Harvard Basketball is Defeated by Purdue in the First Game of the Cancun Challenge

The Harvard women’s basketball team (3-2) lost its inaugural Cancun Challenge game to Purdue (5-0) by a score of 63-85.

Harvard began the Cancun Challenge with two players scoring in double figures in a game versus Purdue. Harmoni Turner led the way with 19 points, followed by Lola Mullaney with 17, with 18 of their combined points coming from beyond the arc.

Carrie Moore, head coach, stated of the game, “Our kids fought valiantly… We played hard and collectively after we dug down and got some more stops, especially in the second half, and we have our heads held high because we competed… I’m proud of our guys’ perseverance, and I had a great time coaching them.”

Both teams went scoreless in the first minute of play, with the Boilermakers jumping out to an early 11-point lead. The Crimson went on a three-minute run with three minutes left in the quarter to cut Purdue’s lead to five points by the end of the quarter, trailing 13-18.

The second quarter began similarly to the first, with the Crimson struggling to find their footing. Harmoni Turner scored the first and last points of the quarter, increasing her team-leading total to nine points at the break.

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At halftime, three Crimson players had scored all 21 points for the team: Turner had nine, Elena Rodriguez had seven, and Lola Mullaney had five.

For the first time this season, Harvard emerged from the locker room trailing by a point, with the goal of catching up in the second half.

The Crimson came alive in the third quarter, outscoring the Boilermakers 24-20, thanks mostly to their efforts in three-point shooting. The Crimson made five of six three-point attempts to Purdue’s one.

Women's Basketball Starts Season 2-0 with 68-59 Win Over Boston College -  Harvard University

For the first part of the fourth quarter, the score gap between Harvard and Purdue stayed pretty constant. In the fourth quarter, Harvard outrebounded Purdue 8-6, with five offensive rebounds to Purdue’s one. Purdue began to outscore the Crimson with four minutes remaining, bringing the final score to 63-85.

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Highlights from Harvard

  • Turner leads the squad in scoring with 19 points and assists with four. She and Elena Rodriguez each had eight rebounds, accounting for more than half of the team’s total of 28.
  • Lola Mullaney had a strong night shooting three-point field goals, finishing 4-7 with a 57.1 three-point percentage. She also had six field goals, accounting for 17 points.
  • Turner was the only player to have two blocks and two steals against the Boilermakers.
  • Harvard’s free-throw percentage of 73.3% outperformed Purdue’s of 64.3%.
  • The Crimson out-rebounded the Boilermakers in offensive rebounds, with 14 to Purdue’s six, the majority of which came in the second half.
  • Harvard outscored the Boilermakers 3-1 in blocks and forced more turnovers, with Purdue turning the ball over 17 times to Harvard’s 12.
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