A couple of career highs in points fueled the Harvard women’s basketball team (8-9, 3-1 Ivy) to a weekend sweep in New York this weekend, as the Crimson downed both Cornell and Columbia on back-to-back days.
Harvard overcame a fourth quarter buzzer-beater by the Big Red (10-7, 2-1) on Friday night to win, 65-56, in overtime. They were led by senior co-captain Kit Metoyer, who notched a career-high 26 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists.
Less than 24 hours later, the Crimson staved off a couple of late Lions (11-8, 0-4) runs to notch a 69-66 victory. Senior co-captain AnnMarie Healy paced the team with a career-high 27 points while shooting 13-of-14 (92.9%) from the field.
After ending the non-conference schedule with five losses in of six games, the Crimson has opened up the Ancient Eight portion of the season with three wins in four attempts. It is a stark contrast from last season, when they defeated just one of their first four conference opponents.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” junior forward Destiny Nunley said. “I thought maybe we had a tougher non-conference schedule… but like I said, we don’t really give up, and we look only at the next game. We’re not looking too far down the road.”
Harvard 65, Cornell 56
Harvard opened up on Friday with an overtime victory at Newman Arena. Metoyer led the way, making six of 11 three-pointers on the way to a career high 26 points.
Cornell was paced by Nia Marshall and Megan LeDuc, who each scored 17 points in 41 minutes.
The Crimson and Big Red remained locked throughout the first quarter until Cornell rode a 10-2 run to finish the period, grabbing a 17-13 lead.
A Metoyer triple started Harvard’s response, however, and by halftime Harvard had scored 12 unanswered points to take a 30-21 advantage.
Marshall made two jump shots to open the second half, cutting into the Crimson’s lead, but a pair of Metoyer triples to end the third quarter gave Harvard a 42-31 lead heading into the final frame.
The Big Red started the fourth quarter with 10 unanswered points, but senior guard Shilpa Tummala sank two insurance free throws to extend the lead to three with just 43 seconds left. A 25-foot buzzer-beater by LeDuc, however, tied things up at 52 to force overtime.
“We don’t ever give up,” Nunley said. “Especially when they hit the buzzer-beater, we were really down for a second, but then we were like, ‘Alright, what’s next? Let’s finish it out strong, let’s not give them another chance,’ and that’s what we did.”
The Crimson started quickly in the overtime period, with a pair of field goals and four Tummala free throws burying Cornell just two minutes in.
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