Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith was not left with much to say.
"We did not play well," Delaney-Smith said. "You can't play the 14th [best] team in the country and not play well."
No. 14/13 Oklahoma State (10-0) rolled over the Crimson women's basketball team, 92-62, in the first round of the Surf 'N Slam Classic at San Diego State's Viejas Arena on Friday night. Harvard (7-4) now faces its first two-game losing streak of the season.
The Crimson held a 7-5 lead three minutes into the game, at which point the Cowgirls took off, going on a 12-0 run and never looking back. Harvard, meanwhile, struggled to find the hoop, mustering only one field goal on its first 11 attempts.
Oklahoma State led the Crimson, 42-31, after the first half.
"We were down by only 11 at halftime and we were playing very poorly in my opinion," Delaney-Smith said. "I thought that if we could just play a little better like I felt we were capable of, we could close the gap, but we just started the second half horribly and dug a deeper hole."
The Cowgirls enjoyed another 12-0 run early in the second to jump out to a 61-39 advantage. Junior guard Tiffany Bias and sophomore forward Liz Donohoe led the scoring drive for Oklahoma State with 24 and 18 points, respectively. Teammates Toni Young and Brittney Martin each recorded double-doubles for the Cowgirls.
“They’re a very good team obviously, but we did some things that we could have prevented, that deepened and widened the lead,” said sophomore Harvard forward Temi Fagbenle.
As the game slipped away from Fagbenle’s squad, Oklahoma State out-rebounded the Crimson, 31-11, in the second period. On the night, the Cowgirls outscored Harvard 44-24 in the paint and 26-4 on fast break opportunities.
“We were forewarned and thought we were ready to play a little transition defense and keep them off the boards, and we couldn't have been worse,” Delaney-Smith said. “We couldn't have been more miserable, failing to do both of those things. That was the game.”
One of the bright spots for the Crimson, though, was Fagbenle, who recorded her third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
"[Fagbenle] played pretty well," Delaney-Smith said. "She played a good game. She fought till the end."
The British Olympian’s last two double-doubles have come in Harvard’s last two losses.
“I really don’t think it’s that important,” Fagbenle said of her recent individual performances. “Especially when you come out with a loss.”
Junior guard Christine Clark was the only other Crimson scorer to break into double-digits with 15 points. Senior forward and native San Diegan Victoria Lippert, who had averaged 16 points per game over Harvard’s last four contests, was held to a single trey in six attempts from the field.