullaney knocked down two free throws with 16.9 seconds left to lift the Crimson's lead to four, and would add another late, giving the Crimson its final tally.

Harvard Highlights
- Barta matched her career high, knocking down four triples throughout the game.
- Harvard went 14-for-17 (82%) from the free throw line, with Mullaney drilling eight of her nine attempts. The 14 makes from the line are the Crimson's most of the season.
- The matchup marks the first time both Barta or Boehm led Harvard in scoring.
- Four Harvard players scored in double figures for the second-straight game.

Game Notes
- The Crimson defeated the Rams for the second-straight season.
- Harvard finishes its non-conference schedule with a record of 9-4, the team's best non-conference record since the 2016-17 season.

Up Next
Harvard will begin the road to Ivy Madness by making the trip to Hanover, N.H. to square off with Dartmouth on Saturday, January 11 for its conference opener. The first game of Harvard's Ivy League slate is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the matchup will be televised on ESPN+.