They took care of the ball, passed it brilliantly, and—for most of the night— watched as streaks of fire streamed from the ball whenever a Crimson shooter launched a shot.
Well, that last part isn’t true, but it certainly seemed like it as the Harvard women’s basketball team (6-4) dismantled Quinnipiac (2-5) 94-58 last night in Lavietes Pavilion.
Last Friday’s loss to Hofstra, coupled with another defeat at Boston University last Tuesday, marked only the second time in the last four seasons the Crimson dropped two in a row.
“That’s unusual for us, and they were games we felt we should’ve won,” coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said. I don’t know why we got tight. Too many of us were trying too hard.”
Harvard made sure from the start, however, that the count wouldn’t run to three.
Playing a nearly flawless first half, the Crimson jumped out to a 50-33 half time lead and hardly looked back.
“We snapped out of it,” Delaney-Smith said.
That’s putting it lightly.
Torching the nets, Harvard shot a blistering 60 percent from the field and nearly matched that clip from behind the arc, sinking 14-of-25 for a 56 percent success rate.
Five Crimson players scored in double digits, with captain center Reka Cserny leading the charge.
Hitting eight-of-nine field goals, including a perfect three-for-three mark from behind the arc, the 6’3 senior was most efficient, going for 21 points, five boards, and four assists in 20 minutes on the court.
“There was a lot of frustration after last week when we lost our confidence,” Cserny said. “We all shot really well, for whatever reason.”
From the start, Harvard was coming up with loose balls, hitting the open man, and most importantly, knocking down open looks.
Junior guard Jess Holsey hit a floating runner from the baseline and then swished an open three that barely disturbed the net from the right wing. Junior forward Maureen McCaffery, for her part, made a jumper in the lane to give the Crimson a 29-14 lead a little over nine minutes into the game.
Then, with about four minutes left before the break, junior forward Shana Franklin hit a three-pointer and Holsey went coast-to-coast to inflate the margin to 47-23.