Women's Basketball Beats Kansas, 69-59, For Eighth Straight Win

Freshman guard Katie Benzan had 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in the win at Kansas (Courtesy of KU Athletics/Jeff Jacobsen)

 Freshman forward Jeannie Boehm recorded her second career double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks, senior forward Destiny Nunley added 12 points and four blocks, and sophomore guard Madeline Raster added 11 points, six rebounds, and six steals to lead Harvard women's basketball (8-1) to a 69-59 win at Kansas (3-5).

The win was Harvard's eighth in a row, a school record in non-conference play, and the longest winning streak since an eight game run during the 2012-13 season. 

The Crimson were dominant at times on the defensive end, recording 14 steals and nine blocks in the game. Harvard, which held a one-point lead at halftime, held Kansas to 27.8% shooting in the second half, and pulled away from the Jayhawks in the fourth quarter.

In a span of over six minutes, starting with 8:51 to play in the fourth quarter, Harvard held Kansas to one field goal, and opened up a double-digit lead. Leading 49-47, Harvard's 6-0 run, capped off by a turnaround jumper by Nunley, pushed the lead to 55-47.

Leading 58-51 moments later, Harvard's 7-0 run capped off by a three from Benzan with 3:29 to play put the Crimson up 65-51 and enabled the visiting team to close out the victory. 

The host Jayhawks began the game with an 8-0 run, answered by Benzan's three pointer from the wing with 6:30 to play in the opening quarter.

A short jumper by Destiny Nunley off a fast break pass from Sydney Skinner helped Harvard close to within three, then minutes later, Skinner pulled up on another fast break to hit a 16-footer from the wing, making it 10-9.

Raster's offensive rebound and putback gave Harvard its biggest lead of the quarter at 15-11 with 1:00 to play. Boehm hit another layup inside on the Crimson's last possession of the frame to put Harvard ahead 17-13 at the end of the first quarter.

The Jayhawks began with quarter with a 5-0 run to retake the lead, but Harvard answered, as Rooks hit a three from straightaway to make it 20-18 Crimson.

Midway through the quarter, Kansas used a 5-0 run to take a 29-24 lead, but Harvard responded with a 10-4 run to close the half, as Harvard retook the lead on a Benzan three-pointer. Raster then stole the ensuing Kansas inbounds pass, setting up a layup inside for Boehm. The Crimson led 34-33 at the break.

Harvard used a 10-0 run early in the third quarter to open up a nine-point lead, a run keyed by solid play on both ends of the floor by Raster.

A steal and layup by the sophomore guard started the run, then Raster's steal and feed to Nunley for a short jumper continued it, giving Harvard a 41-35. Nani Redford's three pointer from the wing put the Crimson up 44-35 with 6:13 to play in the third quarter. Kansas was able to cut the Harvard lead to 47-45 heading into the fourth, but the Crimson closed out the game with its best effort of the night on both ends of the floor.

Harvard will break for two weeks before returning to action on Dec. 21 with a road contest at Siena.

Game Notes: Harvard's 8-1 start is the best through nine games since the 1997-98 season, when the team also started 8-1...Harvard earned its first ever victory against a Big 12 opponent...This was the first meeting between Harvard and Kansas since 1987, and Harvard's first ever visit to Allen Fieldhouse.