SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Harvard women's basketball (2-2) dropped a 97-43 decision at No. 3/2 Notre Dame on the second day of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Challenge at Purcell Pavilion. The Crimson registered a strong second-half effort, but could not surmount the Fighting Irish lead.
Senior captain Erin McDonnell paced the Crimson with 10 points and six rebounds. Junior Shilpa Tummala added eight points. The Irish put forth a balanced scoring attack, as five players tallied double-figures, led by Taya Reimer with 14 points. Hannah Huffman added 12 points, four rebounds and three steals, while Madison Cable also posted 12 points and three steals.
The Crimson scored five of the first seven points, taking an early 5-2 lead after McDonnell nailed a triple from the top of the arc. Junior AnnMarie Healy beat her defender off the dribble after a 7-0 spurt by the Irish to pull Harvard within two, 9-7. From there, the Irish ripped off 27 of the next 30 points to balloon its lead to 26, 36-10.
Senior Temi Fagbenle quieted the run with a driving layup, but Notre Dame continued to push, registering a 23-1 run to take a 59-13 lead into the locker room.
Out of the break, the Crimson showed its fight, posting nine of the first 11 points. Healy started things with a corner three and senior Ali Curtis matched her teammate with a triple from straight away. Fagbenle completed the spurt with an old-fashioned three-point play, powering through two ND defenders.
Five points from the Fighting Irish did not deter the Crimson, as Curtis hit a floater in the lane, Anna Lachenauer connected and Kit Metoyer nailed a three from the wing to put the score at 69-29 and complete a 7-2 jolt. After a UND free throw, Harvard rattled off six-straight points, capped by a fast break and-one from Shilpa Tummala.
The Crimson stood tough in the second stanza, outscored 38-30, but could not overcome the Irish, as the No. 3 team walked away with a 97-43 victory.
Harvard returns to action for the final day of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Challenge Tuesday, Nov. 25 against Holy Cross. Game time is set for 8 p.m.
Game Notes: Erin McDonnell registered her 16th double-figure effort with 10 points. Maddy Tessier-Kay saw her first action in a Harvard uniform. Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith used her third different starting lineup of the season with Ali Curtis, Kaitlyn Dinkins, AnnMarie Healy, Temi Fagbenle and Erin McDonnell. Harvard moves to 0-1 with this lineup. Maddy Tessier-Kay saw her first action in a Crimson uniform, grabbing one rebound.