Women’s Basketball Bests Cornell, 61-57

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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ITHACA, N.Y. – With a late 14-3 run and a strong defensive effort, Harvard women's basketball edged Cornell, 61-57, Saturday afternoon at Newman Arena. The Crimson was paced by senior captain Erin McDonnell who finished with 17 points as sophomore Kit Metoyer added a season-high 12 points in the win.

The Crimson (10-12, 3-5) overcame a tough shooting night from behind the arc (2-15) to outscore Cornell 28-12 in the paint and grind out the victory.  Seven student-athletes contributed to the final score as junior Shilpa Tummala dished out a personal-best five assists. Junior AnnMarie Healy approached a double-double with eight points and eight rebounds.  

Cornell (14-8, 5-3) was paced by Nia Marshall with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Nicholle Aston and Megan LeDuc added 10 points apiece.  

The Crimson jumped out to an 8-0 advantage over the first three minutes, as Healy capped the run with a jumper in the lane at the 17:08 mark. A triple by Metoyer gave the Crimson its largest lead of the game before the Big Red ripped off a 13-3 spurt over the next seven minutes to gain its first advantage, 19-18. Over the span, the Crimson struggled from the field, hitting just 1-of-10 shots. Cornell enjoyed a four-point cushion heading into the locker room.

Harvard jump started the second half with a 6-2 jolt, knotting the tally at 31-apiece with 18:34 to play. The two teams stayed within one possession of each other until three-straight jumpers by Marshall expanded the Big Red's lead to seven, 42-35, at the 13:10 mark.

Metoyer nailed a step-back jumper to stop the run, and the Crimson would not back down, utilizing a 14-3 run to regain the lead, 53-47, with 2:48 to play. Harvard held Cornell to without a field goal over the six-minute span. The Crimson withstood a flurry of put-back shots and connected on their free throws down the stretch to come away with the four-point win.   

Harvard continues its road swing next weekend at Penn and No. 16 Princeton.

Game Notes: Erin McDonnell tallied her 20th game in double-digits this season with 17 points. It marked the 33rd time in her career McDonnell has posted 10-plus. The Crimson moves to 2-1 with the starting lineup of McDonnell, Fagbenle, Healy, Tummala and Metoyer. It marked the first time this season Kit Metoyer has posted double-figures. The Crimson has made a consecutive three-pointer in a program-record 179 games. Temi Fagbenle owns 1,073 career points to sit No. 16 all-time at Harvard. Shilpa Tummala dished out a career-high five assists.