Playing at the University of Rhode Island Tip-Off Classic tournament this weekend, the Harvard women’s basketball team split its matchups in two games that would both be decided by single digits.
Without senior standout Shilpa Tummala on Friday and with a starting lineup that featured two freshman on Sunday, the Crimson (2-2) came into the last minute of both matchups within a bucket of the opponent.
RHODE ISLAND 56, HARVARD 52,
Down by six with 1:23 left on the clock, co-captain AnnMarie Healy pulled up from beyond the arc to put Harvard within three. Sophomore Kirby Porter would go to the line 40 seconds later to put the Crimson within two, but the late rally wouldn’t be enough as the Crimson fell to the Rams in a close matchup on Saturday evening.
In a game that featured poor shooting from both teams, it was the turnovers that Harvard struggled with against Rhode Island. Turning the ball over eight times in the first quarter and 21 times total, the Crimson struggled to run the floor on offense.
“I think it was really close, but I think what it came down to was our turnovers and we let up to many points in the paint,” Healy said. “Going into the game we knew they were a team that could drive and I think that if our rotation help and defense on the dribble were just a little better we would’ve been able to come out with the win.”
Harvard scored 14 points in the paint, which was dwarfed by Rhode Island’s 30.
Even without Tummala and with Healy committing two fouls early in the matchup, the Crimson managed to edge the Ram’s on the boards. Harvard outrebounded Rhode Island 46 to 38.
“I was thrilled. On top of not having Shilpa, AnnMarie got into foul trouble and basically sat out more than half the game,” head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said. “We were very, very short at the four spot, we even had to play Kirby at the forward spot.”
Healy led the Crimson with 13 points and 8 rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Also scoring double digits were sophomore Kirby Porter and freshman Madeline Raster with ten apiece. Raster also contributed eight rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
In a matchup that featured seven ties and five lead changes, the Crimson struggled to make shots late and turned the ball over.
“We turned the ball over, and not forced turnovers—unforced turnovers, almost every single one of them. They were bad turnovers, panic turnovers,” Delaney-Smith said. “That was the game.”
HARVARD 76, TOLEDO 70
Playing a consolation match against Toledo on Sunday, the Harvard offense came to life, with the Crimson shooting a season high 47 percent. In a game that had nine lead changes, the Crimson pulled away late in the match, with Harvard’s last seven points coming from the free throw line.
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