CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Junior forward Temi Fagbenle posted her third-straight double-double with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead Harvard women's basketball (8-3) to a 60-41 rout of Hofstra Saturday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion.
The Crimson – who earn its best start since 1997-98 – outrebounded the Pride by a 60-35 margin. The 60 boards marked the seventh-most in program history and the largest total since Dec. 7, 1994 vs. Providence. Of the 60 boards, 27 were offensive, leading to 22 second-chance points.
The Crimson jumped out to a 12-2 lead behind nine points from McDonnell. Harvard held Hofstra to just 1-of-13 shooting over the eight-minute span, forcing four Pride turnovers. Harvard would push its lead to 16 at the 4:47 mark, as Fagbenle converted an open lay-up to give the Crimson a 22-6 advantage. A 9-3 spurt by the Pride narrowed Harvard's lead to 10, but the Crimson responded with seven unanswered points before the break to lead 32-15 at the half.
Over the first 20 minutes, the Crimson held the Pride to 7-of-29 shooting, forcing 14 turnovers. Harvard also struggled from the floor (12-37), but went to the free throw line nine times converting seven. The Crimson doubled up the Pride in rebounds, 32-16 in the first stanza.
Hofstra's Annie Payton scored seven-straight points to open the second half, bringing the Pride within 10 once again, 32-22, at the 17:04 mark. Three-consecutive Crimson triples, including two by McDonnell, pushed the Harvard lead back to 18 with just under 13 minutes to play.
The Crimson cruised from there, never allowing the lead to dip below 18 and expanding it to 23, twice. Harvard will enjoy the Christmas holiday before heading to the Bronx for the Fordham Holiday Classic Dec. 29-30. The Crimson's first opponent is Tulsa.
Game Notes: The 8-3 start marks the best since 1997-98, when the Crimson began the season 16-2. The Crimson extends its home win streak to 18 games. Temi Fagbenle posted her third-straight double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds. The forward broke her career high in rebounds. It marked Fagbenle's 12th career double-double performance and fifth of the season. Fagbenle has scored double-figures 28 times in her career. AnnMarie Healy pulled down a personal-best nine rebounds. Erin McDonnell scored in double-digits (17) for the seventh time this season and fifth time over the last six games. The 41 points allowed by Harvard marked the fewest since March 12, 2013 vs. Columbia (26). The 15 points allowed in the first half marked the fewest for a Harvard opponent since Columbia on March 12, 2013 (13). Harvard went with the starting lineup of Curtis, Evans, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell for the third-straight game.
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