Harvard women best Yale in pivotal meeting in Ivy League Tournament race

First-year guard Harmoni Turner tied a career scoring high with 25 points in Harvard’s win over Yale Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

In a game that had the feel of a battle for third place in the Ivy League and a chance to avoid Princeton in the first round of the conference tournament, Harvard outlasted Yale, 65-59.

The Elis were stymied by a bad quarter of basketball.

Yale continued the strong defensive effort which it displayed the night before in beating Dartmouth in Hanover, 48-33, by holding Harvard to six points and grabbing a 10-6 advantage. Harvard only shot 2-for-11 from the field.

But things changed in the second quarter. Harmoni Turner, who tied a career scoring high with 25 points, took over offensively and helped Harvard to a 17-7 advantage in the quarter and a six-point halftime lead.

Yale (13-8, 6-3 Ivy) came out strong in the third stanza and on a 7-2 run grabbed a 25-24 lead. The rest of the quarter became a foul-shooting battle and Harvard led 44-37 going into the last stanza.

Harvard (12-9, 6-3) extended the lead to 53-47 on threes from Annie Stritzel and Turner.

Yale got no closer than six after that.

“I was very proud of our defensive effort in limiting Harvard’s ability to score beyond the arc,” Yale coach Allison Guth said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t execute offensively tonight.”

Camilla Emsbo scored her 1000th career point and led Yale with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Cade snared a game-high 13 rebounds in leading Yale to a 53-33 advantage on the boards.

Yale hosts Columbia and Harvard hosts Penn in two key Ivy clashes next Saturday.