Freshman Katie Benzan led Harvard with 17 points at Princeton (Gil Talbot).
PRINCETON, N.J. – Freshman guard Katie Benzan had 17 points, and senior forward Destiny Nunley added 11 points and 11 rebounds, but the Harvard women's basketball team (16-3, 4-2 Ivy League) fell at Princeton (9-9, 3-2 Ivy League), 63-58, in overtime at Jadwin Gymnasium.
The Crimson rallied from a 10-point second half deficit to force overtime, but Harvard was unable to overcome the Tigers in the extra frame.
Trailing 44-36 at the start of the fourth quarter, Harvard quickly made it a one possession game with a 7-2 run, capped off by Sydney Skinner's three-pointer from the wing to make it 46-43. After Princeton answered with a three-pointer, a 6-0 run put Harvard in front for the first time since the start of the second half, as Raster's contested layup gave the Crimson a 50-49 lead with 5:04 to play.
Both teams traded the lead in the final minutes of regulation, as Raster put Harvard back in front 52-50 with 1:40 to go, then Nunley again put Harvard back in front, answering a Princeton layup with an offensive rebound and putback to make it 54-52 with 1:04 to play.
Princeton responded with a transition layup to tie the game, and then freshman forward Jeannie Boehm (four points, 12 rebounds, three blocks) helped the Crimson come up with one last stop to send the game to overtime, blocking a shot with 1.4 seconds left in regulation.
In overtime, Harvard trailed 59-58 after Raster drove from midcourt for a tough layup in transition with 1:26 left in the extra frame. But Harvard was unable to push in front of Princeton.
Harvard used a late burst in the first quarter to gain control of momentum in the game early on. Trailing 6-3 late in the frame, Harvard went on a 10-0 run with good team defense and transition offense making the difference for the Crimson.
Boehm got it going for Harvard, hitting a tough hook shot in the paint off an inbounds play. Raster then hit a three-pointer from straightaway, which was followed by a Skinner fast break layup to put Harvard up 10-6. Kirby Porter hit a baseline jumper with 42 seconds to go, and Raster hit a free throw to cap off the run, giving Harvard a 13-6 lead at the break.
Benzan, who had 14 first half points, helped extend Harvard's lead to nine points with a midrange jumper to make it 17-8 with 8:17 to play
The Crimson held Princeton scoreless for 6:05, a run that spanned half of the first quarter into the second quarter. Princeton cut the lead to five points on Leslie Robinson's layup with 5:35 to go in the half, but Benzan answered with back-to-back three pointers to give Harvard its biggest lead of the first half at 28-17.
Princeton closed to within five points at the half (31-25), but Harvard's defense held the Tigers to 33.3% from the field, while the Crimson hit 6-of-12 three pointers to build the lead.
Princeton pushed in front with a 15-0 run to start the third quarter before Harvard mounted its comeback to send the game to overtime.
Harvard will host Brown and Yale next weekend (Feb. 9-10) with both games airing on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network.
To watch the full game archive of Harvard-Princeton, click here