PHILADELPHIA – A poor shooting effort doomed the Harvard women's basketball team, as the Crimson fell to Penn, 71-61, Friday evening at the Palestra. The Crimson (10-13, 3-6) was paced by junior AnnMarie Healy's fifth double-double of the season.
Harvard struggled from the field, shooting just 18-of-70 (25.7 percent), including a 7-of-37 showing over the first 20 minutes. Healy posted a game-high 18 points, adding 10 rebounds – including seven offensive boards. Sophomore Destiny Nunley matched personal bests with seven points and six steals. Sophomore guard Kit Metoyer and senior captain Erin McDonnell also recorded double-figures, registering 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Penn (15-7, 6-2) was paced by forward Sydney Stipanovich, who accounted for 17 points and seven rebounds. Michelle Nwokedi registered a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Anna Ross and Kathleen Roche each scored 14 points.
Harvard jumped out to an early 9-4 lead before an 8-0 jump by Penn gave the Quakers a 12-9 advantage at the 12:11 mark. The Crimson suffered a cold streak over the spurt, missing each of its nine shot attempts. Relying on its defense, Harvard was able to find its rhythm again, rattling off nine of the next 11 points to hold an 18-14 lead with 8:06 before the break. Metoyer capped the run with a triple from straight away.
Nunley converted a steal at the top of the key into two points for the Crimson, but Penn would score the final seven points, maintaining a 30-26 lead at half.
A step-back from dead on by Metoyer pulled the Crimson within four, 34-30, but the Quakers extended their lead to 10, 40-30, with back-to-back triples by Ross and Roche. The two teams exchanged baskets, but another scoring drought by the Crimson (0-of-12) allowed Penn to balloon its lead to as many as 25.
The Crimson made a final push, rattling off a 17-3 run, but the effort would not be enough to overcome the Quakers.
The Crimson will be back in action tomorrow at No. 16/17 Princeton. The game can be seen live at 6 p.m. on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network.
Game Notes: For the second-straight game, Kit Metoyer posted double-figures with 14 points. AnnMarie Healy registered double-digits for the 14th time this season with 18 points. Destiny Nunley matched her personal best with seven points and added a career high six steals. Erin McDonnell tallied her 21st game in double-digits this season with 13 points. It marked the 34th time in her career McDonnell has posted 10-plus. The Crimson moves to 2-2 with the starting lineup of McDonnell, Fagbenle, Healy, Tummala and Metoyer. Temi Fagbenle owns 1,076 career points to sit No. 16 all-time at Harvard. The Crimson has made a consecutive three-pointer in a program-record 180 games.