Photo of Emma Markley courtesy of Gil Talbot.
BOULDER, Colo. – Junior Emma Markley led
the Crimson with 24 points and freshman Victoria Lippert added 14,
but it wasn’t enough as the Harvard women’s basketball
team fell in a heartbreaker to Colorado, 67-65, in the championship
game of the Omni Hotels Classic Saturday at the Coors Events
Markley was 9-for-14 from the field with six rebounds, four blocks and a steal to earn a spot on the all-tournament team. Markley broke the Colorado Tournament record for blocks in two-games with 10 on the weekend. Lippert was 5-for-9 from the field with a pair of threes. Junior Jackie Alemany won the battle of the boards for the Crimson, with a career-high 11 rebounds.
Harvard ran out to an 8-0 lead on a pair of Markley jumpers, one of which included an extra point on a free throw after a Colorado foul and Matera hit a three. The Crimson defense held the Buffaloes scoreless on their first four possessions. But Colorado used three straight three-pointers to take a 9-8 with 15:26 on the clock. A Caitlin Rowland’s three put the Crimson back on top and started an 8-0 run for the visiting team, giving the Crimson a 16-9 advantage with 11:46 left to play. The Buffs answered with six straight points, making it a one-point game, but a Rowland layup, back-to-back Markley jumpers and a Elle Hagedorn basket allowed the Crimson to take 24-15 lead with 6:34 remaining.
The Buffaloes climbed back into the game, after being held scoreless for three minutes, to take the lead, 26-25 with 2:09. Colorado extended its lead to 33-29 before Matera hit a buzzer beater from behind the three-point line to make it 33-32 at the half.
Markley tied the score when she stole the ball at midcourt and ran in for a lay-up early in the second session. Another steal from Berry on the next play resulted in another Markley layup, giving the Crimson its first lead in the second stanza. Harvard forced Colorado to burn a timeout after denying the Buffs a score on their next possession and scoring on their own end to move ahead 39-35 with 17:41 left in the game.
Over the next three minutes, the Crimson extended its lead to nine points. But Colorado took advantage of several Harvard fouls and capitalized on three Crimson turnovers to cut into the lead and regain possession of the game with 9:42 to play. A jumper from Lippert put the lead back in the Crimson’s hands. Colorado didn’t let the Crimson get a head by more than four points over the final minutes of the game. With 2:32 on the clock Chucky Jeffery tied the score at 61 and Megan Malcolm-Peck gave her team the lead with 1:41 left. Markley answered for the Crimson The teams traded scores before the Buffaloes held the ball for the final possession and scored with five seconds on the clock. Berry threw up a shot from mid court that hit the run before falling out.
The Crimson outrebounded the Buffaloes, 34-31. The Crimson shot 48 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from downtown and 55.6 percent from the charity stripe.
Harvard returns home to face Holy Cross Dec. 2 in the first game of a doubleheader with the Harvard men. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.