Women’s Basketball Drops Heartbreaker at Buzzer to Chattanooga, 54-52

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard women's basketball lost a 54-52 decision at the horn to Chattanooga, who is receiving votes in the latest AP Top-25 poll, Monday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion. Junior forward AnnMarie Healy set a new career high with 20 points, including 10 points over the final 5:15, in front of a crowd of 1,142 screaming fans.

The Crimson (6-7) put forth a valiant effort in the second half, shooting 60 percent from the field and outscoring the Mocs, 35-28. Harvard also overcame an 11-point deficit with just 4:45 to play to knot the game at 52-52 with 29 seconds remaining.

Senior forward Temi Fagbenle posted her sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Senior captain Erin McDonnell added 11 points. Senior point guard Ali Curtis dished out six helpers against no turnovers.

Chattanooga (12-3) was paced by Keiana Gilbert with 18 points, as Jasmine Joyner added 14 points and seven boards.

After 20 minutes of play, Harvard headed to the locker room trailing, 26-17. The Mocs started the game on a 12-2 spurt, as the Crimson connected on just 1-of-9 shots from the field. Harvard collected itself to rattle off 11 of the next 13 points to pull within one, 14-13. The Crimson would score just twice more, as the Mocs registered a 12-4 run and owned a nine-point advantage at the break.

UTC extended its lead to 12 one minute into the second stanza, posting a 30-19 lead. Healy answered immediately with a basket of her own and the Crimson whittled its deficit to six with a 6-0 jaunt. Curtis capped the spurt with a fast break jumper in the paint at the 17:18 mark.

With 4:45 to play and trailing 11, Harvard used a 13-2 outburst to knot the game at 52-all. Healy led the charge, starting the run with a pull-up jumper in the paint. Two free throws by the Edina, Minnesota product with under a minute to play pulled Harvard within two. UTC missed the front end of a one-and-one and Healy converted on the other end with a lay-in off an out-of-bounds play from Curtis. With the game knotted, Healy saved a basket with a block of Chelsey Shumpert, but the Mocs were able to convert as the buzzer sounded.

The Crimson opens Ivy League play Saturday, Jan. 10 against Dartmouth. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion.

Game Notes: AnnMarie Healy broke her career high with 20 points, adding six rebounds. The junior posted double-figures for the ninth time this season and 20-plus for the first time in her career. Temi Fagbenle registered her 11th double-figure game in 13 contests with 10 points. It marked the 51st double-digit effort of her career and the sixth time this season. For the sixth time this season, Fagbenle posted double-digit boards with 12. It marked the Erin McDonnell registered her 25th double-figure effort, and 11th this season, with 11 points. Ali Curtis dished out five-plus assists (six) for the seventh time this season. The 17 points marked the third time this season that Harvard has scored under 20 points over the first 20 minutes. Head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith used the starting lineup of Ali Curtis, Kaitlyn Dinkins, AnnMarie Healy, Temi Fagbenle and Erin McDonnell for the 10th-straight game. Harvard moves to 4-6 with this lineup. The Crimson moves to 0-1 against Chattanooga.