Until March 14, 1998, a No. 16 seed had never beaten a No. 1 seed in either the men’s or women’s postseason basketball tournament. Then, the Harvard women’s basketball team played Stanford.
Some Harvard students devote most of their time to studies, others spend hours split between the classroom and the field, while others begin their morning in one jersey and end their day in another. Well, just one: graduating senior and women’s basketball captain Maggie McCarthy.
Carrie Moore’s career as Crimson basketball coach tipped off to a tremendous start in the 2022-23 season. In her first year at the head of the program, the former Western Michigan standout and retired professional basketball player led the team to a 9-5 Ivy League record and a deep run in the WNIT tournament — one that made program history.
The 2023 Harvard women’s basketball team made history this past weekend by playing in the Great Eight of the NCAA WNIT for the first time in program history. The Crimson traveled to the Big Apple to meet familiar Ivy adversary Columbia for the fourth time this season, though Harvard wasn’t able to fend off the Lions, losing in a close six-point game by the score of 77-71.
The Harvard women's basketball team celebrates its 74-63 victory over the University of Rhode Island on March 23 at Lavietes Pavilion, sending the Crimson to the quarterfinal match of the 2023 NCAA WNIT. Harvard went on to lose against Columbia in a 77-71 battle on March 26.
Princeton reasserted its dominance after a 10-point Harvard lead vanished on Friday night at Princeton’s Jadwin Gym. The Tigers thundered back to beat Harvard 51-47 for a senior night win.
Senior guards McKenzie Forbes and Maggie McCarthy line up at Harvard's 2021 game against Merrimack, in which the Crimson defeated Warriors 99-75. Harvard recently fell to Princeton 51-47 but will take on Dartmouth this weekend before competing in the Ivy Madness Tournament from March 10-12.
Harvard has been preparing for its game against Princeton this Friday, which will be an important indicator of how it needs to change its game for the Ivy League tournament. In the history of Harvard vs. Princeton women’s basketball games, 91 in total, the Tigers have won 46 to Harvard’s 45 games.
“That's been the theme of the season, honestly – people are in and out, so it's kind of like winning anyway we can at this point – it doesn’t really matter what it looks like. Just be tough, go out there, and play for the people that are injured.”
First-year guard Gabby Anderson takes a shot at the hoop in the team's 68-59 conquest of Boston College on November 10. The Columbus, Ohio native, who has been a critical starter for the Crimson, has since torn her ACL, putting her on the bench for the rest of the year.
The Harvard women's basketball team celebrates after a 68-59 win over neighboring university Boston College back on November 10 at Lavietes Pavillion. The team is currently on a three-game winning streak against Ivy League teams and will take on two more league opponents this weekend.
In 40 seasons as Harvard's women's basketball coach, Kathy Delaney-Smith racked up 630 victories, 11 Ivy League championships, and six NCAA Tournament appearances. Her team culture was built through camaraderie and trust, leading her to become the all-time winningest basketball coach, male or female, in conference history.
With a Record of Building Tournament Teams, Carrie Moore Plans to Bring Women’s Basketball Back to March
As soon as Harvard Head Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith announced this past fall that she would be retiring after 40 years at the University, Carrie Moore set her “heart and eyes” on the position. Moore had just coached her first game as an assistant at the University of Michigan, but she had wanted to be a head coach since she worked at basketball camps in college, and the job she describes as the best in the country was always at the back of her mind.
For the third time this season, Harvard (13-14, 7-7) fell to No. 24 Princeton (25-5, 14-0). Unlike the two previous contests, this Ivy Madness matchup was a barn burner, with both offenses excelling in the clutch. The Crimson rallied late but ran out of gas, losing by a score of 72-67 in its final game of head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith's remarkable career.
The Crimson (13-13, 7-7) traveled to Hanover, N.H. to square off against the Big Green (3-23, 2-12) in a must win game to keep their Ivy Madness hopes alive. Harvard responded to the pressure in dominant fashion, crushing their conference rivals by a 33-point margin.
As Harvard women’s basketball (12-12, 6-6) continued down the home stretch of its regular season this past weekend, a pair of road matchups with the Columbia Lions (19-4, 10-1) and Cornell Big Red (9-13, 4-7) presented key opportunities for the Crimson to solidify its spot in the Ivy League women’s basketball tournament in March. On Friday night, Harvard traded baskets in a competitive, high-scoring affair with Columbia before losing, 74-70. The Crimson was then unable to repeat its 42-point victory over Cornell on January 22, falling to the Big Red on Saturday night, 52-49.
Much like its previous meeting against Penn (9-12, 4-5 Ivy League), Harvard (12-10, 6-4) fell down by a wide margin early and staged a furious late rally in the pivotal conference matchup at Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday. However, the Crimson was unable to replicate the successful comeback it made on Jan. 29, eventually falling to the Quakers in overtime by a score of 87-78.