LOS ANGELES, Calif. – In the championship game of the 2018 Warner Center Marriott Thanksgiving Basketball Classic, the Harvard women's basketball team (4-3, 0-0 Ivy) cruised by tournament host CSUN (2-4, 0-0 Big West), 75-55. At the conclusion of the tournament, Katie Benzan and Jadyn Bush were named to the All-Tournament Team, while Bush was named the tournament's most valuable player.
Junior Benzan and sophomore Bush and paced Harvard with 17 points each, leading the Crimson in scoring for the second consecutive night. Madeline Raster and Sydney Skinner joined the duo in double figures, posting 12 and 14 points, respectively. Defensively, Bush recorded her third double-double of the season with 15 rebounds, while Benzan grabbed five boards.
The Crimson jumped out to an early 14-5 lead after four of its first five baskets came courtesy of triples from Benzan, Raster and Skinner. Harvard held CSUN to 11.8 percent shooting from the field in the opening frame, commanding a 22-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Bush secured seven points during the first half of quarter two, pushing the Crimson's lead to 29-10. Slowly chipping back at its deficit, the Matadors used a 4-1 run at the end of the quarter to come within 10 at 36-26 going into halftime.
Harvard led for the entirety of the third quarter, while holding CSUN to a combined 0-for-13 shooting midway through. Skinner secured 11 points for the Crimson in quarter three, guiding the team into the final frame with a 19-point lead. The Matador's continued to apply pressure in the fourth quarter, but were unable to push past the Crimson's defense as Harvard sealed the win at 75-55.
- The Crimson held the Matadors to 25.4 percent shooting (17-for-67) from the field.
- Two or more players recorded double digit points for fourth consecutive game.
- Bush led Harvard in scoring in back-to-back games with 17 points tonight and was named the tournament's MVP.
- Harvard was crowned the 2018 Warner Center Marriott Thanksgiving Basketball Classic champions after its wins over Jacksonville State and CSUN this weekend.
- After meeting for the first time in program history, the Crimson now holds a 1-0 lead in its all-time series with the Matadors.
Harvard will return home to begin a four-game home stint on Friday, Nov. 30 when it welcomes Quinnipiac to Lavietes Pavilion. Slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off, the game will be broadcast on ESPN+.