Despite holding a five-point halftime lead and going up by as many as 15, the Harvard women’s basketball team dropped its season opener to No. 16 Colorado 85-81 Saturday afternoon. Yesterday, the Crimson bounced back to beat Southern 73-63 in the consolation game of the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, Minn.
Colorado 85, Harvard 81
Playing with the confidence that is required of the top collegiate teams, Harvard came out charging against the Buffs, only to drop the contest in the waning moments.
With 90 seconds left on the clock, senior forward Randie Wirt hit a 12-foot jumper to put the Buffs ahead 83-81.
Harvard got the ball back with the chance to tie or take the lead, but was unable to score.
“If we didn’t turn it over and [instead] made a three, we would have won the game,” junior center Reka Cserny said.
After the Buffs knotted the game at 58 with 11:31 remaining in the game, a pair of Kate Fagan free throws granted Colorado its first lead since the fourth minute of the game.
The Buffs did not stop there, but ran up their lead to 71-62 before co-captain Hana Peljto and Cserny helped Harvard tie the game again at 78.
Trading free throws, the Crimson and Buffaloes again found themselves tied, 81-81.
Harvard jumped out early, forging a 15-13 lead behind seven quick points by Cserny and six from senior point guard Bev Moore.
“They played a high-pressure defense and we were pretty composed on offense,” sophomore guard Jess Holsey said.
Crimson fans that came out from the nearby hometown of Peljto and junior guard Rochelle Bell were treated to a 22-point, six-rebound performance from Peljto and solid play from Bell.
Peljto scored her first basket on a layup off a nifty back-door dish from co-captain forward Tricia Tubridy.
Capitalizing on tough team defense and sharp shooting, Harvard amassed a 15-point lead midway through the first half.
The Buffaloes were not about to succumb to the underdog without a fight, though, and cut the Crimson lead to three shortly before halftime.