BOSTON — The BYU women’s basketball team fell 71-65 to Harvard on the road Friday night, the team’s second loss in as many days.
BYU’s record fell to 2-2, while Harvard’s increased to 2-1.
"Keilani (Unga) had a really nice game and Kim (Beeston) played really well for us as well," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We made some mistakes at the end, missed a couple of free throws. We had a lot better effort tonight and we’re getting better."
Kim Parker Beeston tallied a season-high 19 points, shooting 5 of 7 from the field and had a team-high six rebounds. Also in double figures, Lexi Eaton had 17 points and Keilani Ungahad a season-high 14. Haley Steed totaled eight assists with nine points.
BYU took the lead to start the first half, but then went cold from the field as Harvard came back to tie it up 8-8 on free throws. The Cougars continued to fall further behind as another foul gave Harvard’s Emma Golen easy shots from the charity stripe.
Down 19-14, Steed drained a 3-pointer to hack down Harvard’s lead. With just under seven minutes on the clock, Beeston fed the ball to Unga as the Cougars stormed back toward their basket and Unga dished it in to tie up the score at 23-23.
Another Steed trey earned a BYU lead at 28-25 with the clock registering 5:21 remaining. Back-to-back Eaton jumpers pushed BYU forward to a 32-27 lead. Both teams made a jump shot before heading to the locker room.
The Crimson’s Victoria Lippert bounced Harvard ahead of BYU on a 3-pointer coming out of half time, but Unga answered with a layup, which Ashley Garfield followed up with her own layup to put BYU back in the lead 38-36. Harvard tied it up 38-38, launching a lead exchange until a Crimson steal resulted in a layup by Temi Fagbenle to put the score at 50-48. Fagbenle’s jumper on the next play put Harvard up 52-48 with 10:21 left to play.
Still down by four with less than three minutes on the clock, Steed dished the ball out to Beeston, who launched the ball into the hoop from beyond the 3-point line, cutting BYU’s deficit to 63-62. Unga tied it up at 63 on a free throw.
Down 66-65 with 30 seconds on the clock, Golen knocked a trey followed by a BYU turnover to give the ball back to the Crimson. Free throws gave Harvard its final points to end the game 71-65.
BYU is still on the road next week, heading to Tucson, Ariz., to take on Arizona on Tuesday at 11 a.m. MST.
Postgame Notes Team
In the first half, BYU had a one rebound advantage over Harvard 14-13 and finished with 26 to the Crimson’s 29.
BYU had a 9-5 edge in assists at the break and ended with 15. Harvard dished out a total of 13 in the game.
The Cougars put up four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with eight, while the Crimson recorded five trays in the game.
For the third straight time on the year, three Cougar players scored in double figures — Kim Parker Beeston (19), Lexi Eaton (17) and Keilani Unga (14).
Sophomore Ashley Garfield got her first start of her career in the game at Harvard.
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Eaton recorded her fourth-straight double-figure outing in points finishing the game with 17.
Beeston scored a season-high 19 points marking the third time on the year she’s tallied double digits in points. The points were also a team high.
Unga recorded her first double-figure outing in points of the season and the 12th overall with 14.
For the fourth-straight time Haley Steed recorded a game high in assists with eight.
Rachel Hawks is a sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.