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Tamara Simpson Breaks Yale Career Steals Record in Loss at Harvard

Tamara Simpson (Photo by Steve Musco)
Tamara Simpson (Photo by Steve Musco)

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Behind a career-high 24 points for Madeline Raster, the Harvard Crimson defeated the Yale Bulldogs 76-56 to move to 10-0 at home this season. Harvard improves to 18-3 overall (6-2 Ivy), while Yale falls to 11-10 (2-6 Ivy). The game was rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday due to snow.


The most noteworthy moment of the game came with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter, when junior Tamara Simpson recorded her third steal of the night. With that, she passed Kathleen Offer as Yale's all-time leader in career steals with 212. Simpson said of the record, "Defense has always been my favorite part of playing basketball, so to go down in the record book for a defensive accomplishment is really special to me. I just hope to continue doing my part to add to the success of this team."


Senior Meghan McIntyre entered the starting lineup for the first time since November, and she made the most of her opportunity, going 3-for-3 from 3-point range in the first half. She was a bright spot in what was otherwise a poor shooting half for Yale (24.1% from the field). Harvard shot 56.5% from the field in the half, so its lead could have been larger. However, Yale grabbed 12 offensive rebounds compared to 4 for Harvard to stay within 6 points late in the second quarter. But Harvard freshman Katie Benzan made a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left to give the Crimson a 35-26 halftime lead.


Benzan made contributions all over the floor throughout the game, finishing with 19 points and a career-high 10 assists as Harvard pulled away late for a 20-point victory. She and Madeline Raster both made four 3-pointers, and Destiny Nunley had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks.


While the rest of the Bulldogs struggled from the field, McIntyre continued her efficient shooting. She finished with 17 points on 6-for-8 from the field, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range, but she was still disappointed with the end result. "We dug ourselves in a hole by not locking down defensively and missing some layups throughout the game," McIntyre said. "They hit a lot of tough shots, so you have to give credit to them, but we need to move on and learn from this game in order to prepare for this big weekend against Penn and Princeton."


Next Up

Yale returns home next weekend to face Princeton on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. and Penn on Saturday night at 6 p.m. Yale played first-place Penn competitively on the road earlier in the season and had chances to win at Princeton, with a 7-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs will look to build on those performances next time around.


Filed by Andy Dougherty, Yale Sports Publicity