While Harvard’s many injuries have likely contributed to its 4-5 record thus far in non-conference play, it has also provided an opportunity for coach Tommy Amaker to test his team’s bench and balance, a phrase he often emphasizes. The team’s injuries have allowed several of the freshman recruiting class to see significant action.
Harvard will hope this victory over in-state foe Holy Cross (4-3) is a step in the right direction towards emulating the 2013-2014 year, which marks the last time the Crimson won an NCAA Tournament game.
The Crimson (2-2) will be in the Bay Area for four days, as the team will take on the University of San Francisco Wednesday night, before traveling 25 miles northwest to Moraga, Calif., for a Saturday evening tilt against Saint Mary’s.
With seven players scoring six or more points apiece, it took a complete team effort to knock off the Minutemen. While no player scored more than Lewis’ 16 points, different players had crucial offensive moments throughout the game. Welsh’s first career three-pointer helped quell a UMass run, Kirkwood’s energy off the bench repeatedly galvanized Harvard, and crucial 2-for-2 efforts at the free-throw line from Juzang and Bassey in the last minute helped seal the victory.
Although the Crimson came up a basket short of joining the Big Dance after losing to Penn in the 2018 Ivy League Tournament Championship, Harvard will return 99.4 percent of its scoring from last season, good enough for second most in the country.
With a season opener against defending national champion Notre Dame, the women's basketball team cannot ease into its season. This early test sets the stage for a season in which Harvard looks to get back to Ivy Madness.