In 40 seasons as Harvard's women's basketball coach, Kathy Delaney-Smith racked up 630 victories, 11 Ivy League championships, and six NCAA Tournament appearances. Her team culture was built through camaraderie and trust, leading her to become the all-time winningest basketball coach, male or female, in conference history.
The Crimson (13-13, 7-7) traveled to Hanover, N.H. to square off against the Big Green (3-23, 2-12) in a must win game to keep their Ivy Madness hopes alive. Harvard responded to the pressure in dominant fashion, crushing their conference rivals by a 33-point margin.
As Harvard women’s basketball (12-12, 6-6) continued down the home stretch of its regular season this past weekend, a pair of road matchups with the Columbia Lions (19-4, 10-1) and Cornell Big Red (9-13, 4-7) presented key opportunities for the Crimson to solidify its spot in the Ivy League women’s basketball tournament in March. On Friday night, Harvard traded baskets in a competitive, high-scoring affair with Columbia before losing, 74-70. The Crimson was then unable to repeat its 42-point victory over Cornell on January 22, falling to the Big Red on Saturday night, 52-49.
After notching three consecutive wins over Ivy League opponents, Harvard women’s basketball returned to Lavietes Pavilion this past weekend in triumphant fashion. On Friday night, the Crimson (12-9, 6-3 Ivy League) earned a hard-fought 77-73 victory over the Brown Bears (5-15, 0-8). The following night, Harvard treated its large home crowd to a 65-59 win over the Yale Bulldogs (13-8, 6-3), extending the Crimson’s winning streak to a season-best five games.
After cruising past Dartmouth (1-16, 0-5 Ivy League) earlier in the week 96-62, Harvard women’s basketball (9-9, 3-3) turned in yet another dominant performance last Saturday over conference foe Cornell Big Red (6-10, 1-4), winning the matchup 89-47 under the bright lights of Lavietes Pavilion.
After lighting up Lavietes Pavilion for an impressive home victory last Tuesday over Merrimack College, Harvard women’s basketball journeyed to Tempe, Ariz., last weekend to face two tough opponents in the Arizona State Classic. While the Crimson fell to the Rams of Colorado State (7-1) by a close score of 59-52, the Crimson ran into a high-powered, athletic Arizona State Sun Devils (5-4) squad the following day, losing 91-54.
After splitting its pair of games during the week of Thanksgiving, the Crimson returned to the hardwood Tuesday night with a resounding 99-75 victory over the Warriors of Merrimack College.
Although Harvard lost a hard-fought road game against the University of Massachusetts on Friday, 80-71, the Crimson — playing at Lavietes Pavilion for the first time in 20 months — won in dominant fashion over Northern Illinois (NIU) on Sunday, 70-53.
Harvard women’s basketball returned to the hardwood Tuesday night for the first time in 612 days, and Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith did so for the final season-opener in her illustrious 40-year career. The announcement of Coach Delaney-Smith’s retirement at the end of this 2021-2022 campaign provides an opportunity for the Crimson’s newest influx of talent to write a successful final chapter in her storied run. Although Tuesday night’s 86-60 loss to Boston College did not begin this historic season the way Harvard had hoped it would, optimism remains strong in the program for the season ahead.
On July 1, 2021, a seismic shift occurred in the landscape of college athletics. When the NCAA adopted policies that grant Division I, II, and III student-athletes the right to profit off their name, image, and likeness (NIL), former Harvard men’s water polo player Nick Bunn ’19 and childhood teammate Andrew Mavis (who also starred in college at George Washington) launched a company help student-athletes connect directly with potential partners and profit from their NIL.
The 2021 “Year in Sports” edition marks a third supplement that The Crimson Sports Board has completed during the hiatus in Ivy League sports. This should, however, be our last in this style. And we are certainly grateful.
“I joked with her after she was in the White House, 'Hey, 30 years' time, Midge, get yourself ready because you may be back there. With Midge Purce, you legitimately may have gone to school with the next president."
Student-Athletes Deferred Enrollment at Markedly Higher Rates than College Students at Large in 2020-21, Crimson Analysis Finds
The aggregate finding of this study is that, out of the entire population of Crimson student-athletes, approximately 40 percent opted to take time off from classes during each of the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. This rate is roughly twice that of College undergraduates at large (student-athletes and non-athletes alike) who opted for time off from classes in 2020-2021.
Here we are. It has already been one year. At this time last year, the sports world, along with society at large, came to a halt. College athletic conferences and pro leagues alike faced the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic, suspending or canceling play all together. Some leagues have since resumed play, but the Ivy League has not.
“I think it's been hard for us in terms of the Ivy League schools, our basketball product hasn't been available for them to see,” Eskildsen said. “But ... if anything, I think people recognize how quick the Ivy League was to cancel the tournament back last year. And I think seeing that for putting the players and their health and safety first and foremost is a positive.”