Women’s Basketball Opens Season with 59-53 Win Over Northern Illinois

Maggie McCarthy dribbles.
Photo by: Gil Talbot

DEKALB, Ill. – Kicking off its 2019-20 slate on the road, the Harvard women's basketball team (1-0, 0-0 Ivy League) picked up a 59-53 win over Northern Illinois (0-1, 0-0 MAC) today, Nov. 5, at the Convocation Center.

First-year Lola Mullaney made an impressive debut to begin her collegiate career, leading the Crimson with 25 points. Senior Jeannie Boehm posted her first double-double of the season, registering 16 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomores Tess Sussman and Maggie McCarthy joined Boehm in double figures, tallying 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Sussman paced Harvard in assists with five, while McCarthy led in steals with four.

Mullaney put the Crimson on the board early, sinking back-to-back triples. Baskets from Boehm and Mullaney's third triple of the quarter helped Harvard extend its lead to 10 at 15-5. A 3-0 run brought the Huskies back within one, but the Crimson held on to sustain a four-point lead at 20-16 at the end of the quarter.

Jeannie Boehm dropped in three quick baskets and Mullaney added her sixth triple to give Harvard a double-digit lead at 35-19 at the start of quarter two. Strong defense from the Crimson held NIU at bay, as Harvard took a 39-24 lead into halftime.

The second half began as a defensive battle, as NIU cut its deficit to 12. A pair of baskets from McCarthy and a late triple from Sussman gave the Crimson a 47-31 lead heading into the final frame. Northern Illinois continued to pack on the pressure in quarter four, picking up seven quick points to come within nine at 47-38. Boehm broke a 4-0 run from the Huskies with back-to-back buckets, as a string of late free throws helped Harvard seal the 59-53 victory.

Harvard Highlights
- First-year Mullaney recorded 25 points in her first game in the Crimson uniform, sinking six triples and eight field goals.
- Three Crimson players registered double-digit rebounds, led by Boehm with 14, Sussman with 12 and McCarthy with 10.
- Harvard held Northern Illinois to 15 for 68 shooting from the field and seven for 34 shooting from three-point range.
- The Crimson outrebounded the Huskies 54 to 46.

Game Notes
- The Crimson moves to 1-0 in its all-time series against the Huskies after meeting for the first time in program history.
- Harvard moves to 21-25 all-time in its season openers and 18-20 under head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith.

Up Next
Harvard will return home to Lavietes Pavilion for its home opener this Friday, Nov. 8 against California. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+.