FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Despite 39 combined points from seniors Shilpa Tummala and AnnMarie Healy, Harvard women's basketball (4-6) could not overcome an early deficit, falling to Fairfield, 67-50, Monday evening at Alumni Hall.
Tummala finished with a career high 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Healy earned 19 points. Freshman Nani Redford paced the squad in rebounding with a career-high eight, adding a personal-best six assists, four points and three steals.
Fairfield (5-6) was paced by Kelsey Carey, who put together a 27 point game on 9-of-16 shooting. The Stags dominated in the paint, outscoring the Crimson at a 34-6 clip.
The Crimson missed six of its first seven shots, but rattled off three-straight buckets – including two by Healy – to take a 9-7 advantage at the 5:28 mark. Swinging the momentum and pushing ahead one, Fairfield rattled off 16 unanswered points to take a 28-11 lead with 5:29 to play in the second quarter. Carey posted 13 points over the first 10 minutes and 18 points in the half to secure the Stags advantage.
With two minutes to play and trailing by its largest margin of the game, 33-14, Harvard put together a 6-0 spurt to pull within 13 at the break. For the half, the Crimson struggled from the floor, shooting 7-of-29 (24.1), including 2-from-12 from three with 11 turnovers. On the flip side, the Stags connected on 12-of-24 (50.0) field goals and made 7-of-8 from the free throw line. The Crimson did not hit a field goal in the second stanza until 39 seconds remained.
Fairfield matched its largest lead of the game, 44-25, with 4:23 to play in the third quarter. Healy bookended an 18-4 Crimson rally to pull Harvard within five, 48-43, with 7:23 to play. Five different Crimson student-athletes scored in the run as Harvard shot 6-of-8 and held Fairfield to 2-of-8 from the field.
The Stags responded with 12 unanswered points over the next four minutes, extending its lead back to 17, 60-43. The Crimson missed seven-straight shots over the spurt and could not produce another comeback.
Harvard continues on the road swing with Stony Brook Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 4 p.m.
Game Notes: Shilpa Tummala scored 10-plus for the eighth time this year with 20 points. It marked a career high for the senior, who registered her first game over the 20-point plateau. AnnMarie Healy posted double-figures for the 10th time this season and the 33rd of her career with 19 points. Nani Redford paced the team for the first time this season with a career-high eight rebounds, adding a personal-best six assists. Harvard went with the starting lineup of Healy, Redford, Tummala, Metoyer and Raster for the seventh-straight game. The Crimson moves to 3-4 with that starting five. Harvard drops to 2-9 all-time against Fairfield.