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Barahman’s Buzzer Beater Stuns Harvard, 65-62

The Bulldogs lift up Roxy Barahman in celebration of her game-winning buzzer beater. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Bulldogs lift up Roxy Barahman in celebration of her game-winning buzzer beater. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale-Harvard rivalry added a new chapter Friday night at Lee Amphitheater -- and thanks to some last-second heroics, this was one for the ages. A back-and-forth women's basketball battle between the Bulldogs and Crimson culminated in epic fashion, as junior guard Roxy Barahman fought through a double-team just past half court to fire in a buzzer-beating three-pointer for the win. As the home crowd erupted Barahman quickly found herself at the bottom of a celebratory dogpile, as she collapsed to the floor and was mobbed by her teammates.

Once the final replay review confirmed that Barahman had gotten off her miraculous shot before the buzzer, the Bulldogs continued the celebration by lifting her up on their shoulders.

"I wasn't having a great shooting night, but coming down the stretch I knew they trusted me," Barahman -- who finished with 14 points and remains the leading scorer in the Ivy League -- said of her teammates.

In a game marked by 13 lead changes, the final 30 seconds proved to be decisive. With the score tied 60-60, Barahman started the stretch by banking in a shot from just outside the post despite being blanketed by a Harvard defender who had cut off Barahman's attempted drive to the basket.

"As soon as I picked up the ball, I knew I was dead," Barahman said. "I just thought, 'Let's go for it'. I'm glad it went in."

Harvard (9-7, 2-1 Ivy League) had a response, though, as guard Madeline Raster's jumper with seven seconds left tied the score. But before the Crimson could even celebrate that clutch basket, the Bulldogs got the ball to Barahman. She pushed it up the court, knowing her team had no time outs, and spun away from one defender and then another just past half court before launching the game-winner.

Barahman's heroics would not have been possible had the Bulldogs not gotten plenty of other contributions -- starting with a career-high 17 points from senior forward Alexandra Maund, who happened to be celebrating her birthday. Maund also led the Bulldogs with eight rebounds.

"We live for the Harvard game," said Maund. "This rivalry goes back so far. To honor the people that came before us and to play in that rivalry means so much to us. It's huge to be able to do something like that when we know that there's alumni tuning in across the world … That's what we do it for, we do it for the people that came before us and for each other."

First-year forward Camilla Emsbo wound up second on the team with 15 points, including 12 in the second half. She added seven rebounds -- three in the fourth quarter alone.

"Camilla really stepped up," said Maund. "She was getting huge rebounds that were turning into and-ones. That leadership is what we needed."

And while the offensive highlights wound up stealing the show, the Bulldogs' defensive effort was a big part of Friday's success. They held the Crimson six points below their season point average and limited them to just five three-pointers -- the second-lowest total of the season for them.

"We know that they shoot the ball like crazy," Barahman said. "They were averaging 27 three-point attempts per game. We really focused on cutting that down, not letting them have anything easy."

The Bulldogs also took care of the ball, committing only 12 turnovers.

"That shows our team, when we value the possession we can do great things," said Allison Guth, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball.

Yale (12-6, 2-1 Ivy League) has little time to celebrate the big win, however, as Dartmouth comes to Lee Amphitheater Saturday night.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity