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Athlete of the Week Runners-Up: Smith, Bassey, Benzan, Moy Tally Big Weekends

By Sean B. Chanicka, Contributing Writer

While Joey Colton took home athlete of the week honors this week after leading men’s water polo to its first NCAA Tournament berth, four other Harvard student-athletes had notable performances for their respective teams, earning this week’s Athlete of the Week runners-up honors.

Courtney Smith (Women’s Cross Country)

This past weekend, the Crimson cross country team competed in the NCAA Cross Country Championships at the Lavern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The team earned a 26th place finish thanks in part to junior Courtney Smith, who finished 35th overall with a time of 21:00.9. Harvard’s 26th place is the team’s best result since the 1983 Cross Country Championships, in which the team finished 13th.

Due to her top 40 finish, Smith also became the sixth All-American in Harvard’s history and the first since Lindsey Scherf in 2004.

Justin Bassey (Men’s Basketball)

After opening its season in Shanghai against Stanford, the Harvard men’s basketball team returned to Lavietes Pavilion on Thursday to play its home opener against Fisher College. Freshman wing Justin Bassey, making his debut for the Crimson, scored a team-high 14 points in the team’s 78-51 victory. Bassey also recorded four assists and one rebound.

In addition to Bassey’s efforts, Harvard was helped by a bench attack which scored 51 points in the contest, the second-highest total recorded under Harvard coach Tommy Amaker. While Fisher did threaten on several occasions in the second half, the Falcons were never able to bring the score closer than 20.

Katie Benzan (Women’s Basketball)

On Friday, the Harvard women’s basketball team faced off against Samford at Lavietes Pavilion. In a close game, freshman guard Katie Benzan proved to be the difference, as her career-high 16 points led the Crimson to a 57-52 victory. Benzan did most of her scoring behind the line, as she went four-for-five on three-pointers in the contest.

Late in the game with the Crimson up 55-49, the Bulldogs hit a three to cut the deficit in half. However, on the ensuing inbounds play, Benzan was fouled. The Wellesley, Mass. native coolly sank both free throws with 5.1 seconds remaining to make the score 57-52 and secure the victory for Harvard.

Tyler Moy (Men’s Ice Hockey)

On Friday night, the No. 11/10 Harvard men’s ice hockey team faced off against No. 3/3 Boston College at Bright-Landry Hockey Center in front of a sold-out crowd. In addition to being the higher-ranked team, the Eagles came into the matchup with a 10-game unbeaten streak.

With a trio of power play goals, the Crimson was able to end Boston College’s streak with a 5-2 victory. Senior forward Tyler Moy led the Harvard attack with two goals. Moy’s first goal came in the second period, three minutes after senior co-captain Alexander Kerfoot evened the score at one. Moy’s second goal came in the third period off a power play as he sniped a shot into the top corner of the goal.

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Men's BasketballWomen's BasketballMen's Ice HockeyTrack and Cross Country