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NCAA Women's Basketball Notebook

Harvard women’s basketball season comes to an end with loss to Columbia in WNIT

Sophomore Harmoni Turner led Harvard with 23 points, capping an impressive individual WNIT from Turner that also included the program’s second triple-double ever in the first round against Towson (21 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds).Noah K. Murray/Associated Press

Meeting for the fourth time this season, the Harvard women’s basketball team saw its WNIT tournament run end at the Great 8 Sunday afternoon in a 77-71 defeat at Ivy League rival Columbia.

The loss ends a strong playoff surge for the Crimson (20-12), who reached the round of 8 for the first time in any national postseason tournament. It also caps their first 20-win season since 2016-17.

Columbia (27-5) beat Harvard twice in the regular season but lost to the Crimson in the opening round of the Ivy League tournament. The Lions exacted revenge with a significant surge in the third quarter. After leading, 27-23, at halftime, they used a 16-4 run to end the third quarter and stretch their lead from 47-39 to 63-43 early in the final frame.


Harvard had an admirable last gasp. The Crimson outscored Columbia, 23-5, at one point in the fourth quarter, cutting the gap to 2 points when McKenzie Forbes nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. But late turnovers and some big Lion offensive rebounds proved too much to overcome.

Sophomore Harmoni Turner led Harvard with 23 points. The effort caps an impressive individual WNIT from Turner that also included the program’s second triple-double ever in the first round against Towson (21 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds). Kaitlyn Davis powered the victorious Lions with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Carrie Moore ends the year with the winningest season for a first-year head coach in program history. After taking over for retired 40-year coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, Moore led Harvard to a 16-10 regular season and an Ivy League championship appearance (a loss to Princeton). The Crimson took down Towson, UMass, and Rhode Island in the WNIT Tournament.

LSU beats Miami to gain Final Four

Angel Reese had 18 rebounds and LSU returned to the women’s Final Four for the first time in 15 years by beating Miami, 54-42, carrying a rapid rise under second-year coach Kim Mulkey straight to the sport’s biggest stage. Alexis Morris scored 21 points and Reese added 13 for the third-seeded Tigers (32-2), who asserted control of a grinding, defense-first game. LSU’s length caused Miami problems even with Reese — an Associated Press first-team All-American — having a brutal shooting day, and the Tigers offset their offensive hiccups by dominating the glass. LSU shot 30.2 percent and went 1 for 12 from 3-point range, including misses on its first nine attempts. But Miami was even worse from 3, missing all 15 tries.


The third-seeded Tigers finished with a 49-35 rebounding edge behind Reese, which led to a 15-3 edge in second-chance points — all desperately needed on a day with offensive rebounds readily available.

Mulkey is in her second season at LSU, bringing a resume with three NCAA titles from her time. She had cautioned that the Tigers were overachieving when they’re still strengthening a program for the long haul.

Maybe so, but they’re ahead of schedule after pushing their way through the NCAA Tournament’s Greenville 2 Region. The Tigers head to Dallas to face Ohio State or Virginia Tech in Friday’s national semifinals.

Clark leads Iowa over Louisville

Caitlin Clark put on a show with 41 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds to help No. 2 seed Iowa beat fifth-seeded Louisville, 97-83, and send the the Hawkeyes to their first women’s Final Four in 30 years. The unanimous first-team All-American was as dominant as she’s been all season in getting the Hawkeyes to Dallas for the women’s NCAA Tournament national semifinals on Friday night. The Seattle 4 Region champion will face the winner of the Greenville 1 region that has South Carolina playing Maryland on Monday night.


Iowa (30-6) hadn’t been to the Final Four since Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer led the team to its lone appearance in 1993.

Clark had the 11th triple-double of her career and the 19th in NCAA Tournament history.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.