CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a back-in-fourth contest featuring 15 lead changes, the Harvard women's basketball team (12-11, 7-3) edged Cornell, 68-63, Saturday night at Lavietes Pavilion in front of 1,447 fans for its fourth-straight Ivy League win.
Senior Shilpa Tummala paced the Crimson with 15 points and added four rebounds. Senior captain Kit Metoyer tallied 14 points, connecting on four shots from beyond the arc. Senior captain AnnMarie Healy also notched double-digits, netting 14 points and hauling in seven rebounds.
Cornell's (13-11, 5-5) Nia Marshall finished a rebound shy of a double-double, totaling 16 points and nine rebounds. Maddie Campbell also neared a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Harvard and Cornell went shot-for-shot to open the game, exchanging the lead four times, as the Big Red held an 8-7 advantage at the first media break. Cornell extended its lead to five before Tummala halted the run with a second-chance reverse layup and connected from deep to put Harvard within one, 13-12, after the opening period.
Tummala stayed hot to open the second frame, nailing a jumper from the top of the key to give Harvard the lead. The Crimson's freshmen took over, as Nani Redford and Madeline Raster scored eight of the next 10 points to keep Harvard ahead by one, 24-23, at the 4:24 mark. Cornell responded with a 7-0 run to own its largest lead of the game, but Harvard answered with a 5-2 spurt of its own to close the half, capped by a Metoyer 3-pointer to tie it 32-32.
The second half mirrored the opening minutes of the first as neither team could break away, exchanging the lead four times until Cornell tallied a 5-0 run to take the lead, 42-39, 3:45 into the second stanza. Harvard matched Cornell bucket-for-bucket the next two possessions before spurning a 6-2 run to hold the upper hand over the Big Red, 47-44, heading into the final quarter.
Harvard exuded its offensive fire power to open the final frame, ripping off a 7-2 run, capitalized by a Raster 3-pointer from the wing to hold a 54-46 advantage with 7:22 remaining. The Big Red clawed its way back to cut the lead to 58-57 with 3:50 to go until Metoyer and Tummala drilled back-to-back triples, pushing the Crimson's advantage to 64-61 with just over two minutes remaining. The Crimson sealed the game from the charity stripe to eke out the win, 68-63.
Harvard will return to Lavietes next weekend against Yale and Brown. The game against the Bulldogs will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital network.
Game Notes: With four threes, senior Kit Metoyer sits at No. 10 all-time with 109 career threes. She needs nine to pass No. 9 Suzie Miller '98 (117). For the 13th time this year, Metoyer posted double-figures with 14 points. Tummala registered 15 points, her 18th game in double-digits. AnnMarie Healy posted double-figures for the 23rd time this season and the 46th of her career with 14 points. Harvard moves to 63-11 all-time against Cornell, winning 17-straight. This marks the longest win streak of the season.