Women's Basketball Hands Yale It's First Conference Loss of the Season

Maggie McCarthy dribbles up the court.
Photo by: Gil Talbot
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- Handing Yale its first conference loss of the season, the Harvard women's basketball team (12-6, 3-2 Ivy League) earned a hard-fought win against the Bulldogs (14-4, 4-1 Ivy League) Friday night at Lavietes Pavilion, 66-57, to move to 12-6 on the season and 3-2 in conference play. 

First-year Lola Mullaney paced the Crimson with 19 points, while also collecting five rebounds and two assists. Junior Rachel Levy tallied her second double-double of the season, grabbing 19 rebounds and 14 points. Sophomore Tess Sussman had 13 points, while also grabbing six rebounds.

Boehm and Levy started things off for the Crimson in the first quarter with back-to-back layups to give Harvard its first lead of the game. Yale and Harvard continued to go back-and-forth, but an and-one from Mullaney followed by a layup from junior Matilda Salen helped lenghthen the Crimson lead to six mid-way through the first. The momentum continued for Harvard through the remainder of the quarter, extending its lead to double digits.

The Bulldogs came out strong in the second quarter with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to two. Levy broke Yale's momentum with a wide-open three from the corner, followed by a layup as the shot clock was expiring to bring the lead to five. Following a timeout late in the quarter, Yale came out hot taking the lead by six points, but Levy and Sussman brought the Crimson back to within two of the Bulldogs at 31-29.

Heading into halftime, Harvard tallied 23 rebounds compared to Yale's 15, and forced six turnovers. Levy lead the team with seven points, followed by Sussman with six and Mullaney with five.

Harvard got off to a quick start in the second half, tying the game back up at 31 apiece with a layup by Sussman. A huge steal from Levy resulting in a Mullaney layup, followed by a defensive stop from Mullaney, kept the Crimson right with the Bulldogs. Mullaney found her shot late in the third, shooting back-to-back no doubters from the three-point range to put Harvard ahead, 43-39. Yale fought back to tie the game at 45-45, before a late triple from sophomore Maggie McCarthy kept the Crimson up by one heading into the fourth.

The Bulldogs kept it close through the majority of the fourth quarter, taking the lead back with seven minutes left to play. Layups from Levy and Boehm brought another lead change, with the Bulldogs trailing by three. A huge jumper from Levy gave Harvard an eight-point lead with just over two minutes to play in the game. The lead would be enough to keep Yale behind, giving the Crimson the 66-57 victory.

Harvard Highlights
- Harvard collected 50 rebounds on the night, compared to Yale's 27 - the first time the Crimson has collected 50 or more rebounds this season. 
- The Crimson held the Bulldogs to just a 20 percent shooting percentage from the three-point range in the first half.
- Levy led the Crimson with 19 rebounds, a new career high.
- Mullaney shot 14 of her 19 points in the second half.
- Through the night, the game was tied seven times, while the lead changed five.

Up Next
The Crimson will close out its five-game homestand tomorrow, Feb. 8, against Brown. Tip-off is slated for 4:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.