Women's Basketball Edges Sacred Heart, 68-60, for Fifth Straight Win

Sophomore guard Madeline Raster notched 17 points and eight rebounds to lead Harvard to a 68-60 win at Sacred Heart. (Gil Talbot)

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore guard Madeline Raster had 17 points and eight rebounds, and freshman forward Jeannie Boehm notched her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead Harvard women's basketball (5-1) to a 68-60 win over Sacred Heart (2-4). Four Harvard players scored in double-figures, with sophomore guard Sydney Skinner (11 points) and senior forward Destiny Nunley (10 points, five rebounds) also leading Harvard's scoring effort.

"Anytime you go on the road and leave with a win I think that's a good thing," said head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith. "We didn't start strong but down the stretch we did enough to win."

The Crimson outrebounded Sacred Heart 46-32 on the night, including 12 offensive rebounds which produced 21 second chance points.

Harvard held Sacred Heart to just nine field goals in the second half, and survived a late game run by the Pioneers with good defense in the final minutes of the game. Sacred Heart pulled to within 62-57 midway through the fourth quarter, and the lead was four at 64-60 after a three pointer by SHU's Erin Storck with 2:38 to play.

But Harvard held the Pioneers scoreless the rest of the way, and Skinner and Raster both hit free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

Harvard took a 37-33 lead into halftime behind hot shooting from behind the arc (5-for-11) led by Sydney Skinner (3-for-3) and timely offensive rebounding.

Skinner, making her first start of the season, hit Harvard's first shot of the night, a three-pointer from the corner, to get Harvard rolling. Kirby Porter (nine points, five rebounds) was also effective early on, draining an early three and adding a pull-up jumper just before the first media timeout to put Harvard up 15-11, and the Crimson led 19-17 at the end of the first quarter.

Harvard extended its lead to 29-23 in the second quarter, as Raster began to heat up from outside, scoring six of Harvard's 10 points during a 10-3 run with the Crimson trailing 20-19 at one point. The Crimson responded to a 5-0 mini run by Sacred Heart with a three off a great hustle play from Raster.

Raster crashed the lane for an offensive rebound, drove the baseline and found Skinner open for a baseline three pointer to put Harvard up 33-29, a margin it would maintain going into the half.

Harvard used a 10-0 run early in the third quarter to extend lead to double-digits, as the Crimson went to work inside on the Pioneers. Porter grabbed an offensive rebound for a putback to start the run. Boehm crashed the boards for another offensive rebound and layup to put Harvard up 41-34. A Porter layup, followed by Raster's steal and uncontested layup put Harvard up 47-34 midway through the third quarter before Sacred Heart began to chip away.

In the end, Harvard held off the Pioneers' late run to earn its fifth straight non-conference win. Harvard will host Temple on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in a game that will air on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Game Notes: Harvard's streak is the longest in non-conference play since a seven-game non-conference run during the 2013-14 season…Harvard improved to 4-2 in the all-time series against Sacred Heart…Raster matched a career high with six field goals.