Harvard women headed for WNIT third round for first time in program history

Harvard sophomore guard Harmoni Turner nearly recorded a second straight triple-double in Harvard’s WNIT second-round win at Massachusetts Monday night. (Erica Denhoff)

For the first time in program history, Harvard women’s basketball is headed for the third round of the WNIT.

The Crimson advanced to the third round of the WNIT Monday night with an 89-87 win at Massachusetts, propelled by memorable performances from sophomore guard Harmoni Turner and junior guard Lola Mullaney.

Harvard (19-11, 9-5 Ivy) took the lead for good off a Turner finish inside that gave the visitors an 86-85 edge with 42 seconds left that she padded by sinking two foul shots 20 seconds of game time later.

A layup by graduate forward Sam Breen pulled UMass (27-7, 14-2 Atlantic 10) within one with 14 seconds remaining, but after Turner split a pair of free throws, a hoist from deep by graduate guard Destiney Philoxy missed the mark, cementing the Crimson win.

Harvard had led 69-64 entering the third quarter and jumped out to a 78-68 lead with 6:50 left, but the Minutewomen held the Crimson to just two field goals over the next five-plus minutes.

Mullaney did what she did best – cut deep from deep. Mullaney tied a career high in three-pointers made with seven, and all 22 of her points came from three-point range or from the free-throw line off a three.

And four days after recording a triple-double in a WNIT opening-round win over Towson, Turner again stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and two steals in 39 minutes.

Harvard had fallen to UMass at home in November, 77-67

With so much talent slated to return next season for the Crimson, it’s not hard to see the WNIT run they’re making as a springboard to an even bigger and better destination next postseason.

The Crimson next face Rhode Island at Lavietes Pavilion in the Super 16 Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

1 thought on “Harvard women headed for WNIT third round for first time in program history”

  1. Columbia will have a chance to counter their loss to Harvard if both they and Harvard win their next game in the WNIT against hard opponents- as they will then play each other- sort of like Yale playing Columbia in the quarterfinals of the CIT which was a great game despite Yale winning

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