Delaney-Smith Becomes the All-Time Winningest Ivy League Head Coach
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard women's basketball head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith earned career win No. 515 to become the all-time winningest Ivy League head coach with a 69-65 victory over Yale Friday night at Lavietes Pavilion.
Delaney-Smith owns a career record of 515- 347 in her 32 years with the Crimson. She is one of six active Division I head coaches to spend 32 years at one institution. With the win, Harvard records its 11th 20-win season, all under Delaney-Smith.
The Crimson (20-7, 10-3) was led by junior forward Temi Fagbenle, who registered her 11th double-double of the season with 23 points and 12 rebounds. The 11 double-doubles are the most for a Crimson player since Hana Peljto '04 posted 15 in 2003-04.
Harvard held the Yale starters to just 24 points, as Katie Werner paced the Bulldogs (12-15, 6-7) with 13 points, adding four rebounds.
The Crimson headed to the locker room with a 35-33 lead after a back-and-forth first half. Trailing 19-17, Harvard spouted six of the next eight points to take a slim 23-21 advantage. Sophomore AnnMarie Healy led the charge, ending the spurt with a baseline jumper.
Harvard seemed to pull away towards the end of the stanza, outscoring the Bulldogs 12-3 over a three-minute span to take its largest lead, 35-28, with 43 seconds remaining. Sophomore Kit Metoyer freed herself with a smooth cross-over, knocking down back-to-back treys and senior Melissa Mullins converted an old-fashioned three-point play to end the run. Yale countered with five-straight points, including a triple at the buzzer, to pull within two before the break.
The two teams continued to battle over the second 20 minutes, with neither team gaining more than a six-point advantage. Knotted at 60-60 with just under five minutes to play, the duo of Fagbenle and Clark took over offensively, while the entire Crimson defense locked the Bulldogs down.
Clark converted two free throws and Fagbenle laid in back-to-back lay-ups sandwiched by a steal from Mullins to give the Crimson a 66-60 lead. Five-straight points by Yale narrowed Harvard's lead to one, 66-65. The Crimson contested the ensuing Yale lay-up and Fagbenle knocked down a jumper to seal the victory.
Harvard will be back at Lavietes Pavilion tomorrow for Senior Night vs. Brown. The Crimson will honor four seniors – Clark, Jasmine Evans, Elise Gordon and Mullins – before the 6 p.m. tip.
Game Notes: Kathy Delaney-Smith becomes the all-time winningest head coach in the Ivy League with 515 career wins. Harvard registered its 11th 20-win season, all under Delaney-Smith. Temi Fagbenle registered her 11th double-double of the season with 23 points and 12 rebounds. The 11 double-doubles are the most for a Crimson player since Hana Peljto '04 posted 15 in 2003-04. Fagbenle reached her 20th double-figure game of the season and 40th of her career. The junior reached the 20-plus point plateau for the fifth time this season and in the second-straight game. Jasmine Evans posted double-figures for the 12th time this season. With 10 points, Christine Clark sits at fourth all-time at Harvard with 1,664 points. Clark scored in double-figures for the 95th time in her career and 21st time this season. Harvard moves to 18-6 with the starting lineup of Curtis, Clark, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell.