CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's basketball team (1-2) topped visiting Siena (1-2) in its home opener Wednesday night, 75-67. Harvard's offense was led by 22 points from sophomore Katie Benzan and senior Taylor Rooks recorded a career-best 15 rebounds.
Siena controlled the action early, jumping out to a 21-7 lead with 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter on a Daja Rawls basket. Junior Sydney Skinner gave the Crimson a jolt just before the end of the frame though, drilling a triple off a Jeannie Boehm feed.
The Skinner 3-pointer was the beginning of a 15-1 run that spanned 5:48 and culminated with Harvard knotting the game at 22-22 midway through the second quarter. Junior Taylor Rooks paced the Crimson rally, scoring six of her team-high eight points in the first half during that span. Rooks also led the team with seven rebounds in the first half, while Siena's Kollyns Scarbrough led all scorers with 15 points to put the Saints ahead, 29-28, at the break.
Harvard swung the scoreboard in its favor in the third quarter, going up by nine just past the midpoint and again right before the end of the period. Junior Madeline Raster was at the forefront of the offensive push for the Crimson, tallying nine points. Freshman Jadyn Bush capped the productive quarter with an offensive board and a put back as time expired to make it 52-43 heading into the fourth.
Siena threatened to close the gap late in the fourth, coming as close as four points, but Harvard withstood the threat and sealed the win with two Skinner free throws in the final minute.
- Senior Taylor Rooks pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds.
- Sophomore Katie Benzan tallied 22 points, her most since scoring 24 at Brown last February.
- Freshman Jadyn Bush had nine points, a new career-best.
- Sophomore Jeannie Boehm matched her career-high with four assists.
- Harvard scored 24 points in the third quarter, its highest total in one period this season.
- Harvard improves to 4-2 all-time against Siena.
- The Crimson improves to 26-10 in home openers under head coach Kathy Delany-Smith.
Harvard is back in action at Lavietes Pavilion Saturday afternoon, hosting Sacred Heart at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on NESNplus and the Ivy League Network.