TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The Harvard women’s basketball team traveled to Tallahassee, Fla. over Thanksgiving break looking to make a statement against strong nonconference competition in the Seminole Classic.
The Crimson (2-2) took the opening game of the tournament over Liberty (1-3) in a double-overtime thriller, 75-73.
However, Harvard couldn’t continue its good fortune in the championship game against Florida St. (3-1), as the Seminoles capitalized on their superior inside game en route to a 96-82 victory.
“There are a few things we have to work on as a team that we learned from this weekend,” Crimson co-captain forward Hana Peljto said. “But what we come away with from this weekend is a sense that we can play with anybody, because these were two great teams and two great games for us.”
The Lady Flames fell to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2-3) in the consolation game, 65-56.
Peljto was named to the all-tournament team as she recorded 47 points and 19 rebounds on the weekend.
“I think those two post players—the tandem [of junior center Reka Cserny and Peljto]—are some of the best players we’ll see this season,” Seminole coach Sue Semrau said. “The way that they can step out and face up as well as penetrate to the basket...They’re smart [players]. Harvard—makes sense, doesn’t it?”
Florida St. 96, Harvard 82
Despite an auspicious start, the Crimson could not meet the Seminoles’ charge as Harvard faded before dropping the championship game of the Seminole Classic by 14, 96-82.
“You can’t give up 96 points and let someone shoot 62 percent from the floor and expect to win,” Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said.
Harvard could not muster a run as the second half drew to a close and was unable to narrow the Florida St. advantage to single digits in the last four minutes of the game.
The Crimson grabbed a 19-10 lead early in the first half as senior guard Bev Moore, sophomore guard Jessica Holsey and Peljto all contributed three-pointers. The Seminoles responded with a quick 10-2 run capped by a layup by Genesis Choice.
Harvard hung around heading into halftime, as sophomore forward Kate Mannering recorded four points in the final minute of the half to keep the Crimson within five of Florida St., 44-39.
The Seminoles increased their lead to nine just over a minute into the second half. Harvard charged back, as a three by Holsey brought the Crimson to within three, 55-52.
A Choice jumper gave the Seminoles their first double-digit lead at the midway point of the second half, 73-63.