Balanced Scoring Pushes Women’s Basketball Over NJIT, 75-56

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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NEWARK, N.J. – Four players posted double-figures, as junior forward Temi Fagbenle poured in 17 points and Harvard women's basketball (11-4) bested the New Jersey Institute of Technology, 75-56, Wednesday afternoon at the Estelle and Zoom Fleischer Athletic Center.

Ten (10) players contributed to the final score as Harvard won its final nonconference regular season game. The 10-4 nonleague mark signals the third-best nonconference record under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith and fifth-best all-time.

Junior forward Erin McDonnell added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting with four rebounds and two assists. Senior Jasmine Evans added 13 points off the bench. Senior captain Christine Clark chipped in 10 points in her 100th career start.

The Crimson turned 21 offensive rebounds into 30 second chance points, outrebounding the Highlanders (5-16) by a 39-28 margin. NJIT forward Martina Matejcikova led all scorers with 18 points, while Shakia Robinson chipped in 13 points.

After an even start tied at 13-13, Harvard scored 13 of the next 17 points to gain a nine-point advantage, 26-17, at the 10:08 mark. The Crimson held the Highlanders to just one field goal over the nearly four-minute span, while making four-of-five shots on the offensive end.

Holding a seven-point lead four minutes later, Ali Curtis hit a trey on the wing, AnnMarie Healy connected off a dish from Melissa Mullins and Fagbenle made a hook shot to push the Crimson lead to 14 with 4:36 to play before the break. NJIT posted five of the last seven points before the break to cut Harvard's lead to eight, 43-35, heading into halftime.

The Highlanders came as close as six early in the second half before a 10-0 spurt gave the Crimson a 59-43 cushion with 9:41 to play. Senior Jasmine Evans knocked down a three to end the run and Harvard never looked back, extending its lead to as many as 20 with just over two minutes to play.   

Harvard will have the weekend off from competition before resuming Ivy League play at home against Dartmouth Jan. 25. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Game Notes: Christine Clark started her 100th game for the Crimson. The 10-4 nonleague mark signals the third-best nonconference record under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith and fifth-best all-time. Fagbenle has scored double-figures 32 times in her career, including 12 times this season. Erin McDonnell has scored 10-plus points (13) for the 10th time this season and seventh over the last eight games. With 10 points, Christine Clark holds the No. 8 all-time on the Harvard scoring list with 1,452 career points. She needs just seven points to pass Brogan Berry '12 for seventh all-time. The senior scored in double-figures for the 83rd time in her career and 10th time this season. Jasmine Evans scored in double-digits for the seventh time this season and the second-straight game. Melissa Mullins paced the squad in rebounding for the sixth time this season. Harvard moves to 9-3 with the starting lineup of Curtis, Clark, Mullins, Fagbenle and McDonnell. The Crimson moves to 8-2 when scoring more than 70 points. The Crimson had four players post double-figures for the second-straight game.