BOSTON – Harvard women's basketball (1-1) fell to Boston University (1-1) Monday night at Case Gymnasium, as the Terriers used an inside game to overcome a 17-point deficit and best the Crimson, 63-61.
The Crimson was outdone in the second half, as BU outpaced Harvard 40-27, using a strong inside presence to score 40 total points in the paint. Seniors Temi Fagbenle and Erin McDonnell both registered double-doubles for Harvard. Fagbenle posted 12 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three steals, while McDonnell tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Ali Curtis scored seven points and dished out a career-best seven assists.
After the first 20 minutes, the Crimson struggled to shoot from the field, connecting at a 28.9 percent clip in the second stanza. BU was led by Meghan Green, who led all scorers with 19 points, adding seven rebounds. Troi Melton added 11 points and four rebounds.
The Crimson started hot out of the gates, rattling off 14-straight points before the Terriers got on the board. Harvard shot 6-of-9 from the field over the first six minutes, assisting on five of the made buckets. The Crimson did not allow a field goal until the 12:16 mark of the first half, extending its lead to 19-3.
The Terriers crawled back, scoring 11 of the next 15 points to pull within seven, 23-16, with 6:43 to play before the half. Undeterred, Harvard headed to the free throw line, connecting seven times, and adding a corner three by Shilpa Tummala, to double the BU score and hold a 33-16 lead at the under four media timeout. BU closed the gap, but headed to the locker room trailing 35-23.
The Crimson held its lead over the first 10 minutes after the break, but would not be able to sustain the advantage. BU spouted off a 13-3 run, all of action in the paint or at the free throw line, to pull within one, 51-50, at the 5:37 mark. A trey by the Terriers' Sarah Hope gave the Terriers its first lead of the game with just under five minutes to play.
The two teams battled back and forth, with the Crimson having the final possession, trailing one with 28 seconds to play. The final opportunity produced a potential game-winning shot, but it would not find the back of the net and the Terriers walked away with the win.
Harvard continues its road swing, heading to South Bend, Indiana for the Basketball Hall of Fame Tournament. The three-day trip to the Midwest starts with Quinnipiac Sunday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.
Game Notes: Temi Fagbenle recorded her 19th career double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. It marked the 23rd time in her career that the senior has eclipsed 10-plus points. This marks the first time since Feb. 21, 2014 that two players have had a double-double. Erin McDonnell posted the first double-double of her career with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Ali Curtis dished out a career-high seven assists, the most for a Crimson player since Jasmine Evans and Erin McDonnell at Iona on March 20, 2014. Harvard used the same starting lineup of Ali Curtis, Shilpa Tummala, Kaitlyn Dinkins, Temi Fagbenle and Erin McDonnell for the second-straight game. The Crimson moves to 1-1 with this lineup.