Powered by a second-half comeback, Harvard defeated California for the second straight season Friday night, scoring a 56-53 triumph over the Golden Bears in its home opener.
The Crimson (2-0) trailed 29-19 at halftime but cut the Cal (0-1) lead to 41-39 entering the fourth quarter after an eight-point third quarter from first-year Lola Mullaney, who after exploding for 25 points in her collegiate debut at Northern Illinois notched another 14 points in 27 minutes before exiting midway through the fourth quarter due to injury, having been helped off the floor.
Three other Crimson players joined Mullaney in double figures: senior Mackenzie Barta, who also grabbed 12 boards and made two clutch free throws to extend Harvard’s lead to five with 25 seconds left, sophomore Tess Sussman, who after Mullaney exited scored nine points in the final 6:42 to help secure the win, and senior Jeannie Boehm, who pitched in 10 points in 29 minutes.
Harvard upset No. 14 California 85-79 at Haas Pavilion last season.