CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A strong effort by Harvard women's basketball was not enough as the Crimson was edged by Brown, 83-80, at Lavietes Pavilion Friday evening.
Senior forward Temi Fagbenle paced the Crimson (8-11, 1-4) with 28 points, adding 12 rebounds – including 10 offensive – and a career-high seven assists against no turnovers. Junior AnnMarie Healy chipped in her fourth double-double of the year with 18 points and a personal-best 13 rebounds. Senior captain Erin McDonnell rounded out the double-figure trio with 15 points, adding five rebounds and three assists.
Fagbenle becomes the eighth player in Harvard history with 1,000-plus rebounds and 700-plus boards for her career.
Brown (8-11, 2-3) was paced by Ellise Sharpe with 19 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with 36 seconds to play. Four Bears tallied 10-plus points, as Sophie Bikofsky (14), Megan Reilly (13) and Rebecca Musgrove (10) each recorded double-figures.
Knotted at 16-16, Brown scored nine of the next 11 points to hold its largest lead of the half, 25-18, at the 10:22 mark. The Crimson responded with back-to-back buckets to pull within three, and would get within a basket after an old-fashioned three-point play by Fagbenle. Harvard went into the break within three, 40-37, after a Fagbenle jumper.
McDonnell scored the first three Crimson buckets after the break, but it was a 10-2 run sparked by Fagbenle that gave the Crimson its first lead since early in the first half. An and-one basket by the London product started the spark and a free throw by Healy gave the Crimson a 53-48 advantage at the 14:38 mark.
Over the next eight minutes, every Crimson basket seemed to be answered with a Bears triple, as six of Brown's eight baskets over the span were behind the arc. The Bears build a six-point cushion, 70-64, with the barrage before a spin move by Healy and two from the charity stripe by Fagbenle pulled the Crimson within two, 70-68.
A 9-4 rally – capped by a jumper by Healy – gave Harvard a 77-76 lead with just over a minute to play. Brown answered with an old-fashioned three-point play by Sharpe to take its final lead, making free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
Harvard welcomes Yale tomorrow for Pack the House and the PinkZone game at Lavietes Pavilion. Game time is set for 6 p.m.
Game Notes: Temi Fagbenle moves to No. 18 all-time on the Harvard scoring list with 1,038 career points (with 28 points tonight). Next up is Jessica Gelman with 1,045. Fagbenle posted her ninth double-double of the year with 12 rebounds. Fagbenle also moves to No. 9 all-time in rebounds with 702. Fagbenle becomes the eighth player with 1,000-plus points and 700-plus boards for her career. It marked her 16th double-digit game of the season and 56th double-figure effort of her career. Fagbenle set a career high with seven assists. Erin McDonnell tallied her 17th game in double-digits this season with 15 points. AnnMarie Healy registered her 13th game with 10-plus points (18) and her fourth double-double of the year with 13 rebounds. The Crimson has made a consecutive three-pointer in a program-record 176 games. The Crimson moves to 2-3 with the starting lineup of Temi Fagbenle, AnnMarie Healy, Erin McDonnell, Shilpa Tummala and Ali Curtis.